The above is from Adin Ballou’s History of Milford. Several things have prompted me into looking a bit into the life of Samuel Walker. The first was the 1888 “birdseye view” of Hopedale. It has a border of pictures of mansions and public buildings in Hopedale. The names of the mansion owners were all familiar except for Walker. Ballou’s history provided the explanation of Walker’s wealth. In addition to what’s above, I’ve found that he owned a small mill on the Mill River about 100 yards downstream from the bridge that now leads from Thwing Street to the recycling center. The mill was later owned by Almon Thwing.

Another thing of interest to me is that two of the names Ballou wrote of in the 1880s were familiar to me in the 1950s. They were the Walker’s  daughter, Lucy Day, who was the librarian at the Draper Library during my school days, and Rachel Day, wife of the Walker’s grandson, Paul Day. She was the head librarian at the Bancroft Library  from 1943 to 1953. Lucy and Rachel both wrote histories of the Hopedale schools, which you can read here.

Back in the days when mansions were often given names, the Walker home near the Mill River on what is now Mendon Street was named Harvest Hill.

Below – From the Walker stone at Pine Grove Cemetery, Milford.

Sophia Mayhew Walker, daughter of Samuel and Lucy Walker, was the mother of Raymond Piper who was killed in 1919 in France when his plane crashed. The panel below is from the Walker stone at Pine Grove Cemetery, Milford.

This map, c. 1898, shows both the location of the Walker home and the mill. You can see the Waker name in several places just above the lower left corner of the map. The pond in the lower left, now gone with just the little Mill River running through that location, was created by the dam at the Walker mill, which was near the word HOPEDALE in the lower left.

Thanks to Lucy Burg for these pictures, and also for the picture of the Home National Bank note below. Samuel Walker was president of the bank and his signature is on the note.

I’ve sometimes wondered if the Day family (Lucy, Rachel, etc) have a family connection to Charles Day who married Lura Bancroft. I decided to see what would show up in Find a Grave. Above is what they have, with no mention of Charles. Click here if you’d like to go to the Lucy Day page on Find a Grave.


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