Colorado County Obituaries


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Baker, Drew Cunningham

Son of Citizen Founder Buried Here Friday

Graveside services were held in Odd Fellows Rest cemetery here Friday afternoon for Drew Cunningham Baker of Alexandria, La., who died there Jan. 4, just a month and a day before his 81st birthday. Services were held at the Methodist church in Alexandria before the body was brought overland here. Rev. R. Russell Heaner officiated in the graveside rites and Columbus Funeral home was in charge of arrangements.

Mr. Baker was born in Columbus and was a 3rd-generation Texan. His father, Ben M. Baker, founded The Colorado County Citizen in 1857 and soon afterwards went away to fight in the War Between the States, leaving his wife in charge here. He owned and edited The Citizen for over 50 years.

Mrs. Ben Baker, mother of Drew, was the former Jennie Cunningham, whose father Leander Calvin Cunningham, was serving with Houston’s army at San Jacinto when Santa Anna was captured.

Drew as a young boy learned to set type by hand in The Citizen office. In later years, deciding that linotype would supersede hand typesetting, he took a linotype course in New Orleans, after the completion of which he got a job with Town Talk in Alexandria.

His wife, who survives, was Miss Eva Coffee of Columbus.

Other survivors are a son, D. M. Baker of New Orleans, 2 daughters, Mrs. Albert E. Pavey of Houston and Miss Era Lee Baker of Alexandria; 2 sisters, Mrs. Ada B. Rabel of Harlingen and Mrs. Bennie B. Ramey of Dallas, 5 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.

Colorado County Citizen, January 12, 1956, page 4

Baker, Eva (Coffee)

Graveside Rites for Mrs. Drew C. Baker Held Here Sunday

Graveside services were held in Odd Fellows Rest cemetery Sunday afternoon at 4 o'clock for Mrs. Drew Cunningham Baker, age 78, of Alexandria, La., who died there at 6:40 a.m. Aug. 17 after a long Illness. Rev. George Ricker ot the Methodist church officiated and Columbus Funeral home was in charge. Prior services had been held In Alexandria.

Mrs. Baker was born Eva Coffey[sic] in Colorado county, Sept. 27, 1877. Her husband, who died last January, was the son of Ben M. Baker, founder of The Colorado County Citizen.

Although she had been blind since she was 35, Mrs. Baker had taught a Sunday school class and had continued her work with the Methodist womens society.

Surviving are 2 daughters, Mrs. Albert E. Pavey of Houston and Miss. Era Lee Baker of Alexandria and a son Drew M. Baker of New Orleans, also 5 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren, and a twin sister, Era, who is Mrs. W. Eugene Mitchell of Houston.

A number of relatives and friends from other places attended the services here.

Colorado County Citizen, August 23, 1956

Baker, Gilbert A.

Gilbert A. Baker

30 Jun. 1893 – 23 Dec. 1989

Funeral services for Gilbert A. Baker, 96, were held in Cashner Colonial Chapel at 10 a.m. Wednesday, December 27, 1989. Graveside services and interment were at Myrtle Cemetery in Rock Island at 2:30 p.m. with Cashner Funeral Home in charge of arrangements. Mr. Baker was born in Wood County, West Virginia on June 30, 1893, and passed away in a Conroe hospital on December 23, 1989. He was a member of the Baptist Church. Survivors include a daughter, Mary Minter of Willis; three sons, Elmer F. Baker of Spring, James W. Baker of Huntsville and George C. Baker of Spring; three brothers and sisters-in-law, Ed and Delia Baker of Houston, Clarence and Mernie Baker of Houston, Gene and Mildred Baker of Brenham; 14 grandchildren.

Pallbearers were grandchildren John G. Baker, Robert Baker, Ralph Baker, Sam Baker, Leslie Baker, Billy Baker, Jeffrey Baker, Ronnie Arnold, John Edgmon, Bob Fruend, Troy Johnson and Larry Smith. Local arrangements were under the direction of Dulany Funeral Home of Eagle Lake. Sympathy is extended to the family in their loss.

