In a very pleasant interview with Mrs. Maria Louisa Baker, widow of Charles G. Baker, now a resident of the city of Lampasas, Mrs. Baker, although now 83 years old, but whose memory is as bright as if only half as old, gave the writer some reminiscences of early days in Texas…
Baker was born in West Union, Virginia, in May 1841, and was first married to
Jonathan Ragle, who was born in Alabama. They were married in Burnet County by
Rev. Ainsworth, who is remembered by many of our older citizens. Mrs. Baker’s
maiden name was Fletcher. Mr. Ragle was killed by Indians on the head of North
San Gabriel, in company with Lewis Jackson, who was also killed, while on their
way to mill on Morgan’s Creek, Feb 10, 1865.
Other Indian outrages recounted by
Mrs. Baker were the following:
Benton Skaggs was attacked by Indians, but fought them off and escaped;
Marcus Skaggs, Lorenzo Holland, nephew of Benton Skaggs, lived about three days after being shot by this band of Indians.
During the Civil War, probably in 1863, Cook, a sheepherder for Boyce was killed by Indians.
Marshall Skaggs and Vanhook were killed by Indians in 1862 near Strickland.
Mrs. Baker’s second husband was Charles G. Baker, born in Georgia
in 1829, and she and Mr. Baker were married in Burnet county Nov 1, 1861, by
Rev. Ainsworth, by whom she was first married.
Mrs. Baker is a first cousin of
Mrs. Martha V. Simmons, now of California, and Mrs. Simmons is the same woman
who was carried away by the Comanche Indians, with her mother and brother when
Mrs. Simmons father and twelve other persons were massacred by the Indians, two
miles east of Leander in 1938, which occurrence is known in Texas history as
the “Webster Massacre.” Mrs. Webster’s given name was “Dollie.” Mrs. Baker also
has letters from her cousin, Mrs. Martha (Webster) Simmons.
Mrs. Baker came
from Virginia with her parents in 1849 and settled first near where the town of
Manor in Travis County now stands, and came to Burnet County in 1852. She
remembers the capture of an Indian squaw by some of the early settlers near what
is known as Hughes ranch, and her captors were trying to train the squaw for a
servant but the effort was a failure, and on the next coming of a Comanche
raid, she communicated with the Indians, and thus enabled the Indians to get
all the horses at the ranch and with them made their escape.
Mrs. Baker lives with her son-in-law and daughter, Rev W H Packer and wife. Mr. Packer has often preached in Williamson County, but is now estopped from speaking in public on account of the loss of his voice. Mrs. Packer is engaged in teaching in the public schools of Lampasas…
the settlers who were the defense of the country against the Indians, Mrs.
Baker names the following:
---J. H. Faubion, in Georgetown Sun