Parker County Today October 2017 - Page 45

The Bakers were not only education-minded but religious folk as well, in 1854 donating land for the Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church. Josiah’s mother Elizabeth died in 1854 and became the first person to be buried in what would become Baker Cemetery. Four years later, in 1858, his father, Martin, joined Elizabeth in the Great Everlasting of the Baptist creed. With a general store and a cotton gin, Baker mirrored many fledgling Parker County communities — loose asso- ciations of farmers and ranchers, really, rural people shar- ing geography and a need to band together for defense and commerce. Josiah answered the call when saber-rattling gave way to war in 1860. Like so many Texas settlers, Baker left to fight for the ill-fated Confederacy, leaving his family to maintain what they’d managed to build on the wild frontier. During the Civil War years, Indians stepped up their raiding to take full advantage of the vacuum created by the exodus of men going to war. The Federal soldiers manning the line of Texas forts built to curtail Indian depredations and help pacify the frontier left these fortifications to swell Union ranks back east. With the Rangers and Home Guard spread thin, often the elderly, infirm, women and children were left to fend off the raiders as best they could. After the bloody four-year war that killed two-percent of the American population, settlers like Baker returned to the frontier to find the Lords of the Plains had plundered and Continued on page 46 It’s not too early to plan your holIday party call us toDaY! 877.536.2626 Join us at one of our 6 DfW locations 43