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Maria Louisa (Fletcher) Baker

Source:  transcribed by Edna Cheatham
from Marble Falls Messenger, 20 Oct 1921

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…

Mrs. 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 remembers the killing of Paulas Fletcher in 1856 near what is now Cedar Park, but it seems that the one who killed Fletcher has never been definitely known. The place where he was killed is marked by a stone mound by the side of the Austin and Burnet road….

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…

Of the settlers who were the defense of the country against the Indians, Mrs. Baker names the following:

Jack Hubbard,
Paulas Fletcher,
Dr. Fields,
James Boyce,
Pleas Barnhill,
Anderson Nix,
Hugh McCoy,
William Black and
Norton Moses.

---J. H. Faubion, in Georgetown Sun




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