William Marion “Black Bill” Walker lived on the Middle Prong of Little River in Tennessee. Born in 1838, this frontiersman was a stout young buck of twenty-three at the opening of the Civil War, he stood six feet two in his woolen socks and weighed, in hard muscle, 190 pounds.
In 1859, Walker moved to Tremont with his wife Nancy. The couple had seven children, only three of which lived beyond their childhood years. “Black Bill” was a religious man, who interpreted the Bible in a rather literal manner. With the understanding that patriarchs of the Old Testament had more than one wife and fathered numerous children, Walker took for himself a second and third wife whom he moved into the valley. In total, Walker fathered at least twenty-four children, most of whom grew to adulthood.
“Black Bill” was famous for a flintlock rifle he owned, known as Old Death. The rifle was a handcrafted weapon, made using a homemade headblock and screw. Old Death was six feet long and fired half-ounce lead balls that Bill cast himself.
The rest of the story can be found here.
William & Nancy Caylor Walker at their home in Walkers Valley, Blount Co. TN.