Eagle Lake Headlight; January 04, 1990
Contributed by Patti Hall-Smith

Baker, James

Jim Baker, aged 15 years, son of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Baker of Nebraska, died here at the home of his uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. L. T. Richardson, on last Saturday. Jimmie, accompanied by his mother, sister and brother, came to Garwood about three weeks ago from Gibbon, Nebraska. He had recently suffered a severe attack of pneumonia and was recuperating when they brought him south in the hope that the change would benefit him. Funeral services were conducted Sunday afternoon at the Richardson home, Rev. E. B. McLaughlin officiating, with Interment in the Rock Island [Myrtle] cemetery. Deceased is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Baker, one sister, Miss Susie, and three brothers, George, Roy and Clyde. Mr. and Mrs. Baker, former residents of this place, have many friends throughout this community who sincerely sympathize with them in their great loss.

Eagle Lake Headlight; October 24, 1925
Contributed by Patti Hall-Smith

Baker, James Franklin (Jimmy)

James Baker Rites Held Last Saturday

James . Franklin (Jimmy) Baker, son of Frank and Willie Heisler Baker, born May 12, 1915, In Smiley, Texas, passed away Thursday morning, August 22 in the Caney Valley Hospital in Wharton after a short illness. He had been in failing health for a longtime. Funeral services were held from the Mill-Bauer Funeral Home in Eagle Lake Saturday afternoon, Aug. 24 at 2 p.m. with the Rev. David Edgar of the Methodist Church officiating. Interment was in the Myrtle Cemetery in Rock Island.

Mr. Baker came to Rock Island In 1939 and in October of 1943 he was united in marriage with Miss Jerlene Kerr. To this union six children were born Including two daughters, Mrs. Becky Ulbig of Houston and Mrs. Ruby May Loesch of Rock Island; and four sons, James of El Campo, David of Garwood, Joe and Jay of Rock Island. Also surviving are: one stepson, Billie Joe Valenta of Columbus; one stepdaughter, Shirley Calhoun of New Mexico; fourteen grandchildren; seven sisters; and three brothers. Pallbearers; were Billie Joe Valenta and Buddy Robbi of Columbus, Jasper Martin, R. C. Henry, Wilbur Henry and Kenneth Nance of Rock Island.

Eagle Lake Headlight; August 29, 1974
Contributed by Patti Hall-Smith

Baker, James William


James Williams Baker, 61, of Huntsville died Aug. 28, 1995 in Houston.

He was born Feb. 28, 1934 in Rock Island, Mr. Baker was a member of American Legion Post 95 and the National Rifle Association. He was a military veteran, having served in the U. S. Army.

Funeral services were held Aug. 31 at Cashner Colonial Chapel with Brother Jack McKinney officiating. Interment followed in Myrtle Cemetery in Rock Island. Services were under the direction of Cashner Funeral Home of Conroe.

Mr. Baker is survived by his wife, Edwina Baker of Huntsville; a daughter, Jody Russell of Huntsville; sons, James Driver of Houston, Leslie Wayne Baker of Hockley and Billy Ray Baker of Houston; a sister, Mary Minter of Rusk; brothers, Elmer Baker of Spring and George Baker of Rusk; grandchildren, J. R., Michael, Savannah, Tony, Shanee, Darres, Nikki, and Emily; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Local arrangements were under the direction of Dulany Funeral Home in Eagle Lake.

Colorado County Citizen, September 5, 1995, page 12

Baker, Kristi Diane

Kristi Diane Baker Dies, Rites Thurs.

