Pennsylvania AHGP
  Athens Township, Bradford County ~ Biographies

Zephon F. Walker

Zephon F. Walker, the fourth child from the union of George Walker (in German, Walger) with Znliema W. Flower, was born on 1st July, 1824, at Factoryville, New York. His father was a farmer. He remained upon the farm until the age of ten years, when he was adopted, and went to live with his uncle, Nathaniel Flower, in Athens Township, the same year that Mr. Flower purchased the homestead farm of Col. John Franklin's estate. Here his time was passed in helping on the farm in the summer season and in attending school in the winter, some of the time at the old Franklin school-house, and other times at the Athens academy. While at the academy he learned the theory of surveying, and after retiring from the school took up, without any tutor, mapping and the study of civil engineering. At the age of sixteen he was instructed by his grandfather, Major Flower, in practical surveying, and was with him on his surveys as long as he continued in the business, which was in 1842. After this he continued the surveying, mapping, and civil engineering business until August, 1875. Among his first work as a surveyor was the allotment of the Edw. Overton tract of several thousand acres in Herrick Township, and the Overton steam-mill tract in Burlington. The year 1849 he was with Col. Joseph Kingsbury writing conveyances, making maps, and surveying, at a salary of sixteen dollars per month. While there he made a large connected map of the warrants and subdivision of the De Cater purchase in this county, which was sent to Mr. De Cater, in Antwerp, Belgium. The same year he made a connected map of the De Chastellux land in Orwell, Pike, Borne, and Herrick townships. He was with Col. Kingsbury at the time of his decease.

In 1852 he was with C. L. Ward, Esq., in Towanda, at a salary of thirty dollars per month, in the field surveying in the towns of Towanda, Burlington, Smithfield, Ulster, Columbia, Troy, Granville, Canton, Leroy, Franklin, Monroe, Albany, and in Sullivan and Tioga counties. When in the office, he made maps of the lands Mr. Ward owned and was agent for. This year Nathaniel Flower died, and the homestead of the Franklin farm came into his possession. In 1853 he was still with Mr. Ward, on an increased salary of four hundred dollars per year, acting as surveyor, collection agent, and writing conveyances, etc.; in 1854 was with Col. C. F. Wells, of Athens, at fifty dollars per month, acting as secretary, surveyor, and supervisor of his home business, which included collecting material for his new house and farm, fencing, saw-mill running, etc.

In the fall of 1854 he left Mr. Wells and went home to take care of the late Major Flower in his last illness. He was married on 9th August, 1855, to Rebecca M. Franklin (by the Rev. F. S. Warren), at Seneca, Lenawee County, Michigan, she being the great-granddaughter of Col. John Franklin, and, probably, the only blood relative living in Pennsylvania. After his marriage he lived upon the farm, but continued the surveying business. In 1861 he compiled and had published a farm map of Athens Township and borough; in 1866 made a geological and topographical survey of the Schraeder Company Coal and Iron lands in this county and an elaborate map of the same; he camped in the woods for over four months in making this survey. In the spring of 1869 he took a position as civil engineer on the Geneva, Ithaca and Sayre railroad; remained thereon till the trains were running on the Ithaca and Sayre division of it, October, 1871. From this date he did a large amount of surveying, etc., among which was laying out the towns of Sayre, South Waverly, Waverly Extension, etc.

Politically his views are liberal. Originally an old-line Whig, he was with the Republicans two or three years, and declined a nomination as county surveyor at their hands, hut was run by the Democrats and beaten. He has filled the office of town clerk for twelve years, that of assessor two years, and was secretary of the school board several years. Since 1876 his time has been occupied in farming, dealing in lumber, railroad ties, etc. He helped to raise and went as first lieutenant of a company of militia from Athens upon Gov. Curtin's call, when Pennsylvania was invaded the first time; was at Hagerstown as the Rebs re-crossed the Potomac; was in hearing of the cannonading at the close of the South Mountain fight; he was drafted on Lincoln's third call, but furnished a substitute.

Athens Township

Bradford County Biographies

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Created May 2014 by Judy White