Biography - PETER C. WALTERS

A young lawyer who is making his mark in this section of the state is Peter C. Walters, county judge and one of the standard-bearers of the Republican party. He was formerly engaged in educational work and can look back over a number of years in that field. Since his admission to the bar in 1908, he has given ample proof of the fact that he possesses all the requisite qualities of the able lawyer, among these a careful preparation, a thorough appreciation of the absolute ethics of life and of the underlying principles which form the basis of all human rights and privileges.

Judge Walters is one of the good citizens the Hoosier state has given to Southern Illinois, his birth having occurred in Dearborn county, Indiana, January 29, 1881. His young eyes first opened to the rural surroundings of his father's farm, and the biographer is sometimes tempted to believe that the most powerful "Open Sesame" to success is to be born a farmer's son. At any rate, Judge Walters is on the safe side in the matter. His father, John Walters, born in 1842, is now residing in Poseyville, Indiana. He is a native of Germany, having at the age of nine years severed old associations in the Fatherland to cross the ocean with his father, Andrew Walters. They located first at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where they became familiar with the English language and American ways and subsequently emigrated to the vicinity of Cincinnati, Ohio, later going on to Harrison, Indiana. The grandfather died at San Antonio, Texas, in 1896, having made his home at that point during his later years. The father, a farmer by occupation, resided in Dearborn county until 1882, when his son was about a year old and then removed to a farm west of Grayville where he remained until March, 1909. He then sold his fine farm and settled in Poseyville, Indiana. He took as his wife Catherine Altherr, a native of Ohio, and of German- American parentage, but the good wife and mother died when her son Peter C. was a lad eight years of age. This union was blessed with ten children, three of whom died in infancy. The ones living to maturity are as follows: John T., of Ferguson, Missouri; George W., of Chicago; A. H., of Poseyville, Indiana; Francis J., of Hamilton, Ohio; Mary E.; Rose (Weatherly) of Poseyville, Indiana; and Peter C.

Judge Walters received his preliminary education in the common schools and in 1897 was graduated from the Grayville high school. He then took a year's course in the Southern Illinois Normal University at Carbondale, attending four terms and after a period of years as an educator he entered the law department of the University of Illinois and received his degree in 1908. In 1899, at the age of eighteen years, he began teaching school and taught at first for four terms in the country schools. Following that he taught one year in the grammar department of the Grayville schools and then was for four years principal of the Browns schools. From 1906 to 1907 he was principal of the Carmi High school and in every community he was known as an able and enlightened educator. However, he was ambitious to become identified with the legal fraternity and during the later part of his pedagogical work, he devoted all his spare time to the study of law, thus forming a substantial preparation for his collegiate work. He was admitted to the bar in June, 1908, and success has attended him from the first. It was in Gray township that he held his first political office, being twice elected town clerk of that township on the Republican ticket, the first time in 1907 and again 1908 and by his faithfulness and efficiency laying the foundation for future political preferment. In 1909 he removed to Edwards county and in that same year was first appointed and then elected justice of the peace of French Creek precinct and in 1910 was nominated without opposition to the office of county judge. In November of that year he was elected for a term of four years. He has proved the man for the place, meeting grave questions with valor and ability and he is known to be devoted to the principles of his party and ready to do all in his power to proclaim its ideas and support its candidates. Fraternally he is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

Judge Walters was married April 8, 1909, Ethel Farnsworth, of Mt. Carmel, daughter of Joseph and Sarah Farnsworth, becoming his wife. A son, Richard Farnsworth, died sixteen days after birth. Judge Walters and his wife are popular and estimable young people and hold an assured place in the hearts of the people of Edwards county.

Extracted 11 Nov 2018 by Norma Hass from 1912 History of Southern Illinois, by George W. Smith, volume 3, pages 1582-1583.

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