Monday, September 30, 2019


by Bob Walsh

I confess I had never heard of Artie Missie Walker until the Stockton RECORD ran her CV and obit on the front page yesterday. She was the first black female Sheriff's Deputy hired in San Joaquin County.

She was one of 23 children born to a school teacher and railroad worker in Stallo, Mississippi in 1930. She graduated from high school in 1948 and moved to Stockton to live with her sister, continue her education and find work. She continued her schooling, among other places at Humphrey's Business College but finding work was difficult for a black woman, even a bright and well educated black woman, in the 1950s.

At some point she took the civil service examination for Deputy Sheriff and was one of 175 candidates. Only 75 passed the written exam and were allowed to continue. She was one of them. She was the only female among 13 candidates who passed the entire hiring process and was hired as a Sheriff's Deputy in 1957 at age 27.

During her career she worked the jail, Youth Services, patrol, investigations and court services. She died a couple of weeks ago at age 89.

RIP sister. I suspect being first was not always a lot of laughs, but it is important. Someone has to lead so that others can follow along.

EDITOR'S NOTE: One of 23 children born to a school teacher - when did that poor woman have any time to teach?

1 comment:

Trey Rusk said...

RIP, Artie Missie Walker.