As the son of a prominent business man of Lincoln, Polk county, John Walling has been interested in various enterprises in this community, working for his father in both the mercantile establishment and the People’s Transportation Company, the oldest business of its kind on the Willamette river, and in which the elder Mr. Walling owned an interest. John Walling is now engaged in farming on property which he purchased in 1880, consisting of seventy-two acres of land, forty of which is devoted to the cultivation of hops, the income so acquired amounting to no small percentage of the money invested.
The origin of the Walling family is English, the grandfather having been an Englishman who fought in the Revolutionary war. He was at the time a farmer in the state of Virginia, where his son, J.D., the father of John Walling, was born April 1, 1818. Being reared to the life of a farmer J.D. Walling continued in that occupation in early manhood, locating first in Iowa, where he remained until the spring of 1847, when, with the usual outfit for such a journey, he joined an emigrant train of ox-teams and set out for the west. The train was unusually large, and, with the usual experiences of such a journey, they reached Oregon safely after six months. The first winter of the Walling family in Oregon was spent in Oregon City, the next spring, however, finding them located near Zena, Spring valley, Polk county, on a donation claim of six hundred and forty acres, upon which property Mr. Walling made his home until his death in 1870, being killed by being thrown from a vehicle while driving. In addition to his farming interests Mr. Walling was engaged in general merchandising in Lincoln, and a warehouse in the same location. In politics a Republican, he served as road supervisor. While giving attention to the duties of this office he met his death. Fraternally he was a member of the Masonic order, belonging to the lodge at Amity. The wife of Mr. Walling was in maidenhood Eliza A. Wise, a native of New York state, and the descendant of a Dutch family. She survived her husband twenty-two years, dying in 1892, at the age of sixty-two years. Of the children born to Mr. and Mrs. Walling thirteen are now living, four sons and nine daughters.
John Walling is the fourth child of the family and was born in Iowa, September 14, 1846, being but one year old at the time of the removal to the west. He received his early education in the common school located in the vicinity of his home, and when his school days were over he went to work for his father in his store in Lincoln, where he remained until his father’s death. He then rented a farm for a few years and engaged in the cultivation of the soil, until 1880, when he purchased his present property, which has since yielded him a good income.
The marriage of Mr. Walling occurred in Polk county in 1870, and united him with Celia Harris, who was born in Missouri, January 16, 1850, her father, James R. Harris, crossing the plains in the same year. Of this union nine children have been born. Six died in infancy, while those still living are: Tracy, Lorin and Alvin, all of whom are still at home with their parents. Politically Mr. Walling is a Republican, and has served several offices, among them that of road supervisor and school director, holding the latter position for twelve years. In his fraternal relations, he affiliates with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, holding membership with the lodge at McCoy, and with the Maccabees at Lincoln.
Source: Portrait and Biographical Record of the Willamette Valley. 1903. Chicago: Chapman Publishing Company.