Baker Family Collection, 1850-1970  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Title
Baker Family Collection
Dates
1850-1970 (inclusive)
1850-1948 (bulk)
Quantity
203 linear feet, (62 record cartons, 95 manuscript boxes, 4 small flat boxes, 8 flat boxes, 82 loose ledgers)
Collection Number
WCMss.040
Summary
The Baker Family Collection, which dates from 1850 to 1970, contains the personal papers and business records of the Baker family of Walla Walla, Washington, from the materials of Dorsey Syng to those of his sons.
Repository
Whitman College and Northwest Archives
Whitman College and Northwest Archives
Penrose Library, Room 130
345 Boyer Avenue
Walla Walla, WA
99362
Telephone: 509-527-5922
Fax: 509-526-4785
archives@whitman.edu
Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Languages
English
Sponsor
Funding for encoding this finding aid was partially provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

This history was originally written by Nancy Blankenship Pryor, with additions from Jeanne Alkins. It was revised and expanded by Janet Mallen.

Walla Walla's dynastic Baker family began with Dorsey Syng Baker, known commonly as D.S. He began creating a business empire in the mid-19th century in the Oregon and Washington Territories. He began his journey to the west, not as an entrepreneur, but as a young doctor. Dorsey followed the pioneer trails across the prairie from Wabash County, Illinois, where he was born on October 18, 1823, to Elizabeth Haupt and Dr. Ezra Baker, Jr. He was their fourth son, following brothers Ezra Haupt, Edwin Sebastian, and Barton Peisch Baker. There was also a younger sister, Sarah Elizabeth, who married John F. Boyer, who was Dorsey's business partner in what became Baker-Boyer National Bank.

Dorsey's energy and financeering dominated considerable business interests in the early days of non-Native American settelment in the Idaho, Oregon, and Washington territories. His progeny kept that pace. Their substantial range of influence has affected many forms of commerce and civc life, to include mercantiling, farming, banking, ranching, milling, railroading, road-building, shipping, manufacturing, brick-making, land-acquisition, politicking, mining, logging, building, water works, utilities, and shaping the foundation and success of Whitman Seminary and Whitman College. In 1845, Dorsey graduated from his father's alma mater, Jefferson Medical College, in Philadelphia, and then practiced medicine near Des Moines, Iowa, from 1847-1848. In 1848, he emigrated to the Pacific Coast and arrived in Portland in September. It is noted that he crossed the plains with a horse and buggy rather than travelling in the more conventional covered wagon. He soon capitalized on the needs of the burgeoning pioneer population, as well as the needs of the early California and Idaho gold miners, when he arrived in the American West. In the early spring of 1849, Dorsey traveled from Portland to the gold fields of California, returning in 1850 with $1,800 worth of general merchandise to be offered for sale. Quickly becoming more financially established, he then married Caroline Tibbetts, daughter of Gideon and Mary Fox Tibbetts, in Portland, on June 16, 1850.

Gideon was born in Corinth, Maine, in 1809 and Mary in New York, in 1815. They married in Manchester Township, Dearborn County, Indiana, in 1833, the place to which Gideon's father had moved his family in 1816. Gideon and Mary moved to Iowa in 1840, then to Oregon in 1847. They bore nine children, of which the oldest child was Caroline. Gideon was an early investor, land owner, and politician in Portland, Oregon. After Gideon's death, Judge James K. Kennedy, Gideon's son-in-law, husband of Gideon's daughter Harriet, advised the estate.

Dorsey and his family resided for seven years in Oregon before moving to Walla Walla. In various locations, he farmed, raised stock, milled flour, and ran a mercantile. In 1858, the family returned to Portland where Dorsey was in the hardware business, and he eventually established a branch store in Walla Walla in 1860. That town was enjoying a considerable boom of prosperity due to its proximity and convenience as a supply point for the Idaho gold mines, and in 1861, attracted by the opportunities, the Baker family moved to Walla Walla where Dorsey operated a mercantile and, soon, a bank.

