Thomas Walker was born in King and Queen County, Virginia, on January 25, 1715. He was a widely respected physician, farmer, merchant, and legislator.
He also was an investor, agent, and surveyor for the Loyal Company of Virginia, which promoted settlement in present southern West Virginia, southwestern Virginia, and southeastern Kentucky.
In 1750, Walker led the first recorded expedition into Kentucky. On his return, he crossed the headwaters of the Tug Fork River in present McDowell County and the confluence of the New and Greenbrier rivers at present Hinton. He then traveled up most of the length of the Greenbrier.
Afterward, Walker served in the Virginia General Assembly, representing several counties, including Hampshire—West Virginia’s oldest county. During the French and Indian War, he was a commissary general for more than 80 forts on Virginia’s western frontier and was present at Edward Braddock’s overwhelming defeat in 1755.
Walker negotiated important Indian treaties, served as commissioner of Indian affairs after the 1774 Battle of Point Pleasant, and was a member of the Revolutionary conventions leading up to the Revolutionary War. Thomas Walker died in 1794 at age 79.