Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
WALKER HUDKINS, who resides at
718 E. Indiana avenue, Spokane, Washington, is one of the Big Bend pioneers,
whose labors have accomplished much good and development in that fertile
region. He was born in the vicinity of Parkersburg, West Virginia,
on May 7, 1849. His father, Elisha Hudkins, was born in what is now
West Virginia, in 1812, and died in Illinois, in February, 1877.
He had followed farming all his life. His first marriage was to Elizabeth
Rymer, by whom he had four children, Mrs. Ellen Rymer, Samantha, William,
and Jasper. In the home state, Mrs. Hudkins died and then later Mr.
Hudkins married Miss Rachel Mearns, who was born in the territory now embraced
in West Virginia, in 1820. Her father was Andrew Mearns, a farmer.
About 1859, the elder Hudkins brought his family west to Hancock county,
Illinois, and there followed farming until his death. His widow later
made the trip to Oregon, and died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Mary
McCall, in Wallowa county, that state, the date being 1891. The children
born to this couple are: Andrew, now in Hancock county, Illinois; Mary
J. McCall, of Wallowa county, Oregon; Floyd, who is mentioned in this work
elsewhere; Walker, who is the subject of this article; Margaret, who died
in Illinois when aged about twenty; Minerva Richardson, who died in Altoona,
Kansas, in 1900; Leah Brant, now living in Union county, Oregon; and Alice
who died in infancy.
Our subject was but four years of age when
he came with his parents to Illinois and in the Prairie State he was reared
and educated, finishing his schooling by a year in Carthge College.
He labored on the farm during youth and later farmed for himself in Illinois
until 1885. In the fall of that year he prepared to try the west
and selecting Oregon as the objective point, we find Mr. Hudkins and his
family landing in Lagrande, that state, about October. He rented
a farm there for two years and then came on to the Big Bend country, locating
near Brents and renting a farm. It was in October, 1887, that Mr.
Hudkins landed amid the sea of bunch grass in Lincoln county and from that
time until the day of his removal to Spokane to school his children, he
was known as one of the representative citizens and a stanch man and progressive
pioneer. After renting some time he bought a quarter section, and
later took a preemption. Later he bought a half section, upon one-fourth
of which stood the historic town of Brents. In 1899, Mr. Hudkins
bought three eighties adjoining his other property, it being the place
where he had lived most of the time since coming to the county, the estate
lies about two and one-half miles north from Creston. In 1903, Mr.
Hudkins added another quarter and then an eighty which makes him an estate
of one and one-half sections, two-thirds of which are under cultivation
and producing excellent crops annually. The balance is pasture and
timber. The farm is supplied with all improvements necessary, including
a first class barn and fine orchard. In November, 1903, Mr. Hudkins
purchased the residence where he now lives in Spokane and makes that the
family home, the move being taken for the purpose of giving the children
better school advantages.
On December 30, 1879, Mr. Hudkins married
Miss Emma Martin, the daughter of Spencer and Sarah (Michel) Martin, natives
of West Virginia. They followed farming and the father died in his
native state in 1862, while the mother died in Illinois, in 1891.
The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Martin are, Jane, Maria, Henry, Jesse,
Tabitha, Mahala, Emma, John, and Laura. Mrs. Hudkins was educated
in her native state and accompanied her mother to Illinois about 1875,
and since her marriage she has been a sharer of the labors and success
of her husband. They are the parents of the following named children:
Olive Myrtle, born in Illinois, on December 6, 1880, and died in 1883;
Lillian Pearl, born in Illinois, on December 22, 1881, and died in Illinois
in 1882; Ernest Walker, born in Illinois, on May 12, 1883, and died August,
1884; Russell Alva, born in Illinois, on May 16, 1885, and now with his
parents; Rachel Helen, born in Lincoln county, on December 5, 1887, and
now at home.
Mr. Hudkins two half brothers and his eldest
brother fought for the union in the Civil war and the eldest, William,
was killed. Mr. and Mrs. Hudkins belong to the Rebeckahs, while he
also belongs to the A. F. & A. M., and the I. O. O. F., and Mrs. Hudkins
is an adherent of the Methodist church. Politically, he is a Democrat,
but is not especially active. He has seen and knows by experience
the hardships of the pioneer, has labored faithfully in development and
forwarding the interests of the Big Bend, and he and his wife are now justly
entitled to the emoluments of their labors. They are known as estimable
people and have shown a stability and tenacity that deservedly win in the
race of life.