Biographical / Historical
Walton family members were prominent Philadelphia Quakers. Joseph Walton (1784-1853) was a Philadelphia bookseller. He married Abi Kite (1787-1865), daughter of Benjamin and Rebecca (Walton) Kite, in 1813, and the couple had nine children: Rebecca (1814-1859), unmarried and a teacher; Charles (1815-1892), married Deborah Lightfoot; Joseph (1817-1898), married Lydia Lippincott of Chester MM, New Jersey, in 1858; Mary H. (1819-1857), married Nathaniel Brown in 1854; Henry (died in infancy, 1821); Anna (1822-1882); Abby (1825-1861) married Francis Lightfoot in 1848; Samuel (1827-1899), married Sarah J. Edgerton of Stillwater MM, Ohio, in 1854; and Jane (1830-1872), married Benjamin Lightfoot in 1852.
Joseph Walton (1817-1898) was a graduate of Westtown School and Haverford College (1836). He taught at Westtown School for about ten years, edited the Orthodox Quaker periodical The Friend, and served as Clerk of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. In 1858 he married Lydia Lippincott at Chester Monthly Meeting in Moorestown, N.J. Much of the correspondence is directed to him from other family members, especially his older sister, Rebecca, who was a teacher at Friends Select School in Philadelphia, and from his brother and sister-in-law, Samuel and Sarah Walton, of Barnesville, Ohio.
Samuel Walton (1827-1899) moved to Ohio in 1847 and in 1854 married Sarah James Edgerton, daughter of James and Anna (Hall) Edgerton, at Stillwater Monthly Meeting, Belmont County, Ohio. That year the family moved to Philadelphia, but returned to Ohio in 1857 where Samuel had a dental practice. Samuel and Sarah are both buried at Stillwater Monthly Meeting which was the center of Wilburite Quakerism in Ohio.
Samuel and Sarah Walton had five children: Joseph J., James, Anna, Samuel Francis, and Abby. James (1857-1951) was superintendent of the Barnesville Boarding School and active on its Board. He gave his home, which was across the street from the School, to Ohio Yearly Meeting (Conservative) for use as a boarding home. It was in The Walton that this collection of letters was found.