Monday, December 3, 2007

The Old Walker Plantation Above Twenty-Mile

Some of Itawamba County’s largest farms are located “above Twenty-Mile” in northwestern Itawamba County. The headwaters of the Tombigbee River (Donivan Creek, Brown Creek, and Twenty-Mile Creek all form the Tombigbee River in this region and during the formation of the county, some of Itawamba’s larger plantation’s were created in this area. Planter families settling this region included the Beene, Walker, Crayton, Warren and Tynes families. The photographs above are of the old John Walker plantation. The old main house next to the barn in the distance was built during the 1840’s (for close-up see bottom photo).

John Walker and his wife Catherine moved from Alabama to Itawamba County during 1839 where he had been purchasing property since 1836. They brought their slaves and children - Frances, Martha, Benjamin F., George B., John, Nancy Ann and Moses L., with them to Itawamba County and another child, Mary Katherine, was born after arriving in Itawamba County.

By 1850 Walker had acquired 3,000 acres of rich Donnivan Creek bottom land near the headwaters of the Tombigbee River. The Walker House, which was built well before the Civil War was a combination plantation home, grocery and ordinary that was operated by the Widow Walker until well past Reconstruction days. The old home is still standing less than a mile west of Walker Levee Bridge. John Walker, who was born June 19, 1799, died on his plantation in Itawamba County on March 15, 1860, and Catherine, his widow, died on August 18, 1885. Both are buried in the old nearby Gilmore Chapel Cemetery.

Photographs were taken by Bob Franks on November 29, 2007

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