Walter's older sister, Bethana (born in 1825), married William Perley Wing (son of Ezekial and Lydia Brann Wing). In the 1850 Federal Census, Bethana is with William in Lewiston, Lincoln, ME and the rest of the family is in Dover, Piscataquis, ME. In the 1860 census, however, the Lotan/Ruby Dexter family has moved to Toulon, Stark, IL with Bethana Wing and Walter Marshall living at home, while Bethana's husband is possibly still in California (in the gold fields of Placer County - near Tahoe) where he was recorded on the 1852 California census. So if the above story of Walter is correct, my conclusion is that he went to California to be with his brother-in-law between 1852 and 1860 as the family was moving out west to Illinois. He then returned from California and settled with them in Stark County, Illinois before the 1860 census.
In the 1870 census, the Walter Dexter family lived in Wetherfield, Henry Co, Illinois (the above biography stated they moved to Henry County in 1874) and in 1880 they were in Cambridge, Henry Co, Illinois. According to the biography and the census records he worked for the school district.
By this time the family were all born and growing. The photo below was taken in the 1880s. The oldest daughter, Marcia Estelle, married in 1887 to James Wright so when the family decided to make the move to Idaho (for whatever reason) she remained in Illinois.
Walter Dexter and his daughter, Mary Winnie, filed homestead claims on land in Long Valley and Walter farmed there until 18 Jun 1913. His wife, Alida Jane Bennett Dexter, survived him and passed away 4 March 1924.
Here is a picture of her celebrating her 86th birthday in 1922 in Cascade, Idaho.
Thomas had snowshoed from Long Valley through Garden Valley to Idaho City to obtain the marriage license to marry Winnie. He also homesteaded 120 acres in Long Valley, so together they had 240 acres. They farmed and raised my father and his three brothers (Walter, Merton and Fred) and three sisters (Audrey, Geneva and Leona).
So that is yet another Idaho Pioneer story. Walter Dexter came from the Atlantic coast in Maine to Illinois (after a short sojourn in the mine fields of California). Then moved out to the high valley country of Idaho Territory in the 1880s where he homesteaded, farmed, raised his family and died.