William Cameron Walls 1
- Born: 27 Jan 1852, Lewisburg, Union, PA, USA 1
Noted events in his life were:
1. Book: Union County, Pennsylvania: A Celebration of History, 2001. 2
The style of living in the great houses was pleasurably recalled by one of the members of the elegant nineteenth-century social set in Lewisburg, William Cameron Walls, president of the Lewisburg National Bank from 1927 to 1941. With a life span that included the last half of the nineteenth century and almost all of the first half of the twentieth century, Walls possessed a wealth of memories, which he shared generously with the author. He liked to recall his own father and step-mother, John and Sarah Wilson Walls, whose home at 331 Market Street was always open to friends and neighbors. (This was the Lewisburg Municipal Building from 1968 through the 1990s. It barely resembles the Victorian brick building with the white trim and white picket fence of the nineteenth century.)
Also prominent was Johnson Walls, first president of the Union National Bank, who built the Victorian house on the south side of Pine Alley at 26 South Third Street, occupied later by the family of William Cameron Walls, then by the latter's daughter, Dorothy Walls McCormick and her husband, Harry "Moose" McCormick, an early twentieth-century star, a pinch-hitter for the New York Giants' baseball team. The family was highly social, and their home was filled with beautiful objects and family heirlooms. Mrs. William Cameron Walls expressed the philosophy of the age of elegance when she advised her children "to demand the best always, in dresses, houses and friends."
W.C. Walls' admiration extended to his in-laws, Colonel and Mrs. Eli Slifer, who maintained an impressive country home, Delta Place (now the Slifer House Museum), overlooking the river. Shifer was head of the boatyard with William Frick, president of the Lewisburg-Tyrone Railroad, and president of the company to manufacture Buckeye Reapers and Mowers. Walls recalled the comfort of Delta Place with its richly laden dining table, its preening peacocks on the lawn, the flocks of guinea hens in the fields, and the stable of fine Kentucky thoroughbred horses.
The Buchers lived in the old General Abbott Green house at 43 Market Street. Elected in 1871 as president judge of the 20th Judicial District (now the 17th), Joseph Casper Bucher was a much-admired jurist who in private circles was known for his immense wit and good humor. His wife, Mary Ellen Walls, was the daughter of John Walls and the granddaughter of Green. Her brother, William Cameron Walls, described her in his memories as one of the most cultivated, intellectual, and gracious women in his life. She was, in Walls' memory, a noble woman and mother, ideals in the nineteenth century of every woman.
Across the street from the Buchers lived James Merrill Linn and his wife, Mary Ellen Billmeyer Linn, at 101 Market Street.