Benjamin Franklin Baker

Palo Pinto County, Texas

The following story is from the book, The West Texas Frontier, by Joseph Carroll McConnell.

    During 1857, Benjamin Franklin Baker settled near the foot of Wynn Mountain, at a spring formerly known as Baker's Spring, and now generally called the Wynn Place. This place is on the Bankhead Highway, three miles east of Palo Pinto.

    Only two years before the Indians were removed from Village Bend to the Lower Reservation in Young County, and for ages immemorial, an old Indian trail crossed the river near the present Dick Lemons farm, climbed the mountain about one and one half miles south of the Wynn Place, and from there the trail took a northwest direction. One of Mr. Baker's nearest neighbors was G.P. Barber, who lived on the Brazos about five miles southeast of Palo Pinto. Mr. Barber had just killed hogs and it was Saturday, February 28, 1863. B.F. Baker, left his home at Baker's Springs (Wynn Place) horse-back to obtain some fresh pork. When Mr. Baker started home and had gone only about one fourth of a mile, he found himself confronted by eight or ten Indians. Mr. Baker turned his horse and hurried back toward the home of Mr. Barber. But on the way, the savages shot two arrows into his back, one into his arm and one in his thigh. He remained on his horse, however, until he reached Mr. Barber's gate, where he fell dead. Barber ran out with his gun and prevented the Indians from scalping their victim. But the savages took Baker's horse and a horse from Mr. Barber's lot before they went away.

    During the following day, Mr. Baker was buried in the Lower Cemetery at Palo Pinto, and his grave today can be seen near the northwest corner of the Slaughter inclosure.

    Note: Before writing this article, the author personally interviewed and corresponded with M.F. Barber, a brother of G.P. Barber, E.K. Taylor, A.M. Lasater, J.C. Jowell, Mrs. Wm. Metcalf, Mrs. House Bevers, Mrs. M.J. Hart, Mrs. H.G. Taylor, Jodie Corbin, Wylie Peters, and several others who were living in Palo Pinto County at the time.

    Further Ref: An account of this killing is Wilbarger's Indian Depredations in Texas. This account was written by J.H. Baker, a nephew of B.F. Baker. Date of Mr. Baker's death is given on his tombstone.

The following version of Baker's murder is from the book, Indian Depredations in Texas, by J.W. Wilbarger.

Benjamin Franklin Baker story by WIlbarger


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