Recognizing the importance of Columbia River transportation to the economic future of the Pacific Northwest, in 1862 Dorsey associated himself with Captain A. P. Ankeny, Henry W. Corbett, William Gates, and Captain E. F. Baughman. This group aimed to run a line of boats on the Columbia and Snake Rivers from the Deschutes River to Lewiston, Idaho, in competition with the powerful Oregon Steam Navigation Company. These partners built the steamer Spray and made fourteen trips before the boat was sold to the Oregon Steam Navigation Company. A few years later, the same group constructed portage railroads at two points on the Columbia where land transportation was necessary. Only weeks before the new railroads were scheduled to start, the U.S. Congress granted the Oregon Steam Navigation Company exclusive railroad rights on the Columbia River, which forced the sale of the road at heavy loss.

Through his lifetime, Dorsey was also the dominant figure in the commercial development of southeastern Washington and, to an extent, northeastern Oregon. Some of the highlights of his business life include the establishment of a flour mill in Union, Oregon, in 1865; co-founding Baker-Boyer Bank in Walla Walla, in 1869; and construction of the first railroad, the Walla Walla and Columbia River Railroad, in the Washington Territory from 1872-1875. All of these ventures are documented in this collection.

Though an extremely dedicated businessman, Dorsey had a full family life as well, which was often struck by tragedy. Just a few years after moving to Walla Walla, Caroline Tibbetts Baker died at the age of twenty-nine. She was survived by four children: Edwin Franklin (E.F. or Frank), Mary Elizabeth (Molly), Henry Clay Dorsey (H.C.), and William W. (Walla Walla Willie or W.W.). Three other children died in infancy. In 1865, Dorsey married Mary Legier of Tuscola, Illinois. Mary, however, became ill and died in Walla Walla a few weeks later. In 1867, Dorsey married Elizabeth Millican Horton McCullough (Lizzie). They had eight daughters, four of whom died during a diphtheria epidemic. Ida Mabel, Anna Amelia, Rosalia Imogene, and Ada Louise survived.

Dorsey died in 1888 at the age of sixty-five. His obituary in the Walla Walla Union newspaper mentioned that his health had been impaired since he had suffered a paralytic stroke. Even so, the tremendous energy evidenced in his papers here suggests strength and vitality. Although sometimes described as having a rather prickly personality, he is at times revealed to have a good sense of humor as well as a deep sense of loyalty to family and associates. The author of the obituary, Peasley B. Johnson, states that Dorsey was the self-reliant architect of his own fortunes.

Dorsey's children who reached adulthood became powerful themselves or married notable figures. Dorsey and Caroline's sons, Frank, Henry, and W.W., continued the expansion and development of the Baker family interests well into the 20th century. Evidence of their efforts to shape the political as well as physical landscape of Eastern Washington abounds. Daughter Mary married Miles Conway (M.C.) Moore, a businessman and politician. The daughters of Dorsey and Elizabeth also fared fairly well. Mabel's husband, Dr. Louis F. (L.F.) Anderson, was a Whitman College professor. The Andersons helped establish and nurture various cultural organizations in the Walla Walla area. Anna married Thompson Coit (T.C.) Elliott, a prominent Walla Walla businessman. Rosalia married the Reverend Edward Lincoln Smith, a Washington Yale Bank minister, and Ada married Lieutenant LeRoy Danby Lewis, 4th U.S. Cavalry, though they later divorced.

Frank attended Whitman Seminary along with his brothers and sister Mary, and then attended Forest Grove Academy in Oregon for one year. He married Sarah Ann Miller in 1875 in Walla Walla, and they bore seven children. Frank was instrumental in the creation and management of several companies his father started, most notably the Walla Walla and Columbia River Railroad and the Mill Creek Flume and Manufacturing Company. He later moved most of his family to Southern California, where he first lived in Ojai and then Pasadena.

Henry was an entrepreneur, who, along with his brothers Frank and W.W., brother-in-law M.C. Moore, and a host of employees loyal to the Bakers, not only managed Dorsey's massive estate after his death, but capitalized on what he had begun. Henry especially became known for his land acquisition throughout Washington, Idaho, and Oregon. He invested in oil, rubber, and new inventions, to include a type of coal briquet, an oil bearing, and what was a new form of farm machinery--a mostly mule-free tractor. Henry was educated at the Whitman Seminary and for two years at a high school in Ann Arbor, Michigan. After school, he entered the banking business with his father, opened a bank in Moscow, Idaho, and subsequently returned to Walla Walla, where he and his brother Edwin founded Baker and Baker Company, Inc. Baker and Baker dealt in farm loans and extensive land development in Walla Walla and elsewhere in the state of Washington. Henry, along with John W. Langdon, also managed the Baker-Landon Orchard in Milton-Freewater, Oregon, and developed the Klickitat Mineral Springs in Klickitat, Washington.

