Harry Clay Walker was born in Binghamton, New York, on March 18, 1873. It was there that he received his education and professional training and spent his entire life. He was admitted to the bar in 1894 and attained eminence in his chosen profession. He never married.
In 1917 he was chosen mayor of Binghamton by the largest plurality ever given a candidate for that office. In 1918 he was elected Lieutenant Governor of New York taking office on January 1, 1919. He was called upon to serve as acting governor many times as the governor was obliged to spend considerable time away from the state on account of illness. For many years he was Chairman of the Central New York State Park Commission.
He died suddenly on November 2, 1932. The funeral services were held in the auditorium of the Masonic Temple on November 5, 1932. A short Episcopal service was conducted by the rector of Christ Church of which he was a member, followed by the Templar funeral ritual. Prominent Masons and Knights Templar of that community attended the funeral services, as well as his many friends from all walks of life. Burial was in Spring Forest Cemetery, where the Blue Lodge services were performed.
Sir Knight Walker was made a Master Mason in Osteningo Lodge No. 435 at Binghamton on October 27, 1898. in 1902 he was Worshipful Master and then served two terms as District Deputy Grand Master.
He was exalted in Binghamton Chapter No. 139 on March 27, 1900, and was High Priest in 1918.
In 1918 he was made a Royal and Select Master at sight at the annual assembly of Royal and Select Masters held at Corning, New York, and became a member of Binghamton Council No. 24.
In March 1900, he received the degrees of the Scottish Rite at Binghamton, and on September 15, 1908, he received the Honorary 331 in the Supreme Council of the Northern Jurisdiction. He was crowned an active member of the Supreme Council on September 18, 1918, and in September 1926, became Grand Minister of State, and in 1930 Deputy for New York.
He was knighted in Malta Commandery No. 21 at Binghamton on May 1, 1900, and was elected Eminent Commander in 1906. He was elected Grand Warder in 1910 in the Grand Commandery of New York, and in 1917 became Grand Commander.
At the Triennial Conclave of 1922 held in New Orleans, he was elected Grand Junior Warden and in 1931 was elected Deputy Grand Master. On April 16, 1932, he became Grand Master due to the death of Grand Master Weidner. His term of office, however, was to last for only seventy-eight days.
The Order of Knighthood suffered a great loss because of the passing of this great leader. There was dignity and power in his personality that made for progress and harmony. His broad experience, deep sympathy, and great understanding of the problems of men made him a valued leader, whose loss was mourned throughout the Order.
Reference: From Dr. Francis J. Scully's...History of the Grand Encampment, Chapter XXIII, Biographies Of The Grand Masters, as published in the Knight Templar Magazine, January 1995 Edition, page 16, and the March 1995 Edition, page 16