Lanty H. Walker

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
November 26, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 313-314

LANTY H. WALKER. No more genial, better informed or
diplomatic class of men can be found than those identified
with the sales departments of the larger mercantile houses
and department stores, for the nature of their work de-
mands the possession of these attributes in order that they
may succeed. Outside of the big cities the manager of the
department store is supposed to have a wide acquaintance
and to be familiar with the opinions and tastes of his cus-
tomers, likewise a good salesman. Salesmanship is an art,
involving an intimate knowledge of psychology, and a man’s
status as being an expert salesman carries the implication
of a wide-spread popularity, a cleverly trained mind and a
more than adequate equipment in other directions. In none
of these attributes is Lanty H. Walker found lacking, and
it is because of their possession, as much as anything else,
that he is making a creditable success of the enterprise of
which he is manager at Burnsville, the Walker Department

Mr. Walker was born in Nicholas County, West Virginia,
October 21, 1888, and is a son of L. O. and May L. (Eads)
Walker. L. O. Walker was born at Tipton, Nicholas County,
October 3, 1845, and was reared in his native county on a
farm, securing his educational training in the district
schools of the rural communities. On reaching manhood he
met and married May L. Eads, who was born in Roanoke
County, Virginia, October 4, 1860, and was brought as a
child by her parents to Nicholas County, West Virginia,
where she attended the public schools. Following their mar-
riage Mr. and Mrs. Walker settled on a farm, and for some
time devoted their whole attention thereto. Later they
started a small store, handling only the more common neces-
sities, and this soon grew to be quite an enterprise, neces-
sitating much more attention. In 1900 Mr. Walker decided
upon a more aspiring venture and moved his stock of goods
to Summersville, where he carried on a successful mer-
cantile business until selling out and going to Gad, West
Virginia, where he likewise carried on an enterprise of this
nature. In 1913 he made another change, this time coming
to settle permanently at Burnsville, where he remained in
business until his death in 1919. At the start of his career
Mr. Walker was only a son of the soil, without any spe-
cialized training for business pursuits, but possessing the
inherent ability so necessary to the man who would succeed
in the marts of commerce and trade. He was likewise a
man of the strictest integrity and had the confidence, well-
merited, of those associated with him in any enterprise. He
was a democrat in politics, but did not seek public favor or
preferment as a holder of public office. His religious affilia-
tion was with the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, to
which also belongs Mrs. Walker, who survives him as a
resident of Burnsville. They were the parents of nine chil-
dren, of whom seven are living in 1922, as follows: Ora,
the wife of A. E. Legg; Ollie, the wife of C. L. Evans;
Laura, the wife of Dr. E. J. Summers; Bertha, the wife
of E. V. Summers; Lanty H., of this record; Mamie, the
wife of W. Lambert; and Pearl, the wife of Hugh Mearns.

Lanty H. Walker was born on a farm, but much of his
boyhood was passed in the environment of small towns,
where he secured his education in the public schools. From
the start his business training was along commercial and
mercantile lines, for when he was but a youth he entered his
father’s store and learned the business in all its details. At
Burnsville he was associated with his father in the Walker
Department Store until the elder man’s death, since which
time he has been managing the business for his mother. Mr.
Walker is a man of energy and of ideas, and is conducting
the establishment along the same policy of straightforward
dealing and honest representation that gained it a reputa-
tion under his father’s management. He is a democrat in
politics, but has not found time to enter political matters,
although a public-spirited citizen of civic pride who assists
good movements which promise municipal advancement.
Fraternally he is a popular member of Burnsville Lodge No.
87, A. P. and A. M., and his religious connection is with
the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.