Profiles from the Archives: Eugene P. Walker

Author: 
Matthew M. Peek, Military Collection Archivist

Eugene Parish Walker was born on August 23, 1891, to William L. and Sallie F. Walker in the city of Reidsville in Rockingham County, North Carolina. William L. Walker worked as a station express clerk. By 1910, Eugene Walker had moved to Danville, Virginia, to live with his uncle Oscar J. Walker, while Eugene apprenticed in a cotton mill there.

By the time of his draft registration for World War I, Walker was working as a tool maker in Reidsville, N.C. Eugene Walker enlisted during WWI in the U.S. Army at Fort Slocum in New York in June 1917, being assigned to Company D, 7th Engineers, 5th Division. He would reach the following ranks during his service: corporal on January 3, 1918; sergeant on July 22, 1918; and sergeant first class on November 17, 1918. Walker served overseas during World War I from March 16, 1918, to July 28, 1919, and was honorably discharged on August 5, 1919, from Army service.

By 1920, Walker had returned to live with his widowed mother and several of his siblings at the family home in Reidsville, while he worked as a machinist. Following his active service in the war, Walker would serve in the North Carolina National Guard in the Medical Department Detachment, 105th Engineers. By 1925, he had reached the rank of second lieutenant in the National Guard. By 1940, Eugene Walker had married Helen Moorefield Walker; the couple was living in the town of Black Mountain in Buncombe County, N.C., where Eugene was attending college. Prior to his death, Walker worked as a mechanical engineer at a tobacco factory.

Eugene P. Walker died on April 18, 1944, in Asheville, N.C., of tuberculosis at the age of 53. He was buried in Greenview Cemetery in Reidsville, North Carolina.

To learn more about Eugene Walker’s WWI service, check out his collection Eugene P. Walker Papers (WWI 29) held in the WWI Papers of the Military Collection at the State Archives of North Carolina in Raleigh, N.C.

This blog post is part of the State Archives of North Carolina’s World War I Social Media Project, an effort to bring original WWI archival materials to the public through the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources’ (NCDNCR) various social media platforms, in order to increase access to the items during the WWI centennial celebration by the state of North Carolina.

Between February 2017 and June 2019, the State Archives of North Carolina will be posting blog articles, Facebook posts, and Twitter posts, featuring WWI archival materials which are posted on the exact 100th anniversary of their creation during the war. Blog posts will feature interpretations of the content of WWI documents, photographs, diary entries, posters, and other records, including scans of the original archival materials, held by the State Archives of North Carolina, and will be featured in NCDNCR’s WWI centennial blog.