The Walker family were a prominant industrial family in Preston between 1870 and the mid 1920s. Frederick Walker established a glue factory in Spring Street which grew to be one of the largest in the state. His son Orlando also working in the glue industry.
Another of Frederick's sons was Ernest Walker. Ernest (b.1855) decided not to go into the family trade but became an accountant instead. In 1878 he married Margaret Hartley (bn. 1857) and the couple established themselves in Preston. They went on to have at least nine children.
1879 - Victor Ernest (died Bendigo 1955)
1882 - Margaret Hartley (died 1882)
1881 - Robert Herbert (died Hamilton 1954)
1883 - Gertrude Isabel (died 1953)
1885 - Joseph Hartley died 1953
1890 - Annie Muriel (died Hawthorn 1973)
1891 - Ernest Frederick William
1894 - Vernon Charles (died Dandenong 1979)
1895 - Hartley Rowland (died Park 1972)
They clearly enjoyed a comfortable middle class life and established themselves on a large acreage of land on Cramer Street where they built their family home Athelstone.
Margaret died in Hawthorn in 1923 and Ernest moved in with his son Ernest Frederick who was a farmer in Glenferrie Road. Ernest Australia Walker died on the 5th January 1939 and is buried in Coburg Cemetery.
The Margaret Walker Reserve in Cramer Street is a reminder of the contributions the Walker family made to Preston during those formative years of 1870-1910.
Sands and McDougall’s Melbourne and Suburban Directory 1864- 1974. [Microfiche]. (1974). Melbourne, Australia: Sands & McDougall.