W.W. was respected for his banking and business acumen as well as his involvement with Whitman College, an association that began when he and his siblings were among the first Whitman Seminary students. Later, he became one of the original members of the Board of Overseers, after Whitman Seminary had become Whitman College. He also graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1882. He and his family settled in Moscow, Idaho, where he oversaw his banking and land development businesses. He returned to Walla Walla after his father's death to take a position at Baker-Boyer National Bank where he eventaully became president. He also became president of Baker Loan and Invenstment Company. He was also a charter member of the Walla Walla Country Club and a member of the Walla Walla Golf Association. Additionally, he was his father's biographer and was the moving force behind the building of Walla Walla's landmark Marcus Whitman Hotel as well as the construction of the Baker-Boyer Bank Building. He married Mary Esther Jones in Moscow, Idaho, in 1885, and they bore five children, three of which reached adulthood: Howard Dorsey, who married Geneva Sims Eagleson; Mildred Irene, who married William Craig Ferguson, and Dorsey Syng, who married Atrimesa Cornwell. When William's wife Mary died in 1903, he married her sister, Emma Jones, in 1905, also in Moscow. They bore no children.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The specific generational scope of this collection was limited to the figures of Dorsey Syng Baker, his subsequent wives, and his three sons. A small portion contains correspondence and records for Dorsey's parents-in-law, the Tibbetts. Throughout this collection are valuable records, correspondence, legal douments, and diaries relating many aspects of pioneer and early statehood life in the Pacific Northwest, especially for Portland, Oregon, and Walla Walla, Washington. The records include those for transportation, banking and commerce, agriculture, mining, and land acquisition and management, as represented by the efforts of Dorsey and his sons. Thier activities and influence extended to the mid-twentieth century. In addition, there is a small collection of files kept by Baker family members on individual clients or associates. Overall, though the personal letters and diaries provide a few intimate insights, a substantial portion of the Baker Family Collection is a record of family businesses and political and legal interests.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

