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Maria Louisa Baker
widow of Charles G. Baker

Source:  Marble Falls Messenger, 20 Oct 1921
Transcribed by JoAnn Myers, 4 May 2010

Early History Stories
by J. H. Faubion, in Georgetown Sun

      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; and while these occurences were not exactly in Williamson county, yet were so closely connected with Williamson county history, being along the western border of the county, the writer deems them worthy of preserving by our County Historical Association.

     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. 20, 1865. 

     Other Indian outrages recounted by Mrs. Baker were the following:

  • 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.
  • Marshal 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 Martha V. Simmons, now of California, and Mrs. Simmons is the same woman who was carried away by the Commanche 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 1838, which occurrence is known in Texas history as "Webster Massacre."  Mrs. Webster's given name was "Dollie."  Mrs. Baker often 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 Paulsa 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 says that if the history that is being gathered by the Williamson County Historical Association is published in book form that she must have a copy of it.  Mrs. Baker lives with her son-in-law and daughter, Rev. W. H. Paker 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.  They too, are deeply interested in the work of the historical association.

     Of the early settlers who were the defence of the country against the Indians, Mrs. Baker names the following:
  • Jack Hubbard
  • Paulas Fletcher
  • Dr. Fields (still living)
  • James Boyce
  • Pleas Barnhill
  • Anderson Nix
  • Hugh McCoy
  • William Black and
  • Norton Moses.
See also Burnet Bulletin, 15 April 1937, "The Webster Massacre"; copy filed in vertical files of Herman Brown Free Library -- Indian Depredations.

More information about Indian Raids is on the Burnet TXGenWeb.



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