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Wild West Western Facts

Joseph R. Walker


Born in Tennessee on December 13, 1798, Joseph Walker grew to be six feet tall and at least 200 pounds, and was a powerful mountain man and trail blazer.

Walker helped establish the Santa Fe trail, and discovered "Walker Pass" the gap in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. He was the first white man to find the Yosemite Valley in California.

Walker spent about 12 years as a trapper in the far west, and had long hair and a full beard, and always had a number of Indian women to keep him company. Later on he became the first sheriff of Jackson county, Missouri. Walker headed west again with Captain Benjamin Bonneville to lead an expedition to California, this group left Green River in Wyoming in July of 1883 and arrived on the pacific coast in November of that same year.

They spent the winter in California and in February 1834 started back and arrived at the Bear River rendezvous in Utah in July. Walker also served as John Fremont's guide on his expedition in 1845, later on Walker served as an Army scout and he also prospected for Gold.

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