1:  Baker family papers, 1857-1936Return to Top

This contains the daily notes and records kept by extended and immediate Baker family members, to include diaries, book manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, and personal financial records.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
1-3
1: Photographs
2.275 linear feet
Photographs and a photo album of images of Baker and Tibbetts family members and homes.
Box
4 70
2: Geneaology
0.7 linear feet
Contains notes of family members and staff at Whitman College on the extended Baker family and the family Bible.
5-8
3: Gideon, Mary, and Oscar Tibbetts papers
3 linear feet
This contains receipts, correspondence, maps, photographs, and legal papers pertaining to the Tibbetts' everyday living expenses, their estate, and their development of part of early Portland, Oregon, with the Tibbetts Addition and the neighborhood of Brooklyn, formerly Brookland. Also included here are the collected envelopes.
1857-1913
4: Dorsey Syng Baker papers
This portion of the collection contains Dorsey S. Baker's daily notations and correspondence. These journals, or day books, do contain observations of his private life, but most entries concern business matters. Thus, this sub-series should also be investigated when researching Dorsey's business interests. Most of the correspondence consists of original letters, but several copies are included. There are letters from his brothers, other family members, and business partners.
1858-1884
Box
9-11
Journals
1.27 linear feet
1858-1884
object
1
Volume 1
Account book of Young, Vail and Company.
1858-1869
2
Volume 2
Stock lists and financial memoranda.
1859
3
Volume 3
Steamer trip from Portland to San Francisco and overland trip on the Mullan Road from Walla Walla to Blackfoot, Montana. Transcript included.
1859; 1869
4
Volume 4
Shipment of cattle up the Columbia River and the moving of merchandise from Portland to Walla Walla. Transcript included.
1860 January-1860 July
5
Volume 5
Trip from The Dalles, Oregon, to Rock Creek, British Columbia. Includes sketched maps and some financial records. Transcript included.
1859-1861
6
Volume 6
Fragmentary list of notes and accounts.
1860; 1863-1864
7
Volume 9
Account book.
1862
8
Volume 10
Petty cash and gold dust account.
1863 June-1863 December
9
Volume 11
Expense account book.
1863 April-1863 October
10
Volume 12
Petty cash book.
1864
11
Volume 14
Cattle account records.
1864 May-1864 October
12
Volume 15
Memoranda.
1864 August-1864 December
13
Volume 16
Acquisition of property for a mill in Union, Oregon; trip to Atlantic coast with children Frank and Mary; marriage to Mary Legier in Illinois and her death. Transcript included.
1865
14
Volume 18
Rent accounts along with family expenses for Baker and William Orville Green.
1866
15
Volume 19
Sale of Union, Oregon, mill. Journey with Elizabeth Baker and baby to Atlantic coast where Baker obtains contracts for railroad engines and visits working railroads. Transcript included.
1871
16
Volume 20
Shopping for railroad supplies on east coast. Builds mill at Wallula to manufacture railroad ties. Sends expedition in search of wood for ties. Builds residence in Portland. Transcript included.
1872
17
Volume 21
Concerning construction of Walla Walla and Columbia River Railroad. Memos on provisioning of construction crews. Daughter Mary marries Miles C. Moore. Transcript included.
1873
18
Volume 22
Details building railroad and lawsuit of Baker versus Paine Brothers and Moore mercantile establishment. Written rules to govern employees of railroad. Transcript included.
1874-1876
19
Volume 23
Running of railroad and first negotiations to sell it to Oregon Steam Navigation Company. Children all get diphtheria. Account of deaths of Laura and Henrietta. Transcript included.
1877
20
Volume 24
Some entries on grain shipment from Astoria to England. Shipment in partnership with son-in-law Miles C. Moore. Friend and partner William Orville Green dies. Baby Rosalia is born. Transcript included.
1878-1879
21
Volume 25
Complete railroad sale negotiations. Deals with possible extensions to Dry Creek and Weston. Oregon Steam Navigation Company names steamboat "D.S. Baker." Baker lobbies and succeeds in having Washington descent of property law changed. More grain shipment from Astoria. Transcript included.
1879
22
Volume 24 [supplement]
Drafts of telegraphic messages. Account of a Bannock Indian skirmish at Blalock Island. Miscellaneous financial records. Transcript included.
1878-1879
23
Volume 26
Winter vacation trip to California. Continues grain trade and ship charters for foreign delivery of grain. Failure of N.G. Blalock Flume Company Development of Mill Creek Flume and Manufacturing Company Activity in obtaining rights to railroad land. Transcript included.
1880
24
Volume 27
Trip to Seaside, Oregon. Trip to Gold Creek, Montana, for Northern Pacific Railroad golden spike ceremony. Several mentions of Henry Villard in regard to Northern Pacific financing. Transcript included.
1883
25
Volume 28
Fragmentary notes.
1884
12-13
Correspondence
Most are arranged alphabetically per the addressee's last name. Dedicated folders have been arranged if the bulk of letters from the corresponder was substantial.
1854-1888
4
D.S. Baker correspondence, incoming
Notable correspondents, per original arranger of this collection, include: Notable correspondents, per original arranger of this collection, include:
  • Alex P. Ankeny, 2 letters
  • George H. Atkinson, 1 letter
  • Edwin F. Baker, 1 letter
  • Charles Besserer, 15 letters
  • Eugene H. Boyer, 2 letters
  • Thomas H. Brents, 2 letters
  • Andersen Cox, 1 letter
