Walker, Darthula Adaline (1880–1971)

By: Scott Roper

Type: Biography

Published: February 18, 2005

Darthula Adaline Walker, geographer and educator, was born on December 15, 1880, in Columbia, Tennessee. The daughter of John E. and Melvin (Williams) Walker, as a teenager she moved with her family to Cleburne, Texas. After completing her high school education, she taught for two years in rural Tennessee, then taught high school Latin and science in Cleburne from 1906 to 1914 and in Dallas from 1916 to 1918. During World War I she served as a researcher for the United States Shipping Board. She attended George Peabody College for Teachers, earning a bachelor's degree in 1916 and a master's degree in 1919. While completing her master's degree she taught geography at Mississippi State Teachers College for Women, then taught in the geography department Sam Houston State Teachers College (now Sam Houston State University) in Huntsville. In 1920 Walker became the first trained geographer to serve on the faculty at West Texas State Normal College (now West Texas A&M University) in Canyon, establishing and chairing the Department of Geography and serving as associate professor until 1951. She traveled extensively in support of her work, touring much of Europe, Asia, North and South America, the Pacific islands, and parts of Africa. In 1930–31 she represented West Texas State Teachers College as professor of geography for the Floating University's Round the World Tour. She also continued her graduate education in geography, studying at California, Chicago, Clark, Colorado, Northwestern, Texas, Vanderbilt, and other institutions throughout her professional career. With Harriet Smith, Walker co-authored The Geography of Texas (1923), and she contributed articles and chapters about Texas geography to numerous other publications, including the Yearbook of the Association of Pacific Coast Geographers and W. R. McConnell's United States in the Modern World (1935). She died on May 15, 1971, in Columbia, Tennessee.

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Joseph A. Hill, More than Brick and Mortar (Amarillo: Russell Stationery, 1959). Joseph A. Hill and A. Garland Adair, Texas Heritage: Profiles of Pioneers and Heroes of Education Under Texas Skies (Austin: Texas Heritage, 1962). Notable Women of the Southwest (Dallas: Tardy, 1938). The Prairie (1920–51). West Texas State Teachers College Bulletin (1920–51). Who's Who in American Education (1941–42).

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Scott Roper, “Walker, Darthula Adaline,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 19, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/walker-darthula-adaline.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

February 18, 2005

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