Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Virginia Lea Watson Walker, 1862-1930
By Debra Bloom, Local History Manager, Richland (S.C.) Library
Virginia Lea Watson Walker lived in Hawkinsville, GA most of her life and descended from early Pulaski County pioneers. In 1886, she married Homer Virgil Walker, a Hawkinsville policeman. Like her father, Judge Jacob Watson, Walker was actively involved in her community. A prominent member of the Hawkinsville Baptist Church, she also participated in the Hawkinsville chapter of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) and was elected president of the Pulaski County WCTU in 1910.
A strong supporter of the Georgia suffrage movement, Walker was appointed by the Georgia's Women's Suffrage Association as Hawkinsville's representative in 1915. That year, the Georgia Suffrage Association looked to Atlanta's Harvest Festival as a vehicle to promote women's voting rights. Planned events included a suffrage parade, as well as, a Women's Day. Through her appointment Walker successfully encouraged Pulaski County women to participate in the festival's suffrage events. Five hundred Georgia women eventually marched in the parade and were famously led by well-known suffragist Dr. Anna Shaw, riding in her celebrated automobile, “Little Victory.”
Walker was a vocal advocate of Christian principles and often espoused her views at WCTU conventions. As a writer, many of her editorials appeared in Mary E. Bryan's “In Woman's Realm of Thought and Home” published by the Atlanta Constitution. Walker's short stories were also published in several southern newspapers.
Editorial articles published by Lea Watson Walker:
“The Philosophy of Dress,” Atlanta Constitution, May 3, 1902
“Their Pathetic Lives,” Atlanta Constitution, January 19, 1902
“New Clothes for the Mind,” Atlanta Constitution, October 5, 1902
“When Ma went to Preaching,” Courier Journal, Louisville, KY, October 16, 1910
“Patchy's Nicknames,” Atlanta Constitution, July 9, 1899
“Festival workers to meet at noon,” Atlanta Constitution, October 6, 1915, p. 8
History of Pulaski County Georgia, Official History. Compiled by The Hawkinsville Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution. 1935.