WALTER C. BEARDEN, Amelia and Joe’s grandson and prominent Asheville historian, remained in the Rankin-Bearden house with his grandmother until it was sold. They moved to a new house on Flint Street in October of 1911; he was 12 years old at the time. He served in the United States Marine Corps in World War I, as a coach on the rifle range at Parris Island. He joined the Navy as a Lieutenant for World War II. He was awarded a Bronze Star for his service in WWII. He also served in the Korean War. He was in charge of field engineering at the old Moore General Hospital near Swannanoa. In his career as a Civil Engineer, he was the chief engineer for the Asheville Airport project.
While Walter did not share the political ambitions of the Rankin men he contributed much to the history and lore of Asheville. His Grandmother and Great Grandmother raised him and instilled in him a great love of family history and the home place.
He is known for a story or lecture he commonly gave at the library which was fictionalized account of the Battle of Asheville. He passed that passion on to his daughter, Florence Madeline, “Bunny,” who has generously shared his oral and written information. These Bearden family archives are a source for much of the family’s history.