Sunday, October 18, 2015

Phillip Baker and Harriett Ann Phillipo Thompson

Phillip Baker

Phillip Baker was born October 11, 1821, in Edding Greene, East Dereham, Norfolk, England.  He and his mother, Anne Bone, joined the Mormon Church and he was baptized on Christmas Day of 1848 or 1849.   His father, Philip Baker, Sr., was very unhappy about his conversion and expelled him from his home.   Phillip was 27 or 28 years of age at this time.  Phillip emigrated to America in 1851, sailing on the old-time sailing vessel named Golconda, the same ship on which his future bride would come over two years later.   He landed at New Orleans, then traveled up the river to St. Louis, and from there traveled overland to Council Bluffs. He was taken on by Orson Pratt to drive his team across the plains. After arriving in Utah, Phillip stayed one month in Salt Lake City and then went on to California.  He helped to plant and raise the first wheat crop in the San Bernadino Valley.  He also lived for a time in Bakersfield, California, which town was evidently named after him.  While in California, he panned a bag of gold worth $500. 

Phillip returned to Utah in 1857 or 58, and settled in Beaver, where he met and married the pretty Harriet Ann Phillipo Thompson. Phillip was 23 years older than Harriet Ann.  They were later sealed in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City by Amasa Lyman. Phillip was ordained a High Priest in 1873 and was set apart as a counselor to Bishop Shepherd in Beaver, which position he held until the Beaver Stake was reorganized, at which time he was ordained a High Councilman under the hands of Apostle Erastus Snow. 

Phillip Baker was an Indian War Veteran, and he became very friendly with some of the Indians in the Beaver area.  On one occasion, he helped with the burial of an Indian.  They went up east of Beaver on a hillside, dug the grave, wrapped the Indian in his blanket and placed his gun and his belongings in with him.  Phillip would often loan his horse and saddle to the Indians, and he also often fed them.  They would come to his house and ask for “Baker.” Phillip was a good farmer in Beaver.  He had fine horses, many cows, pigs, chickens, and he raised all of his own hay, grain, and potatoes.  He hauled poles from a canyon for building purposes, and it came to be called Baker Canyon, after him.  Phillip passed away at the age of 79, leaving Harriett Ann with eight children.

Typed by Edith Baker, Mar. 1990 Sources: 1) History of Phillip Baker by Zelnora Nielson, a daughter of Phillip and Harriet Baker. 2) History written by Harriet Marintha Pendleton in May, 1942. Typed by Johanna Baker in 1961. 3) Letter obtained by Marintha Pendleton from the Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Nov. 1959. It is a letter written by Phillip Baker prior to his departure from Council Bluffs to Salt Lake Valley. 4) History written by a sister of Marintha Edwards Pendleton. 

The following letter was obtained by Historic Letters of the Past from Daughters of Utah Pioneers, November 1959, obtained from Harriet Marintha Edwards Pendleton, 1961. The letter was written by Phillip Baker, son of Phillip Baker and Anne Bone prior to his departure from Council Bluffs to Salt Lake Valley.

Council Bluffs, May 30, 1851 
Dear Parents: I take this opportunity of writing to you, hoping to find you in good health, as it leaved me at the present, that God for it. Our vessel set sail February 1st and landing in Orleans on the 6th of April. We left Orleans on the 9th of April and reached St. Louis on the 15th of April. We left Saint Louis on the 25th of April and reached Council Bluffs May 20th. Dear Mother, I am glad to inform you that I am going through to the valley with Brother Pratt (Orson) to drive for him. The reason I did not write sooner was because I wanted to know whether I was going through to the valley or not. Give my love to all my brothers and sisters and tell them I expect to soon meet them in the valley of the mountains. Give my respects to Mister Stains and tell him I am quite satisfied with this country. Land is very cheap in this country and it does not cost much to keep cattle for there is plenty of land laying waste, no one to own it. Give my respects to Mister Bates and tell him it is a good land for him. It is a good place for tailoring, for people wear coats here. 
From your affectionate son, Phillip Baker

Harriett Ann Phillipo Thompson

Harriett was the daughter of William Phillipo Thompson and Ann Mariah Fellows. She was born March 28, 1844, at East Dereham, Norfolk, England, and immigrated with her parents to Utah in 1853. She wrote the following on April 13, 1913, when she was 69 years old: 

