Walters, William

Died: 1846-07-31 Saint Louis, Missouri

Flourished: Springfield, Illinois

Walters spent some years as a journeyman printer in Washington City, Delaware. In January 1836, Walters arrived in Vandalia, Illinois. On February 10, 1836, he printed the first number of the Illinois State Register. In the 1836-1837 session of the General Assembly, the Illinois State Register was named the official paper of Illinois, and Walters became the public printer, a position he retained until 1845. During this session the vote was taken on the removal of the state capital from Vandalia to Springfield, Illinois. In 1839, the offices of the state government moved to Springfield, and the State Register followed a few weeks later. Walters and George R. Weber were the editors and publishers of the paper. On August 10, 1839, the first Springfield edition of the State Register appeared. In 1845, Weber sold his interest in the paper to Walters, who continued it until 1846, when the Mexican War began. Walters then leased his office to Charles H. Lanphier, and enlisted as a private in the Second Regiment of Illinois Volunteers. Walters never saw battle; he died in St. Louis before the regiment departed for the war.

Gravestone, Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, IL; Obituary, Sangamo Journal (Springfield, IL), 6 August 1846, 2:1; Illinois State Register (Springfield), 2 May 1865, 4:2; History of Sangamon County, Illinois (Chicago: Inter-State, 1881), 225-26. Illustration courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, IL.