This is one of the smaller townships in the county, having but thirty sections in it, six east and west and
five north and south. It is bounded on the north by Posey township, on the east by Rushville township, on the south
by Orange township and on the west by Shelby county. Manilla, a flourishing town of about 500 population in the
western part of the township, lying in sections 14 and 15, and Homer, a busy village in section 18, about the center
of the township, are excellent shipping and commercial points on the Pennsylvania railroad. The surface of the
township is generally flat, though there is some rolling land, and the natural drainage provided by the sluggish
Mud creek and its equally sluggish tributaries has been supplemented by considerable ditching which was found necessary
to reclaim large sections of swamp lands which in the early days were regarded as practically valueless but which
now are excellent farm lands On account of the presence here of much swamp land and also because it was farther
west than the other townships on the same tier in the county settlement of Walker township was not effected as
early as in its neighboring township to the east, very few pioneers having been found there prior to 1824. In this
year a considerable "colony" of Kentuckians came up from Fleming county and established themselves in
the township, their presence stimulating further settlement until in the next two or three years pretty much all
the available land had been taken up and most of it represented by established homes. In the list of pioneers of
this township are found the names of John Goddard and his son Joseph, James Davis, Landon Gardner, Landy Hurst,
William Burgess, Daniel Jones, Oliver Norman, Reuben Hefflin, David Peters, Fielding Hurst, Joshua Hefflin, James
Rogers, Collins Hefflin, Frederick and Jacob Mull, Wright Donnelly, Isaac Baltis, Mr. Warfield, Samuel Wilson,
Edward Inlow, J. Webb, William Glass, Edward Riley, Samuel Watson, Jacob Hendricks, Peter Carpenter, Dean Willis,
Benjamin Plummer, Paul Folger, William Davis, Thomas and Barnard Macy, John Bramble, Reuben Conrad, Benjamin Elder,
John Fouch, James and Reuben Alexander, James Goddard, John Heaton, David Peters, John English, James Pouch, Aaron
Rollins, George Thomas, Isaac Hilligoss, Andrew Elder, Jacob Goddard, Eli Hill, Jonathan Murphy, Daniel Thomas,
Doctor Huston, Gilbert Edwards, Coleman Rollins, William S. Hilligoss, Benjamin Plummer, Josiah and Alexander Miller,
James Morrison, George and James Mahin, Emmons Hurst, James Emmons, John Alexander, Levi Hilligoss, Squire McCorkle,
William Gates, Fred J. and Michael Hael, Michael Kney, Joseph Tomes, William Hodge, William Westerfield, David
and John Dearinger, Fred Koontz, Casper and James Johnson, James Collins, John Webb and William Hunter.
Manilla - This is the chief town of Walker township and is situated almost on the western edge of the county.
It is a good shipping point on the Pennsylvania railroad and has a bank, a grain elevator, a commissioned high
school, two churches and the essential business houses and industrial establishments to carry on the business of
the thriving community of which it is the center. The present (1921) pastor of the Methodist Episcopal church is
the Rev. M. E. Abel and of the Christian church, Rev. J. P. Mars. Thomas K Mull is president of the Manilla Bank
and the Rush-Shelby Grain Company operates the grain elevator. The postmistress, Miss Mary M. Inlow, who was commissioned
on April 2, 1919, carries on a confectionery business in connection with the postoffice. General stores, John Gross
and M. L. Heaton; hardware, J. E. Creed and Silverthorn & Hungerford; drugs, George J. Inlow; hotel, Mrs. A.
B. Staniford; barber shops, E. H. Mahan and Oscar Passmore; garage, Frank Nichel; millinery, Blanche Fox; confectionery,
Shook & Son; blacksmith, Edward Edwards. There is one physician in the village, Dr. W. E. Barnum, and one dentist,
Dr. Charles W. Zike. Among the earlier physicians in the town may be mentioned the names of John Westerfield, J.
W. Houston, James W. Trees, J. J. Inlow, John H. Spurner and Armstrong and Ramey. The town has a flourishing lodge
of Freemasons and a lodge of Red Men. When natural gas was developed in Rush county Manilla secured a good supply
through local wells and is still using this convenient fuel although the pressure is nothing like it was in other
days. It uses the Bell and Independent telephones and secures electric current for lighting purposes from Rushville.
It was on January 4, 1836, that the original plat of Manilla was filed for record, the town being "laid out"
by Jacob Mull, Elias and Jonathan Murphy and Jonathan Edwards. At first the town was called Wilmington, but later
was changed to Manilla, which name it ever since has borne, one of the two postoffices of that name in the United
States. Inquiry among some of the old residents failed to reveal the source of the name. The first house in the
town was a log cabin erected on the site of the present Trees homestead place. Jacob Mull was the first merchant
and other early merchants were Woofolk and Riley & Frame. When the railroad was being constructed through there,
in 1848, a sawmill was erected to get out timber for construction work. The first train ran over the line on July
4, 1850, and thereafter the growth of the village to its present stage was substantial, the community appreciating
the advantage of a rail shipping point. One of the former industries of the town was a tannery which was erected
in 1841 and a gristmill was erected in 1860. The Manilla Bank was organized by Thomas K. and Leonidas H. Mull in
1901 and has served as a great commercial convenience throughout that part of the county.
Homer - This is the second village in size in Walker township and is a pleasant place of about 200 souls,
on the Pennsylvania railroad about the center of the township. The Arbuckle tile mill, one of the most extensive
in this part of the state, is the chief industry in the place. There also is a good grain elevator and the several
stores in the village supply the local wants of the community in the commercial way. The town has an excellent
township school and there are two churches, the Christian and the Baptists being represented by congregations.
The only lodge is that of the Odd Fellows. Homer grew up around a sawmill which was started by Nathan Murphy and
Samuel Craig at that point in the late '40s to get out timber for the construction of the railroad and was at first
known simply as "Slabtown," from the use of slabs from the sawmill for road repairs instead of the usual
corduroy, but as the place grew this was regarded as hardly dignified enough and the classic name of Homer was
given the station and the people there wouldn't trade that name for any other on the map. The town was platted
in the summer of 1876 Among the early business men of the village may be mentioned J. Folger, Jesse Jarrett, James
Andrews, Alexander Bridges, J. J. Emmons, William Emmons, J. T. Robertson, Uriah Thomas, Arbuckle & Son, S.
C. Van Winkle and Jarrett & Innis.