Baby Kristi Diane Baker passed away la Texas Children's Hospital in Houston at 7:30 p.m. Monday, September 9 after four weeks of illness. Funeral services will be held from the Chapel of the Mill-Bauer Funeral Home today, Thursday, September 12 at 10:00 a.m. Interment will be in the Myrtle Cemetery in Rock Island. The Rev. David Edgar, pastor of Colly Memorial United Methodist Church, will officiate at the services. Kristi was born May 24, 1974 in the Eagle Lake Community Hospital. Her parents are Mr. and Mrs. William Jay Baker of Rock Island. Survivors include her parents; her grandparents. Mr. and Mrs. G.L. Henry and Mrs. Jerlene Loftln, great grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Frederick and Mr. and Mrs. J. D. Henry Sr. and other relatives and friends. Sincere sympathy is extended to the family in the loss of this one so young.

Eagle Lake Headlight, September 12, 1974
Contributed by Patti Hall-Smith

Baker, Mamie Ray (Townsend)

Final Rites Held Sept 23 for Mrs. Baker

Funeral services were held Saturday, September 23rd at 2:00 p.m. for Mrs. Maymie Rae Baker, 81, a lifelong resident of the Rock Island community.  Mrs. Baker died Sept. 20th, 1978 in the Eagle Lake Community Hospital after only a very short illness.  The Rev. Donald Rooney, pastor of the Rock Island Methodist Church where she was a lifelong member and active worker, officiated at the services.  Burial was in the Myrtle Cemetery near Rock Island with Columbus Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.  She was born Maymie Rae Townsend, the daughter of Mose Madison and Minnie Ann Brownson Townsend in the Rock Island community on May 10, 1897.  Her husband, Oscar Baker, preceded her in death in 1968 when he was the victim of an auto accident.  Surviving are one daughter, Mrs. Annie Rae Hunt, of Aransas Pass; two sons, Lewis F. Baker of Longview and Hume C. Baker of Yorktown; four grandsons and three granddaughters; four great grandsons and seven great granddaughters; and a number of nieces, nephews and cousins and three brothers, Howard Townsend of Corpus Christi, Harry Townsend of Sheridan, and Archie Townsend of Albuquerque, New Mexico; and other relatives and friends.  Mrs. Baker was active in her church and community, and helped originate a Stained Glass Memorial Fund at the Rock Island Methodist Church.  The family requests that in lieu of the usual remembrances that memorials be made to the Stained Glass Fund of the Rock Island Church.  Deepest sympathy is extended to the family in the loss of this loved one. 

Eagle Lake Headlight, October 5, 1978
Submitted by David Hahn

Baker, Minnie Lee (Richardson) Taylor

Death Claims Mrs. Minnie Lee Baker Last Thursday, July 30, 1953

Funeral services were held at the Columbus Funeral Home Saturday afternoon for Mrs. Minnie Lee Baker, 77, wife of A. D. Baker, local contractor.

Burial was in Odd Fellows Rest Cemetery with Dr. Norman L. Roberts of the First Baptist church officiating.

Mrs. Baker, who had been in failing health for about a year, died at Youens hospital at 1:30 p.m. last Thursday, following a heart attack suffered earlier.

Born Mar. 27, 1876, in Missouri, she was a daughter of Dr. I. T. Richardson, whose wife was the former Martha Elizabeth Pope.

She lived in Columbus since 1926. Before that time, she and Mr. Baker had lived near Garwood.

Besides her husband, she is survived by one daughter, Mrs. William Nutter of Gibbon, Nebr.; 4 sons, Mayor Reginald “Rip” Taylor, I.R.L. Taylor and Roy Baker of Columbus and Clyde Baker, stationed with the army in Turkey.

Other survivors are 4 sisters, Mrs. W.B. Soyars, Sabinal; Mrs. Lavirt Hodges, Edna; Mrs. Willie Harris, Columbus, and Mrs. Bessie Huhn, Port Lavaca, and one brother, L.T. Richardson, Columbus.

Pallbearers were Kenneth Baker, Reginald “Reggie” Taylor, Gene Nutter, Grayson Keith Jackson, Billy Lee Coffelt and Jim Jack Richardson.

