Biography of William Wiley Baker


   jrbakerjr  Genealogy   


William Wiley Baker

WILLIAM WILEY BAKER  was born in 1853 in Page County, Iowa, the son of George and Elizabeth (Hollis) Baker. In 1868 the family moved to Kingsville, Johnson County, Missouri.

In 1879, W. W. married Cynthia Azem Foster in Kingsville. In 1880, they lived in Kingsville. In 1882, they were in Gunn City, Cass County, Mo.. Their first son, James Otis was born there in 1882.

Sometime soon after 1882, they went to Box Butte County, Nebraska with Cynthia's parents, Martin and Mary (Carpenter) Foster. More children, Stella, Dee, and Harry were born there in a "dugout" home. W.W. bought land there in 1891, then sold it and moved on. His land record has been found and is near the bottom of this page. Martin and Mary Foster stayed in Nebraska.

By 1892 they were in Conway Springs, Kansas, southwest of Wichita.  Conway Springs was a railroad town. Wiley was born there. W.W. had become a railroad telegraph lineman.

By 1895, they were in Coffeyville, Kansas, another railroad center. They are listed on the Kansas State Census there as "Baber". The other information is correct; initials, ages, birthplaces, etc.  Lera was born there. They lived in Coffeyville during  the famous Dalton Raid.  Their son, James Otis Baker, at age thirteen, was on the street, and witnessed the shootout.

In 1896, they went to Nevada, Vernon County, Missouri, another railroad town. When they arrived in Nevada, Cynthia flatly told W.W. that she wasn't moving again. Nevada was the last stop. W.W. sold his railroad watch and used the money to buy a house near the roundhouse.  He continued to work as a railroad telegraph lineman for the Missouri Pacific.

In 1907 they separated. Part of the problem seemed to be that he had severe back trouble and couldn't work for quite some time. She took in washing and ironing to support the family while he was unable to work. In 1910, he filed for a divorce, stating that she had left him. She crossfiled, asking for the house and custody of the children. He left town and went to Kansas. The divorce was granted about three weeks before he died. She stayed in Nevada and died in 1943.

One complaint that she made on her Divorce Petition caught my eye, "He even used profanity in front of me and the children once." (Once? In 32 years of marriage? Hmmm.....) She was very bitter. Their grandchildren grew up not knowing that they had close Baker relatives in Johnson, Bates, and Pettis counties, and in Crawford County, Kansas, not far away.

In 1911, James Otis Baker and his wife Bertha moved to Mitchell County, Kansas, near Glasco, where her Mother and Stepfather, Frank and Nellie (Putnam-Love) Cartner, were living. William Wiley Baker also was living in Mitchell Co., and was operating a blacksmith shop. He had a full set of blacksmith tools, and many metal wagon parts in stock.  On May 20, 1911, he died there of "acute indigestion".  James and Bertha went back to Nevada, and the Cartners moved to Junction City. 

Extended Family History



Letters of Administration



Newspaper Announcement

Distribution to Heirs

Discharge of Administrator

Thanks to:
Mitchell County Historical Society and Museum
P.O. Box 472
Beloit, Kansas 67420
PHONE  785-738-5355
The Museum is located at 402 W. 8th St.
Beloit, Kansas 

Known Locations for W.W. and Cynthia Baker:

Missouri  1880  (census) Kingsville, Johnson Co.  

Missouri   1882  (James Otis born) Gunn City, Cass Co.

Nebraska 1884  (Stella born) Box Butte Co. near Alliance

Nebraska 1888  (Dee born) Alliance, Box Butte Co.

Nebraska 1889  (Harry born) Alliance, Box Butte Co.

Kansas    1892  (Wiley born) Conway Springs, Harper Co.

Kansas    1895  (Lera born) Coffeyville, Montgomery Co. 

Kansas    1895 Listed (as W. W. Baber), on the 1895 Kansas State Census there.

Missouri   1896  (settled in Nevada, Vernon Co.)

Missouri  1900 (W.W. was living with his family) in Nevada)

Missouri  1910 (W.W. was living with son Wiley in Nevada)

Kansas    May 1911  (W.W. died in Mitchell Co., Kansas)


   jrbakerjr  Genealogy