The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959 Page: 161
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The Reconstruction Courts of Texas, 1867-z873
After the war Colonel Walker engaged in the practice of law
at Findlay, Ohio, for a time, but in 1868 he came to Texas in a
military capacity and was thereafter appointed to the Military
Court by General Reynolds and then to the Semicolon Court by
Governor Davis. After the Semicolon Court went out of exist-
ence, Colonel Walker returned to Ohio and practiced law at
Kenton in association with his sons but suffered a severe injury
in December, 1879, by falling into an unguarded excavation in
a sidewalk, which compelled his retirement from the practice of
law. From this time until his death in 1895, he lived in semi-
retirement on his farm in the suburbs of Kenton.44
Undoubtedly Colonel Walker was a lawyer of ability and pos-
sessed some literary talent. Even the Semicolon decision demon-
strated that he was a skilled technician. Many of his opinions are
terse and brief, and he seems to have turned out a considerable
amount of work. Under the custom of reporting in vogue during
this period, the judge did not often place a statement of the case
in the opinion proper and this of course accounts for some of the
brevity in writing. As an example of Walker's approach to and
disposal of a matter, a portion of his opinion in Davidson vs.
State5 may be quoted:
The appellant's counsel on voir dire asked the witness [a female
child] what would become of her if she swore a lie. Her answer was, she
did not know; and she further answered she did not know what God
or the laws of the country would do to her if she swore falsely, but
that she would tell the truth.
44The above information concerning Colonel Moses B. Walker is taken from
the Biographical Cyclopedia and Portrait Gallery of Ohio (Cincinnati, 1884) and
the Portrait and Biographical Record of Marion and Hardin Counties, Ohio (Chi-
cago, 1895). These sources were made available to the writer through the kindness
of Mr. Justice Walter V. Schaefer of the Illinois Supreme Court and the Illinois
State Historical Library, Springfield, Illinois.
The account of Walker's Texas experiences as given in the Biographical Cyclo-
pedia is as follows:
"During the autumn of 1868, he was ordered to Texas for duty. He was subse-
quently appointed district judge. Again ordered to Texas, he was appointed to the
Supreme Court of that State as the colleague of Judges A. J. Hamilton, Morrell
[sic], Lindsay and Dennison, and served under that appointment until the State
of Texas was admitted to representation in Congress. Returning North he was
reappointed, by Governor Davis, one of the Supreme Judges, and went back to
Texas, where he served three years under the constitution of 1869, after which,
again returning North, he settled at Kenton and with his sons resumed the prac-
tice of his profession."
45Texas Reports, XXXIX, 1o.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959, periodical, 1959; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/m1/203/: accessed July 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.