century association biographical archive

Earliest Members of the Century Association

View all members

William Walton


Centurion, 1892–1915

Born 10 November 1843 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Died 13 November 1915 in New York (Brooklyn), New York

Buried Friends Quaker Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York

Proposed by Charles Collins and Russell Sturgis

Elected 3 December 1892 at age forty-nine

Century Memorial

The quaint and gentle figure of William Walton was familiar in The Century, where he had more friends than perhaps he realized. We all knew his paintings. They were spiritual fantasies; each of them carried an idea; and they were often beautiful in color. As compositions they reflected the imaginings of a subtle and otherwise unsuspected personality. Walton was also a good art critic; and the best magazines took his pieces. But none of us knew of the drudging literary labor by which with small remuneration he supported himself so insufficiently. Working for a Philadelphia publisher since 1883, he produced thirty-two pictorial folio volumes; and as co-editor had assisted in the making of twelve volumes more, of an Iconographic Dictionary. Besides, he translated works of Victor Hugo, Flaubert, Lamartine, Dumas fils, Voltaire, and twenty-one volumes of the novels and stories of Balzac. If Walton, through those years of toil, had had a little more self-assertion, he would not have been impelled to that last tragic relief which has brought sadness to his friends.

Henry Osborn Taylor
1916 Century Association Yearbook