Past Treasurers
John Walker

4th State Treasurer: 1833-1838

John Walker (Democrat), the 4th State Treasurer, was born in Brunswick County, Virginia, on Oct. 15, 1770. He moved to Kentucky, and then to Howard County, Mo., in 1818. Ten years later he was elected to the state senate to represent his county.

In the session of 1832, he was elected state treasurer at the annual salary of $730. In March 1835, the salary was increased to $1,000; however, any staff had to be paid by him personally. The salary was again increased in 1837, to $1,250, with the same stipulation in regard to staff. He was also required to post a $100,000 bond.

In Jefferson City, he lived in a small double-log cabin on the corner of East Main Street and Jackson Street. Part of the building served as the treasurer's office and the other an apartment. The treasurer's office was used at different times as a church and then later as a school.

It is said he never kept the treasury locked or bolted, and kept the government funds in an ironbound oaken chest divided into compartments for dollars, half-dollars, quarters and bits. A staple and wythe fastened the chest to make the contents secure and it is reputed he slept on the chest at night.

When Mr. Walker died in office, a $400 shortage in the treasury was discovered. Nonetheless, the General Assembly passed a resolution exonerating him of misappropriation of funds, and even allowed his estate a reasonable compensation for duties served. Years later, the missing money was found between the metal lining and the walls of the chest.