  • Edward Eldridge, 7 letters
  • Henry Failing, 4 letters
  • E.S. Kearney, 1 letter
  • William S. Ladd, 53 letters
  • James H. Lasater, 1 letter
  • Miles C. Moore, 1 letter
  • P.D. Moore, 1 letter
  • William Pickering, 9 letters
  • Henry V. Poor, 2 letters
  • H.G. Struve, 1 letter
  • John P. Vollmer
  • Sylvester M. Wait
  • W. Park Winans
Box
14
5: Mary Legier Baker papers
This collection consists of only two letters.
1865
14
6: Elizabeth Baker papers
This sub-series includes her financial ledger, correspondence, and estate records.
1865-1925
15
7: Edwin Franklin and Sarah Baker papers
This sub-series contains the correspondence between Frank and Sarah, their children, and with other Baker family members. A small collection of Sarah's poetry is included, as are her reminences of attending Whitman Seminary and her "Pioneer Child: The Memoirs of Sarah Ann Baker," which was edited and prefaced by one of her daughters, Helen Baker Reynolds. Also found here is Nan Reynolds Sparrow's compliation of Frank's and Sarah's family letters in her "Excerpts from E.F. Baker Family Letters."
1865-1936
8: Henry Clay Baker papers
Henry married Clara Young, daughter of his father's early business partner, Edwin Young of Portland. Henry, like his father Dorsey Syng, kept meticulus records, which were preserved and donated by his daughter Henrietta Baker Kennedy and grandson Richard L. McFarland.
Box
17
Will, estate records, and obituary
1943
17
General correspondence
1886-1927
Box
18 51
Correspondence
Correpsondents include W.W. Baker, Wiliam Warren, Miles C. Moore, Edwin F. Baker, and Dorsey F. Baker, with the latter two corresponders relating Baker and Baker Company business matters. Edwin's letters include information regarding the formation of Baker and Baker.
1879-1920
36
Personal records
This contains Henry Baker's records for banking, insurance, investments, and taxes, as well as legal documents.
19-20
John Warren Langdon papers
1893-1935
21
Umatilla County land investment records
1879/1926
22-26
Washington Territory general land records
1878-1889
27-30
Land development records
This subseries encompases the correspondence, investment, loan, and tax records, deeds, abstracts,and land surveys, and farm upkeep and production records. The scope ranges from most counties in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, as well as San Bernadino County, California.
1861-1946
31
Baker-Langdon Orchard and Stanton Investment Company records
This contains the records of the farming enterprise managed by Henry Baker and John Langdon. Here are contracts, shipping records, water rights documents, and correspondence, to include that with the Fruit Growers' Association.
1912-1934
Folder
30, 35 MC.5.2
Orchard maintenance information
These folders contain: fruit box labels; blueprints of mechanical drawings (MC5,2); train pass; machinery operation directions; advertisements; instructions for use of insecticides, herbicides, and fertilizer; fruit grading rules; Northwestern Fruit Exchange bulletins; minutes of Skookum Packers Association meetings; railway revuenue freight lists; fruit wrapper, and clippings.
49
Photographs of business enterprises
Most images are taken by John W. Langdon of their joint venture Klickitat Mineral Springs processing plant.
37-41
Record of investment in coal briquets production
1864-1924; 1910-1924
42, 52
Baker-Jones Push Harvester
Contains patent and investment records, correspondence, and photogrpahs.
1913-1920
41, 43
Mines and Mineral investment records
Undated
44
Klickitat Mineral Springs records
1926-1958
45
General business investment and financial records
1875-1939
46-47
Personal correspondence and financial records
1887-1933
Ledgers
1890-1938
Box
50
Letter press books
1980-1908
Folder
MC.5.2
Maps and drawings
Box
48
Pamphlets, booklets, and advertisements
9: William W. Baker papers
Box
53-54
Legal papers
0.4 linear feet
This primarily contains material related to William Baker's estate and his personal invesments. There are several accouting sheets here as well, thus researchers of Baker Loan and Investment should consult these also.
53-54
Personal correspondence and notes
0.2 linear feet
This includes personal letters, records kept by W.W. regarding his illness, his correspondence with his sister Rosalia Baker Lewis, and his investigative records into the processes for manufacturing gas. Of special note are his correspondence with then Lieutenant William Baker Ferguson, when Ferguson was a prisoner of war in Germany in World War II.
1910-1948
45
Personal Correspondence
Arranged alphabetically per entity or person addressed
1907-1939
63
Bound records
2.87 linear feet
This contains his college notebooks and financial ledgers.
1880-1948
64
Check registers
0.2 linear feet
1904-1948
56-59
Receipts and billing correspondence
3.6 linear feet
This sub-series contains W.W.'s receipts and correspendence relating primarily to his business interests.
Loose correspondence and receipts are arranged together chronologically, and where original order was evident, it was preserved.
1888-1945
62
Letter press book and trial balance ledger
60-61
Book materials
1 linear feet
This contains research materials and original manuscript for Forty Years A Pioneer and newspaper clippings.
1930--1934
Folder
MC.5.2
World War II maps
1944
MC.5.2
W.W. Baker Dixie Farm house plans
1940
Box Box
65 16
10: Family papers
Contained here is a handwritten song about the American Civil War and materials without personal identification or association, including three Columbia University notebooks, advertisements, and correspondence. The notebooks may have been donated by Henrietta Baker Kennedy.