Colorado County Citizen, August 6, 1953
Contributed by Steve Baker

Baker, Mrs. Austin Higgins


Died, near Sublime, at 9 a.m., 5th inst., Mrs. Austin Higgins Baker, aged 17 years, 2 months and 14 days. She was a loving and devoted wife, an affectionate daughter and sister, and kind neighbor. She leaves a husband, father mother, brother and many friends to mourn her loss. Her body was consigned to its last resting place in the Bock family grave yard [in Lavaca County] last Friday. Our heartfelt sympathies are tendered the bereaved husband and family.

Colorado Citizen, March 12, 1885

Baker, Nelda Lois (Speck)

Baker, Nelda Lois Speck

Nelda Lois Speck Baker, 84, of Sheridan, passed away July 31 at River Oaks Health Care Center in Columbus.

She was born in Hahn, July 9, 1925 to Jess Andrew and Ida Maye (Adams) Speck and married Hume L. Baker, Aug. 27, 1942. She enjoyed spending time and taking care of her family as well as cooking and sewing.

She was preceded in death by her parents; sisters, Retha Marie Speck Schindler and Glady Corine Speck Owers; and brother, John Allen Speck.

She is survived by her husband; daughter, Wanda Joyce Baker Webb and husband Keith of Columbus; sons, Marvin Doyle Baker and wife Jill of Sutton, Alaska and Roy Orville Baker and wife Maxine of Anchorage, Alaska; sister, Melba Joyce Speck DeFoor and husband Sam of Rock Island; brothers, Harvey Lee Speck and wife Diane of Rock Island and Jesse Gene Speck and wife LaVerne of Conway, Ark.; grandchildren, Lori Cosby, Brian Baker and wife Rebecca, Micah Webb and wife Tracy and Mandi Scott and husband Jeffrey; and seven great-grandchildren.

Funeral services are scheduled for Aug. 8 at Henneke Funeral Home in Columbus with the Rev. Wes Jacobson officiating. Interment will follow at Myrtle Cemetery in Rock Island.

Pallbearers scheduled are Micah Webb, Brian Baker, Jeffrey Scott, Shannon Owers, Ivan Brandt and Tommy Steck

Colorado County Citizen, August 4, 2009
Contributed by Regena Williamson

Baker, Norman Jerome

Norman J. Baker Rites Held Tues.

Funeral services were held at 10:00 a.m. Monday, June 10th at the Kreidler Funeral Home Chapel in McAllen for Norman J. Baker, 52, who died Saturday at 12:05 p.m. in McAllen General Hospita [sic.]. He had been a barber in that city since 1949.

The Rev. Charles Giesier, pastor of the First Methodist Church, conducted the services. The body was brought overland to Mill-Bauer Funeral Home in Eagle Lake and services and burial were held on Tuesday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. in the Myrtle Cemetery in Rock Island.

Mr. Baker, a native of Cogswell, N.D. moved to McAllen from San Antonio. He was a veteran of World War II serving in the 203rd Infantry Division and was awarded the Croix de Guerre by the government of Luxembourg.

Surviving are his wife, Mrs. Wyvon Baker; one son, Audie Baker of San Angelo; one sister, Mrs. Don Palay of Anaheim, Calif.; and his father, Gilbert Baker of Owen, Wis.

The family suggested friends contribute to the American Cancer Society in lieu of flowers.

Eagle Lake Headlight, June 13, 1968
Contributed by Patti Hall-Smith

Baker, Norman Roy

Norman Baker

Norman Roy Baker, age 52 of Willis, died on November 13, 1983 in Conroe. Funeral services were at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, November 16, 1983 from Brookside Funeral Home in Houston. Graveside services and interment was at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at Myrtle Cemetery in Rock Island with Rev. Mike Mercer, of ficating. Local arrangements under the direction of Dulany Funeral Home,Eagle Lake.

Mr. Baker was born on October 27, 1931 in Rock Island. He is survived by his parents: Mr. and Mrs. G. A. Baker of Willis: one sister, Mrs. Mary Minter of Willis: and three brothers, Elmer F., James W., and George C. Baker all of Spring.

