Village of Walton

Lee County Illinois

St. Mary's Church in Walton contributed by Karen Holt

A post office, a telephone exchange and a recreation center all were once part of Walton. Now today (1976) these community facilities are gone and the little village of Walton is nothing more than a small community.

The village, located in Marion Township, was established after several settlers began to establish homes around teh Price Jones farm in 1878. Marion Township was platted in 1854 and it was almost a quarter of a century l ater that the Jones farm, located in the center of the township, started the Walton settlement.

The post office is now a memory, with mail being brought from Dixon or Amboy. The telephone lines still stand but the exchanges are also now in Dixon and Amboy.

A Buffalo man who rode from New York on horseback was the first permanent settler in Walton. David Welty arrived at Dixon's Ferry in 1838. The rest of Welty's family, including his wife's parents, came to Chicago by boat via the Great Lakes and later took the stage coach to the Dixon area.

Welty bought land in the Walton area in 1840 and built a double log house on the stage route between Peoria and Dixon. Oftentimes stagecoaches would stop at the Welty home for a rest. Thus began the growth of the Walton area. The double log house accomodated the Welty family and many more of the family offspring. People soon began to establish in the area but for awhile the Welty farm was believed to be one of only three homes between Dixon adn Princeton. The only two other establishments were at Dad Joe's Grove and Palestine Grove. Today the land on which the first Welty home was built is still in the family.

Many of the farms in the Walton area are today still owned by descendants of the original owners. Grandsons, great-grandsons, cousins, aunts and uncles have continued the family tradition and stayed on to operate the family farms.