Some Savannah-born-and-raised residents went on to do so much good here, while other went out of state, even out of the country, to do good. Sometimes you go where you are called to be. Two people come to mind when I think of those men and women. One is James Stewart, who joined the Canadian Calvary. The other is Dr. Watson H. Walker, who both practiced and taught medicine at area Ohio hospitals.
There isn’t much known about James Doval Stewart. He was born Jun 18, 1886 and he lived in Savannah. How he ended up in the Canadian Calvary is a mystery. What I do know is that he was a part of the Calvary around WWI, he served others, and he continued to do so until his death from bronchial pneumonia on December 19th, 1919.
From his obituary:
Dr. Watson Herschel Walker Sr., was born April 7, 1918 in Seney, Georgia to James M and Oper L Walker. At 72, he passed on May 29, 1990 at Park Medical in Columbus, Ohio.
Dr. Walker, was the first elected black member of the Columbus Board of Education in the 20th century and an architect of the the district’s desegregation plan.
A surgeon, Walker graduated from Fisk University and Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, and practiced privately in Columbus until he retired in 1988. He was also chief surgeon at the old Ohio Penitentiary from 1949 to 1978.
He practiced at five hospitals, including Ohio State University Hospitals, where he was an adjunct professor of surgery. He also practiced at Riverside Methodist Hospital, where he was once surgery chairman.
His professional qualifications were recognized by his peers in medicine, but it was as a member of the school board for 16 years that he was known to the general public.
Walker was elected to the board in 1961 and served through 1977. He did not seek another term.
He was twice elected board president and led the body as the city was poised on the brink of court-ordered desegregation.
Survivors include his second wife, Terri; his sons, Watson Jr., Charles, James; a daughter, Wilhelmina; and his children’s mother, Juanita Walker.
Dr. Walker was a member of several professional and civic organizations and served as a Captain in the US Army.