James B. Walker, Sr. was born on August 19, 1900 in the town of Centerville in Hickman County, Tennessee. He was the son of James B. and Henry Porter Walker. Treasurer Walker attended Hickman County schools, graduating from Fairview High School, and attended the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and Columbia University in New York. Treasurer Walker married Norma Bragg and they had two daughters and one son. Their names were Norma, Sara, and James B. Walker, Jr.
Treasurer Walker was active in the military, serving in the U.S. Marine Corps in both World War I and World War II. He was discharged with the rank of Major in 1944.
In 1919, Treasurer Walker became associated with the First National Bank of Centerville and eventually became the president of the bank in 1941. In 1953, he was elected by the Tennessee General Assembly to become the State Treasurer. He served during Governor Frank Clements' first administration. Not long after his appointment, Treasurer Walker became ill and his son James B. Walker, Jr. was appointed as Additional State Treasurer. His son served as Additional State Treasurer until July 1, 1953. Treasurer Walker, Sr. then resumed his appointment as State Treasurer and served until March of 1955, when he resigned his position due to a heart ailment.
In addition to his service as State Treasurer, Treasurer Walker was active in many community organizations. He was a member of the Centerville Board of Alderman for 20 years and even completed an unexpired term as mayor. He was a member of the First Methodist Church in Centerville and a steward for many years. In addition, he was a member of the American Legion, the Lions Club and the Masonic Lodge. He was also secretary and treasurer of the Tri-County Broadcasting Company, which established the first radio station in Centerville in 1955.
After serving the state and his community of Centerville for many years, Treasurer Walker died on September 8, 1956. Services were held at the Centerville First Methodist Church and he was buried in the Centerville cemetery.
Reference: Ova Lee Sawyer, et al., Historical Events of Hickman County, Tennessee, 1951-2000(Centerville, TN: Hickman County Historical Society, 2008), 35; Tennessee Blue Book, 1954; State Library and Archives Photograph DB 20929; "Shelby County Register of Deeds, Death Records Index, 1949-2009," http://register.shelby.tn.us/deathSearchResultsvital.php