CHARLES BRUCE BAKER GRAVESTONE PHOTO
The Chanute Tribune
Oct 11, 1920
CHARLES BRUCE BAKER IS DEAD
FUNERAL IN M. E. CHURCH TOMORROW AFTERNOON.
He Began Railroading for Santa Fe More Than Half a Century Ago--
Of Patriotic Family Which Fought in Five Wars.
Charles Bruce Baker, who began railroading more than half a century ago, died at his home, 524 South Grant avenue, at 2:35 o'clock this morning. He was 76 years, 2 months and 25 days old, having been born July 16, 1844, in Whitehall, Ill.
The funeral services will be held in the Methodist church at 2:30 o'clock tomorrow afternoon. They will be conducted by its pastor B. F. Galther. The Grand Army of the Republic will also conduct services in the church at the conclusion of Dr. Galther's sermon and the Masons will have charge of the services in Elmwood, where interment will be made.
October 14, 1868, Mr. Baker married Miss. Francis A. Wilder. She and two children survive him. The children are a son and daughter--Harry Baker of the Santa Fe system's chief special agent's force in Topeka, and Mrs. Grace Ashcraft of Clovis, N. M. One son Loren, died several years ago.
Mr. and Mrs. Baker came to Kansas April 5, 1869, locating in Franklin county. In November of that year he began work in Ottawa with the Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston Railway, now a part of the Santa Fe's Southern Kansas Division, serving as a locomotive fireman until February, 1876, at which time he left the service because of a decrease in force caused by poor crops.
In 1877, he began work as a locomotive engineer with the Utah & Northern Railway, now, part of the Union Pacific, but the call of Kansas was too strong for him to resist and he returned to the line of his first choice November 27, 1884, and remained in service until he retired as a pensioner in November of 1913. He came to Chanute when the Southern Kansas Division's headquarters were moved here.
He was always exact and loyal in his work, giving the full measure of his strength to his labors, even after being badly crippled in a railroad accident, when he received injuries which continued to affect him until death called him for another trip in service on a new line.
Mr. Baker came of patriotic stock. His grandfather, Moses Baker, served in the Revolutionary War. His father John Baker, served in the Black Hawk Indian War and was a personal friend of Abraham Lincoln.
Mr. Baker himself was a soldier for the Union in the Civil War, enlisting in 1862 when he was only 18 years old in Company I of the Twenty-eighth Illinois infantry and subsequently in the Ninety-first Illinois infantry and serving until the close of the war.
His son Harry to enlist as a soldier in the Spanish American War, but was refused the opportunity of doing so, whereupon he sought and obtained service on the transport Grand in 1899.
George Baker, a grandson, was in service on the Mexican Border when American troops were mobilized there and later went to France, serving in the Forty-Second (Rainbow) Division with the ambulance train which Oklahoma contributed to this organization, until the close of the war and the return of the American Expeditionary Forces to the United States.
Mr. Baker was an ardent patriot and the Grand Army of the Republic reunions were always a pleasure and satisfaction to him. While visiting in Topeka during the recent reunion of the Thirty-fifth division there, he overtaxed his strength in trying to keep up with the younger boys, and came home worn out and ill.
He was conscious to the last, going over his war record with the brother Oddfellow who attended him in his last moments. Mr. Baker was a lifelong member of the Odd Fellows.
He was also affiliated all his life with the Masonic bodies in which he found much consolation.