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"PREACHER" GEORGE WALKER



In 1889, George Walker from Arkansas, came to Gust to be located on a claim. He stayed overnight with Gust and his father Otto. Walker was restless. Paced up and down reciting scripture. "I'm a preacher of the gospel", he declared, "And, you people will have to support me." Otto retorted, "In this country, every man works for his living."

Walker selected a claim up river and on the opposite side from us. After Gust had helped him build his cabin he brought in his wife and teenaged daughter. Then he got the idea that he could make some money by locating settlers himself.

First he picked out a swampy area with only fair timber, and engaged to locate three fellows on it at fifty dollars apiece. The soil there wasn't good for farming, and when the men saw it they refused to take it. Walker came to Gust and was telling him all about it when Otto Murhard said, "Well, you showed them the promised land. If they didn't want it, that's not your fault." Both Gust and Walker thought the "Promised Land" a good name for that region, and it was so named.

Next, George Walker looked around for something better to show. Unfortunately, he picked out several claims which were already taken, as well as some that were on a section reserved for school revenue. Perhaps he didn't know what he was doing, but at any rate he located several fellows on land that was not open for filing. And pocketed the locating fees.

When these men went to Montesano and attempted to file on the claims they discovered the fraud. Two of them came back and asked Gus to canoe them to Walker's place. When they confronted him and demanded their money back, Walker calmly said, "I haven't any money. If you see anything you want, help yourself."