I came across various accounts about his personality. He seemed to be dynamic, determined, and forceful, but at the same time was kind, caring, and generous. He certainly was one in a million.
This article is not about Mr. Walton’s life story, though, but rather, it is about the legend that has developed around his life.
Over the years many students have claimed to see a ghost walking along Willow Lake, which is located between Walton Hall and the Gate House. These students, who are walking back to their dorms after a late night of studying, supposedly see a middle-aged man, off by himself. Some might very well ask if these sightings are, in fact, of a ghost, or of just a random man. Well, picture if you will, a man with a three-piece suit, high collared shirt, spectacles, and an English mustache and you not only have your ghost, but Mr. Walton himself. Therefore, it has been surmised that this mysterious being is none other than Charles Walton, Sr.
Legend has it that because Mr. Walton cannot leave his beloved estate, which is now Eastern University, he walks its grounds to this very day.
While he was alive, Mr. Walton, at advice from his doctors, was told to slow down and relax. Mr. Walton being who he was, did not slow down, but instead decided to build his dream estate. This estate would not just be for him, though, but it would a place where anyone could come and relax. Mr. Walton would have hundreds of underprivileged kids come from Philadelphia and enjoy the spacious property. In 1913, he
finished the estate that he had worked so tirelessly to build. He called it, “Walmarthon” (named after his wife). The sad part is Mr. Walton only got to enjoy Walmarthon for a few short years. He was dead at fifty-four.
A passage I found in an old biographical book says what I cannot:
“It was at his home “Walmarthon” that Mr. Walton passed away, December 26, 1916, deeply and sincerely mourned by members of every class in the community, for his countless acts of kindness had endeared him to many. In one sense it is impossible to say of Charles S. Walton that he has “ceased from earth.” He is still with us, not only in the hearts that loved him, but also in the lives of those to whom he carried relief, healing, courage and regeneration.”
Perhaps, the legend of Mr. Walton’s ghost was created by those who loved him so much in life that they did not want to believe that he was gone. Or, was it just made up by students, or even better yet, is there really some truth to it? Whatever the case may be, Mr. Walton is indeed still with us through what he left behind: A legacy of service that continues to this day at Eastern University.