Eagle Lake Headlight, November 17, 1983, page 9

Baker, Olive (Grogan)


Olive G. Baker, 93, of Columbus, passed away Jan. 6 at her residence.

She was born in Rector, Ark., April 18, 1913 to William D. and Bulah (French) Grogan. She worked as a telephone operator and was the owner of the Baker Motel in Columbus.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Roy A. Baker; parents; sisters, Elizabeth Shelton, Inez Pyburn and Renee Johnson; and brother, Jack Grogan.

She is survived by her daughter, Margaret B. Cook of Columbus; grandchildren, Cheryl Cook and William Cook of Columbus, Cynthia Cook of Granbury and Robert Cook of Dallas; and great-grandson, Jason of Granbury.

Funeral services are scheduled for 10 a.m., Jan. 10 at Henneke Funeral Home in Columbus with the Rev. Bill Johnson officiating. Interment will follow in Odd Fellows Rest Cemetery in Columbus.

Pallbearers planned are William and Robert Cook.

Colorado County Citizen, January 10, 2007
Courtesy of The Citizen

Baker, Orville Lee


Colorado County Pays Tribute to Seaman First Class, Orville Lee Baker, who died in Line of Duty in California Hospital

A gloom was cast over the little village of Rock Island when news came of the death of Seaman First Class, Orville Lee Baker, who passed away at the Naval Hospital at Mare Island, Calif., at 12:15 am, January 9, 1942. Orville was born in Columbus, Texas, February 24, 1920, and at the time of his death was 21 years, 10 months and 16 days of age. He was a member of the largest graduation class that the Rock Island school has ever had, the class of 1939. He volunteered in the Navy July 21, 1941. He was a true American lad which was evidenced in his voluntary service to his country. Before a vast throng of the many who knew him well and loved and admired him, he was placed at rest Friday afternoon at 2 o'clock at Rock Island [Myrtle Cemetery].

His body was given a sailor's escort home and funeral services were held from the Rock Island Methodist Church, the pastor, the Rev. Veatch officiating. His death was caused from general Peritinitis.

Relatives and friends from Houston, San Antonio, Bay City, Brenham, Weimar, Garwood, Wharton, Eagle Lake and many other communities gathered lo pay tribute to his memory and to do him honor. The lavish floral offerings not only evidenced the esteem in which he was held but also breathed fragrant messages of sympathy to the heartbroken parents and grief stricken brothers and sister. A special program of appropriate music was rendered by select voices. J.G. Jenkins rendered two request solos, “When They Ring Those Golden Bells” and “ No Sorrow In Heaven.” The church could by no means hold the crowd who came to honor him. Many in attendance stated that it was the largest funeral ever held in Rock Island. The ceaseless stream of friends passed in review before his casket. During his school days he was extremely popular with his schoolmates and all others who knew him.

Surviving are his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Baker, two brothers, Lewis of Brazoria and Hume of Rock Island. Others near and dear to him who are left to mourn his loss, includes his grandmother, Mrs. Mose Townsend, a sister-in-law, Mrs. Lewis Baker and a niece, Lola Ray Baker.

Just before the casket was lowered, R. E. Abernathy, the Special Guard who accompanied the body, gently folded the flag that draped the casket, and placed it in the Mother’s arms. Innumerable friends throughout this section join the Headlight in extending their sympathy to all who held him near and dear in their extreme sadness.

An insight into his character is the fact that he had developed the habit of clipping poems that pleased his fancy and among his personal belongings sent home with his remains was his bill fold and when opened by his mother it contained the following poem:

When things get all tangled
And nothing looks straight
Don’t get in a flutter
And rail against fate
If you’ve the faith
And the patience to wait
All will come right in the end

When castles have tumbled
Don't fret or complain;
Get up and get going
And start again,
Your dreams to achieve
And your goal to attain
All will come right in the end

When lost and perplexed
And uncertain you feel
Wondering where and to
Whom t o appeal;
Be true to yourself
And your highest ideal
And all will come right in the end.

