Born in Ireland in 1755, Jacob Walker came to America as a stowaway. Upon arrival his uncle agreed to pay his fare so long as Jacob worked for him six months. In 1774, he started on foot from Baltimore coming to the Ohio Valley by way of Fort Pitt. Shortly afterwards he began working for Harmon Greathouse clearing land and planting corn. Walker then bought 400 acres from Greathouse and returned to Baltimore to marry Margaret Guthrie. He purchased a horse and brought his bride back arriving at a cabin near Decker’s Fort (Follansbee). According to folklore, he told Margaret this was her new home. “She sat down and had herself a good cry.”
Jacob Walker was one the early settlers identified with the construction of Fort Decker, located in the vicinity that is now Follansbee. (See Decker Fort on Timeline) As the Revolutionary War raged, they stayed for seven summers with the small community at Decker’s Fort. They spent the winters on their farm located in what is now the Parkview addition of Follansbee. The Walker Road, named after the Walker family, became one of the earliest routes into what is now Follansbee. The road descended the hill near the top of today’s Banfield avenue.