"I crossed the sea in the old-style sailing vessel, "Golconda" by name, with Mr. Kerr as our sea captain, and was 70 days sailing from Liverpool to New Orleans. We were delayed by the dismantling of the vessel at sea through a severe storm. We went from New Orleans to Keokuk (a city opposite Nauvoo, Illinois), then waited three weeks for teams to be fitted up for crossing the plains, then started out for Salt Lake City. The teams were divided into companies of tens, each ten having a captain under the main captain, who was Joseph W. Young. Thus my father started on the long journey across the plains with four young children and a crippled wife. She was sick all the way. Father had to drive the ox team by day and stand guard against the Indians at night, and herd the cattle. Mother, being sick and a cripple had to ride all the way. "Myself and two brothers, one older and one younger, had to walk. [Harriet would have been nine years old, her brother William ten, and brother James eight.] The baby [Sarah Ann] was ten months old. Well do I remember our feet being sore and blistered, how the Indians attacked us and stole my father's watch, how my mother lay sick in the wagon at the point of death, apparently with Mountain Fever, and how we one day camped at noon on the Platte River and Brother Joseph W. Young, our captain, administered to her and blessed her that she should live to see the Valley of Salt Lake City. We arrived in Salt Lake in the month of October, after a hard and tedious journey of a little over nine months [from the time they left England]. "My father went to work for President Brigham Young as a miller at the grist mill. We stayed there a few years. He was there at the time of the great grasshopper war. Then we went to the ninth ward and worked at Bnners [sp?] grist mill, stayed there until the great move in 1858 [when the saints moved south at the time of the coming of Johnston's Army], then went to Beaver City, where I was married to Phillip Baker, March 2, 1860. I am the mother of eight children, three sons and five daughters, have buried two daughters [Mariah Elender and Mary Jessamine] and one son [Phillip William], and have been a widow since 1901." 

Life History of Harriett Ann Phillipo Thompson Baker by her great-granddaughter, Norene Baker Sharp, 1956 

"Grandfather, because of Indian troubles took his turn with other settlers as picket guard, thus leaving his wife alone part of the time.  No modern conveniences had this noble woman in her home, and at this trying time, she only a girl of seventeen, went through the pains of childbirth, with no doctor, only a midwife to give what little and simple aid she could. With only the little that pioneer women had, grandmother really made her house a home. She had a wonderful personality. She was very handy with a needle, both in plain and fancy sewing, also as a cook. I used to think no one could cook quite as well as mother and grandmother. She knew how to prepare and arrange many appetizing dishes. 

Grandmother experienced many experiences with the Indians. One day, two large Indians came to her home. Grandfather was off guarding the town against Indians. The Indians went to the grindstone and began sharpening two large knives, which took them about an hour. They often would flourish the knives in the air. They then came begging for food, and grandmother gave them all she could spare, and they were still not satisfied. So she put my mother, Harriet Marintha, out of the window on the opposite side of the house from where they were and told her to run across for Mary Mayes, for her to come. Sister Mayes was not at home. So she ran another block to Sister Cecil Pollick, a very large Scotch lady. She hurried to Grandmother. The Indians were back at the grindstone. Sister Pollick went up to the grindstone and took off the handle and told them to go, and did it in such a brave way that the Indians left. She had brought her gun with her and pointed it at them. 

For years she was secretary in Relief Society, a "block" teacher [now called visiting teacher], chorister, besides her numerous duties as a pioneer woman. She still had time to compose poetry. One side of her nature I must mention was her humorous one. She was very witty, the life of a crowd, and a good mixer and a real leader.

Harriett was the mother of eight children, three sons and five daughters. She was a hard working woman. She washed and corded wool, spun yarn, and made her own dye for her cloth. She used an old-fashioned loom for many years, and wove carpets and rugs for other people. She gleaned wheat, and her husband would crush it between two big flat stones for mush. Harriet made straw hats for her children and once received a first prize in a contest for a sailor hat she had made by hand for her daughter Nora.   Harriett's husband died in 1901, leaving her a widow for 16 years. She worked so hard, she got rheumatism in her arms. Her son Cliff finally had to dress her and comb her hair in the last days of her life. Harriet Ann lived out the rest of her days in Beaver. Her grandchildren remembered that she was a very short woman and quite frail. She evidently had two buggies. One of them was a white-topped buggy with fringe on the top, and it was used as a hearse to carry the dead. Daniel Ray Baker was carried in this buggy after he died. Harriet Ann died July 1, 1917 at the age of 73, and was buried in the Beaver cemetery. It was only a few months later that her son Daniel Ray (Glen's great grandfather) followed her in death." 

Daniel Ray Baker with his sister, Zelnorah Alminia, and brother, Rudger Clifford

The above photo was taken at a Baker family reunion about 1957.  Raymond O. Baker, son of Daniel Ray Baker, and his wife, Elma June Smith Baker are in front of the two tree trunks on the back row in the center of this picture.  Their son, Philip Baker, stands between his parents and their daughter, Bonnie, stands on her mother's left and the viewer's right.

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