Eagle Lake Headlight; January 23, 1942
Contributed by Patti Hall-Smith

Baker, Oscar Franklin

Last Rites Held Friday for Oscar F. Baker

Oscar Franklin Baker, born December 15, 1891 and a long time resident of Rock Island, passed away at 12:50 p.m. Tuesday, July 9th at the Memorial Hospital in Marshall, Texas, of injuries received July 3rd in an automobile accident. Mr. Baker was born in West Virginia, moved to Texas with his parents, and settled in Rock Island in 1915. He and Maime Townsend were married in Rock Island January 5, 1916. They observed their Golden Wedding Anniversary, Jan. 5, 1966. | Mr. Baker is survived by, his wife two sons, Lewis F. Baker of Lake Jackson, Texas, and Hume L Baker of Atlanta. Texas; one daughter, Mrs. Tommy Hunt of Corpus Christi. One son, Orville L. Baker, is deceased, also surviving are seven grandchildren, Mrs. Luke Cemino of Bryan; Lee Baker, Lake Jackson; Lewis Baker, Jr., New York City; SP5 Marvin Baker, home on leave from Vietnam; Pfc. Roy Baker, Fort Huachuca, Ariz.; Wanda Baker, Atlanta, Texas; Francis Hunt, Corpus Christi; three great grand-daughters, Marie, Susan and Julie Cemino of Bryan; two sisters, Mrs. Ella Buckeleu of Burnet. Texas. Mrs. Clara Willey of Circleville, Utah; five brothers, Gilbert of Altair, Ed and Clarence of Houston, Leslie, Austin, and Gene of Brenham. His mother, father, and three brothers and a son preceded him in death. Services were held at the Methodist Church in Rock Island followed by interment in Myrtle Cemetery at 2 p.m. Friday with Rev. Windel Bell. Methodist Minister of Corpus Christi,officiating. The pallbearers were Pete Eaton, Elmer Larsen, G.C. Meyer, Clarence George, Ernest Hudson, and Dan Hooper, Jr.

Out-of-town friends and relatives registering Friday were from Houston, San Antonio, San Marcos, Atlanta, Austin, Burnet, El Campo, Luling, Sequin, New Braunfels, Brenham. Bryan, Driftwood, Bellville, Corpus Christi, Brazoria. Pasadena. Lake Jackson, Needville, Louise, Olivia, Lissie. Columbus. Eagle Lake, Hallettsville,Sheridan, New York City, Vietnam, and Fort Huachuca, Ariz.

Eagle Lake Headlight, July 18, 1968
Contributed by Patti Hall-Smith

Baker, Ray Lobelia (Hunt)


Funeral services for Mrs. Ray L., Baker, 85, of Willis was held in Cashner Colonial Chapel Tuesday, November 4, with Rev. Mike Mercer officiating.

Graveside services and interment will be in Myrtle Cemetery, Rock Island, with Cashner Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.

Mrs. Baker was born at Long Run, Missouri on October 23, 1901, and passed away at Willis, Texas, Sunday, November 2. She was a member of the Baptist Church, and had lived most of her life in the Colorado County Area.

She is survived by her husband, Gilbert Baker, Willis; daughter, Mary Minter, Willis; sons, Elmer F. Baker, Spring, James W. Baker, Huntsville, George C. Baker, Spring; and fourteen grandchildren.

Pallbearers were grandchildren: John G. Baker, Robert Baker, Ralph Baker, Sam Baker, Leslie Baker, Billy Baker, Jeffrey Baker, Ronnie Arnold, John Edgmon, Bob Fruend, Troy Johnson, Larry Smith, Ralph Nash, Patrick McCart, Jimmy Driver and Emmit Russell.

Colorado County Citizen, November 13, 1986

Baker, Rollin Harold

Rollin Harold Baker

Rollin Harold Baker, 91, of Eagle Lake, formerly of East Lansing passed November 12, 2007, one day following the occasion of his 91st birthday, in Houston, the city of his youth.

