Author : Webmaster
Article ID : 88
Audience : All
Version 1.00.02
Published Date: 2008/11/16 17:10:00
Reads : 1288

BAKER: Of Reedy, Spencer, Jackson County.

The first person of this family name to pioneer in these parts was John Baker, who came to the lower Reedy Creek about four miles below "Three Forks" in the early part of the decade, 1840's, having with him his wife, whom he had married in Randolph County, western Virginia, to whom was born at Horseshoe Bend in Randolph County, Elijah, of whom we can authoritatively say further, as follows:

Elijah Baker was born October 4, 1815, at Horseshoe Bend, Randolph County, Virginia; married Miss Nancy Wolfe. Elijah dealt in real estate; bought, moved on, and sold and moved off; thus he and Nancy had first homes at divers places on Reedy, Mill Creek and lastly on Big Sand Creek, flowing into the Ohio at Ravenswood.

While living on Reedy two miles above "Three Forks" their son, Dallas Monroe, was born September 19, 1846; sometime after this Elijah and family moved over on Big Sand Creek, above mentioned, settling on a large tract of land, near the half-way between Ravenswood and "Three Forks of Reedy" through which lands ran the Ravenswood and Spencer turnpike, skirting a wide flat knoll on which he built the family residence, having a cross-roads store on the opposite side of the pike. Here for several years his was the best farm between Reedy and Ravenswood, until younger men, the Dawkins and Hutchinsons outstripped him.

During the Civil War Elijah Baker counseled all to keep in the paths of honor and chivalry, whether an enlisted soldier or guerrilla, Union or Secesh, and risked his life in that service as often perhaps as any who bore arms at the front.

A service he performed in that line for the mother of the author of this book, her name Sarah (Roach) Bishop, of her we write here, as an instance of the war-times service of Elijah Baker; a kind we only read of in stories of times "When Knighthood was in Flower;" this is it in part:

It was near the close of that internecine war, late in the year 1864; the strife in Roane County waxed to such heights that reprisals and avengements were being resorted to; the Confederate armies in Virginia were in dire need of the very necessaries of life. Every soidier on furlough or "A. W. O. L." from that naked and hungry army came with letters for the folks at home, and braving all vigilance of Union scouts and home guards with which the county at that time was well covered, made his way, usually at night, to the home of the parents of his comrade at the moment yonder in Virginia or faraway South. gazing on the pitiless stars and praying that "mother will receive and feed my distressed and hungry comrade."

Orders from Union authorities had been given to home-guards to destroy all residences in which aid and comfort was habitually given "Rebels."

A few farm houses had been destroyed under that order. The farm home of Delilah Roach was designated next; she being a widow, of whose family three sons were obnoxious,-one, Jesse, with Lee's army, two others at home, garrulous and vindictive; receiving and feeding continually "skulking Rebels;" a term of imprisonment in Camp Chase had not cured nor detered. That home was the house in which mother was born, her only home, her husband, John Bishop, at the time trudging in the ranks on the Potomac, a volunteer of the Union army.

It must not be done! It shall not be done, said Sarah (Roach) Bishop, as she waited at the boat landing at Longbottom, for the next packet for Ravenswood. At Ravenswood, some friends carried us-I was then approaching five years old and with mother-out to William Flesher's, then the owner of the big water mill at what is now Silverton. The next morning we were taken into Elijah Baker's wagon and carried to his home,--half the distance of the whole journey,~- cared for there until the next morning, when Elijah again brought out his wagon and carried us to Reedy, delivering us there into the care of old William Stewart, a kindred spirit in war philosophy. From Three Forks two miles further, and we were at grandma's.

The family home was saved. But there was tragedy. (See paragraph in the Chapter, "The County In the Civil War.")

A further word and the reader will more fuUy appreciate how unusually chivalrous was the service of Elijah Baker. Something of what others were doing:

Just a day or so before we arrived at William Flesher's, a child had been killed while playing on the little veranda of a house near Flesher's, by a shot fired from the top of a nearby hill; "mistook the child for the dog," was the opinion of some. Only a few days before, a shot from the woods of a near hillside on Elijah's own farm sped so close him, under such circumstances, that the action of the shooter bore no other interpretation that that murder was intended. Elijah was a large man, broad and erect with a large beard and pink cheeks; deep, low pitehed, strong voice and serene countenance; his beard was full, heavy and gray, when I last saw him, which was about the year 1884.

Elijah and Nancy (Wolfe) Baker reared only one son; his name, Dallas Monroe Baker, born on Reedy, September 19, 1846; married Mary E. Johnson, near Sandyville in Jackson County, West Virginia.

Mary E. was daughter of John Johnson, born in Ramsy Parish, Essex County, England, December 14, 1814, and came by way of Canada to New York, stopping for awhile at Chestrfield in that State; there he married Miss Barbara Carr, born at that place. John and Barbara, his wife, with Mary E., came to Sandyville, Jackson County, in the vear 1854 or 1855.

To Dallas Monroe Baker (and wife, Mary E.) were born and by them brought up the following named children:

First, John Maurice Baker, Esq., November 22, 1872; married Jessie Riley of Jackson County, West Virginia, September 19, 1899; com-menced married life in that county and served one term (4 years) as proseeuting attorney of Jackson County, then moved to Spencer (see Chapter, this book, "City of Spencer"). To John M. and Jessie, his wife, were horn and by them brought up one son and one daughter; their names, Clay Baker and Mary Baker. Both have married and gone forth.

Second, child of D. M. and Mary E. Baker, is Della, who married Captain Lee Knotts, in Jackson County, West Virginia. He was raised to his captaincy in the World War, 1917-1918, and is at this date abroad in the military service of the United States.

Third, child of D. M. and Mary E. Baker, married Mr. Robert LeBlanc.

Fourth, Mary G., married Reverend H. A. Spencer.

Fifth, James Elijah, married Anita, daughter of Doctor W. L. Craig.

Sixth, Ida B., married Anderson Johnson.

Seventh, Charles Edgar Baker, born at Sandyville, Jackson County, West Virginia, November 20th, 1886; married Ninera, daughter of Daniel and (_____ Riley) Dawkins of Jackson County, West Virginia. Charles Edgar was elected sheriff of Jackson County, 1924, for the term commencing next following, and is now, 1926, serving his county as its sheriff.


Source: History of Roane County, West Virginia, 1774-1927, William H. Bishop, Esq., p 439-441
Submitter: Sandy Spradling, October 1, 1999

Printer Friendly Page Send this Article to a Friend
The comments are owned by the author. We aren't responsible for their content.
Author Thread
Help Wanted!
We welcome submissions of any information pertaining to genealogy and history connected to Roane County, West Virginia. To submit an article click here.
Copyright © 2008-2017 by Roane County Historical Society, Inc.