Born: Monroe County, Ohio, February 16, 1837.
JOSEPH A. WALTERS was born in Monroe County, Ohio, February 16th, 1837. His parents died when he was but a mere lad, and he struggled along with the usual trials in such cases. When but sixteen, he found himself studying the Scriptures, with a view of overthrowing "Campbellism," but became convinced, as all do, who try that method, that what is called "Campbellism," is but Primitive Christianity; and to it he yielded obedience in the early part of his sixteenth year.
After this, he spent about two years in the christian families of William Powell, now evangelizing in West Virginia, Elder Richard Williams and Hon. J. W. Williams, all members of the east Branch church, in Morgan County, Ohio. The encouragement received from them, with Isaac Errett, O. A. Burgess, and others who stopped with those families during yearly meetings, created an unsatiable thirst for an education.
He attended a Presbyterian college at Sharon, Ohio, where his zeal for the truth, brought him into conflict with the Presbyterian and Methodist preachers, and he made his first efforts at public preaching, and defending the faith, Joseph Dunn, L. M. Harvey and A. G. Ewing, (son-in-law of A. Campbell) going forty miles to his assistance.
He entered Bethany College in 1855, but health and means failing him. he left in May 1857. He then went to Washington, Ills., and taught school a few months, living in the family of Elder John Johnson, father of B. W. Johnson, editor of Christian Evangelist. In 1859, he made a trip to Pike's Peak, which greatly improved his health, much more than his financial condition.
Upon returning to Ohio, he taught a select school at Antioch, which however, was broken up by the war, and in the meantime, he was happily married to Miss Sue M. McCune of Fairview, Ohio.
Notwithstanding he began preaching in his eighteenth year, he was not ordained till 1860, from which time till 1879, he preached at various places in Ohio, and then removed to Kearney, Neb., and in 1881, to Iowa, and is now preaching for Redfield and Highland churches, his address being Jefferson, capitol of Greene County.
In personal appearance, he is about five feet eight inches in height; of light build, and weighs about 135 pounds, brown hair, what little there is of it; keen hazel eyes, and withal a genial and pleasant expression.
He is an earnest and industrious worker, is always finding some place to push the claims of the Gospel. Is companionable, cheerful and a true yoke-fellow in the Gospel, who is always on hand ready to do his part.