Rollin Baker was born in Cordova, Illinois on November 11, 1916. His education included graduation from Austin High School in Austin, Texas in 1933, a B.A. degree in zoology from the University of Texas in 1937 (where he was the first captain of its swim team and the team's very first All-American), an M.S. in entomology from Texas A&M University in 1938 and a Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Kansas in 1948.

Rollin's several occupations reflected his life-long interest in wildlife and science, including his early job as a field biologist for the Texas Game, Fish and Oyster Commission (now Texas Parks and Wildlife Department) from 1939 to 1943. As a Texas biologist, he met Mary Waddell, the fetching daughter of local Eagle Lake game warden Tom Waddell, who became his wife and partner in nearly everything he did for 61 wonderful years. He served as a Naval officer in WWII from 1943 to 1946, for a time on the destroyer Belknap and for two years as a mammalogist/ornithologist for U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. 2, studying tropical diseases on Guam and other islands of the South Pacific. Rollin would continue service in the Naval Reserve until 1976, retiring with the rank of Captain.

Following the war and the completion of his Ph.D., Rollin served in a number of academic capacities at the Department of Zoology at the University of Kansas from 1948 to 1955, when he took the position of Director of the Museum and Professor of Zoology and Professor of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University. He spent the next 27 years at MSU and in East Lansing, among the happiest and most fruitful of his life. Among his many contributions, Rollin was instrumental in bringing the MSU Museum, which had consisted of glass cases in the basement of the school's auditorium building, into a dynamic new version in the former school library where it now resides and welcomes thousands of school children and other visitors annually. He also played a major role in bringing the planetarium to the MSU campus and assisting with the rescue and restoration of the old locomotive Pere Marquette Engine 1225, the engine which was the inspiration for the one featured in the film and book, THE POLAR EXPRESS, now operating out of Owosso, Michigan.

In 1982, he retired to Eagle Lake, Texas, where he continued work in his life interests, helping to found Eagle Lake's Prairie Edge Museum and serving as its Curator, continuing his zoological research and writings, and expanding his writing talents to include historical novels and theatrical plays. He and his wife Mary shared amny[sic] happy memories at their Muddy Creek Ranch near Rock Island, Texas. Over his long career, Rollin authored hundreds of published scientific works, many related to his extensive field trips to his beloved Mexico, described numerous new mammals and birds, published the standard reference work, MICHIGAN MAMMALS, received many awards and honors, and, perhaps most importantly to him, nurtured an impressive number of graduate students who would go on to highly accomplished careers in the field of zoology.

Rollin was a member of the Kiwanis Club in East Lansing, Michigan, for nearly 30 years, a member of the Rotary Club in Eagle Lake, Texas since 1987, and a member of the Colorado County (Texas) Historical Commission. He also belonged to numerous academic and scientific societies and organizations.

Rollin is survived by daughter, Betsy Baker Prescott, son-in-law Allen Prescott, grandchildren, Baker and Michael Prescott of El Lago, Texas; son, Bruce Baker and grandchildren, Rollin A. and Justin Baker of East Lansing, Michigan; son, Byron Baker and daughter-in-law, Constance Vickery Kuehner of New York City; and sister, Virginia Baker Cook of Fairmont, West Virginia.

Rollin is preceded in death by his beloved wife, Mary Waddell Baker, in the year 2000 and his brother, Norvil Baker, in 2004.

Funeral services for Rollin Baker will be held at 1 pm, Saturday, November 17, at Christ Episcopal Church, 306 E. Stockbridge St., Eagle Lake. [Interment in Lakeside Cemetery}

Contributions in lieu of flowers can be made in the name of Rollin H. Baker to the Prairie Edge Museum, 408 Main St., Eagle Lake, Texas or in Rollin's name to the Texas Society of Mammalogists for the Rollin H. Baker annual award.

Sympathy is extended to the family in their loss.

