Walker, Laura Octavia
OCTAVIA WALKER was born November 27, 1873. Records of her birth can not be found
but she told her children she was born in Levy County, Florida. I know her
motherís name was Caroline and think her father was Elisha Walker. Her known
sisters are Mary and Susan, brothers, David and Dan. This family appears to be
part of the Littleberry Walker family but I donít have proof. There is a doubt,
as my cousins swear Laura was part Native American.
Nothing is known of her early years in Levy County but she met and married Ivan
Earnest Buser there. No record of their marriage can be found. Mr. Buser
homesteaded 160 acres in Dunnellon in 1891. Their daughter Ivory Mae was born on
February 19, 1895 and son Roy Duke on November 9, 1899 before the family moved
to LaBelle, Florida.
Ivan Earnest Buser bought land periodically from 1901 until 1911 in DeSoto
County owning over 800 acres. The house he built on the Caloosahatchee River was
reported in the Fort Meyers Press as being one of the finest in LaBelle.
Mrs.Buser was known for her fancy tea parties with the ladies and equally famous
for her biscuits with the cowboys. Her biscuits would stay soft and fresh for
days while they worked out on the prairie.
She told us about Indians floating down the river, behind her house, looking
pretty with their feathers. They were always welcome on Buser land and would
sometimes camp there while in town.
The following eight children were born in this house. Twins, Ivan Ernest and
Ernest Ivan were born on November 29, 1901. Another set of twins, Allie Julia
and Callie Jule were born September 19, 1906. Grace Pearl born October 15, 1908.
Pansy Aris born May 18, 1909. Opal born January 19, 1912 and Garnet born March
Mr. Buser started selling his property in 1912 and the family next shows up on
the Jefferson County, Florida census living in Aucilla in 1920. Mr.Buser died
there on July 30, 1920. Shortly after Mrs. Buser sold their farm and moved to
Plant City, Florida where she purchased property and became a strawberry farmer.
She never remarried but enjoyed a happy, loving relationship with her children
and grandchildren until her death in 1955 at the age of 81 from cardiac failure.
She was called Othermama by her grandchildren.
Mrs. Buser returned to Levy County to visit with her Walker family over her
lifetime and from the stories she shared with her children, it is evident she
had fond memories of a happy childhood there.