Eagle Lake Headlight, November 15, 2007, page 4

Baker, Unknown

Columbus, Tex., July 17
Yesterday evening Joe Baker and his wife, colored, were driving through the streets of Columbus in a sulky or cart, whereupon their horse became frightened and began to run, and in attempting to check his speed both lines broke, precipitating both to ground, breaking a bone in his leg below the knee. His wife was caught in the rigging of the vehicle and was held fast, while the horse at breakneck speed dragging her under the jolt for very near 200 yards, when the horse ran against an electric light pole, completely demolishing the sulky.

The sight was heartrending and awful, and no one was able to help her or arrest the speed of the horse. The scene occurred on a principal residence street and the excitement, among the ladies especially, was very great. Hundreds rushed to the woman’s assistance, where she was found insensible, with her face all mangled and torn, with blood flowing from her mouth and nose, showing she was seriously injured internally. She was carried to a residence close by, where she is receiving all possible attention; but there is only a slight chance for her recovery.--News Special.
[ The negro woman, we have since learned, died from the effects of the injuries received.--Ed.] [Place of interment unknown]

Weimar Mercury, July 22, 1893

Baker, Virginia Frances (Cunningham)

Mrs. Jennie C. Baker

The death of Mrs. Jennie C. Baker, widow of the late Colonel Ben M. M. Baker, editor of the Columbus Citizen up to the time of his death, occurred very suddenly at her home in Columbus last Monday afternoon, and news of same occassioned[sic] many expressions of sadness and regret among the people of Weimar. She was in apparent good health at noon that day, but shortly afterward was found dead, so we understand, heart failure being the probable cause. Mrs. Baker was a most gifted, talented lady, an ably[sic] writer (many of the splendid articles appearing in the Citizen being from her pen), a lady whose presence lent charm to every circle in which she moved, a devoted wife and mother, and death is indeed a heavy blow to the Columbus community. She leaves three children--Drew C. Baker, Mrs. A. J. Rabel of Columbus and Mrs. Bennie Baker Stine of San Antonio, to whom our heartfelt condolence is extended. [Interment in Odd Fellows Rest]

Weimar Mercury, March 3, 1916

On Monday afternoon, February 28, Mrs. Ben M. Baker died at her home in Columbus and in her passing Texas lost one of her pioneer citizens. Mrs. Baker was the widow of Ben M. Baker, founder and for many years publisher for the Columbus Citizen. During his life she was a great aid in the publication of the paper and at his death took up the work where he had laid it down and continued to make the paper rank with the best in the state. Mrs. Baker was a great reader, a deep thinker and a fine writer and her work for the betterment of Columbus and her people has builded [sic] for her a monument more lasting than one chiseled out of stone. She leaves three children, Drew Baker, of Louisiana, Mrs. Stine, of San Antonio, and Mrs. Rabel, of Columbus.

Schulenburg Sticker, 10 March 1916
Contributed by Matt Cross

Baker, Wyvon Flora “Bonnie” (Moss)


Funeral service were held for Mrs. Wyvon F. (Bonnie) Baker at Dulany Funeral Home, June 1 in Eagle Lake, with the Rev. Charles Runk officiating. Mrs. Baker passed away May 29 at the Eagle Lake Community Hospital.

Mrs. Baker was born September 12, 1911 in Braymer, Missouri to Alfred and Daisey Lane Moss. She resided in the Rio Grande Valley most of her life before moving back to Rock Island six years ago.

Mrs. Baker was a member or the Methodist Church.

Survivors include, two sisters, Bertha Christian of Rock Island and Nellie Van Ouderkerke, Boerne one brother, Ernest Moss of Rock Island; numerous nieces, nephews, and other relatives and a host of loved ones.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband (Norman) and sister, Ethel Boxx of Missouri.

Arrangements were under the direction of Dulany Funeral Home. [Interment in Myrtle Cemetery]

Pallbearers were: Benny and Larry Moss, Joe Keith and ...

Colorado County Citizen, June 6, 1985
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