2:  Dorsey S. Baker Ledgers, 1858-1901Return to Top

These are the business accounting ledgers kept by Dorsey S. Baker. Most of the Dorsey Syng Baker ledgers dated before 1870 pertain to the business of the mercantile firm of D.S. Baker and Company; most of those dated after 1870 pertain to Baker and Boyer Bank. Where there are records on other subjects, it has been noted.

Container(s) Description Dates
Ledgers of Dorsey Syng Baker and his estate.
object
29
Volume 1: Ledger, indexed
1858-1888 June
30
Volume 2: Day Book
1858 June-1868; 1874-1882
31
Volume 3: Cash Book
1859 March -1878 January
32
Volume 4: Cash Book
1861 May 1-1861 June 24
33
Volume 5: Ledger, indexed
1861
34
Volume 6: Day Book
1861 May 1-1861 August 21
35
Volume 7: Day Book
1861 June-1863
36
Volume 8: Ledger, indexed
1862-1864
37
Volume 9: Cash Book
1862 August; 1863 July; 1870 January; 1874 February
38
Volume 10: Cash Book
1862-1868
39
Volume 11: Ledger, indexed
1862-1872
40
Volume 12: Day Book
1863-1864
41
Volume 13: Net Worth Register
1863
42
Volume 14: Day Book
1864-1865
43
Volume 15: Day Book
1865 January-1865 May
44
Volume 16: Day Book
1865 June-1865 October
45
Volume 17: Day Book
1865 October-1866 May
46
Volume 18: Day Book
1862-1863; 1870-1874
47
Volume 19: Day Book
1866 May-1866 December
48
Volume 20: D.S. Baker and Company stock accounts
1866-1868
49
Volume 21: Ledger, indexed
1864-1865
50
Volume 22: Ledger, indexed
1866-1867
51
Volume 23: Day Book
1866-1867
52
Volume 24: Day Book
1867-1868
53
Volume 25: Day Book
1868-1869
54
Volume 26: Ledger
1868-1869
55
Volume 27: D.S. Baker and Company inventory of notes held
1869 January
56
Volume 28: Baker and Boyer Bank, first record book
1870-1875
57
Volume 29: Ledger, indexed
1871
58
Volume 30: Ledger, indexed
1872-1873
59
Volume 31: Dorsey S. Baker personal accounts ledger
1878-1883
60
Volume 32: Dorsey S. Baker personal cash book
1884-1888
61
Volume 33: Financial journal
1884
62
Volume 34: Ledger [Estate]
1888-1889
63
Volume 35: Ledger
1886
64
Volume 36: Cash Book [Estate]
1896-1901
65
Volume 37: Financial ledger [Estate]
1896-1897
66
Volume 38: Ledger [Estate]
1899; 1901-1902

3:  Business records, 1850-1970Return to Top

This series contains the collected records of Baker family businesses.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
107
1: Commercial Club of Walla Walla
Letter press book for this Walla Walla civic and business promotional organization.
1898-1899
96
2: Beehive Building ledger
This is record for the Beehive Building in Walla Walla. It primarily features accounts with B.F. Simpson and H.B. Dwelley.
1900-1913
96
3: Chapman, Hastings, and Baker
A receipt ledger for goods for and accounts paid to the company, which included William W. Chapman, L.B. Hastings, and Dorsey Syng Baker.
1850-1856
126-129
4: Bridge of the Gods management records
Correspondence, clippings, stock records, coupons, and crossing records for the bridge.The Northwest Toll Bridge Company for a period owned the outstanding bonds of the Wauna Toll Bridge Company, which constructed and managed the Wauna Toll Bridge, or Bridge of the Gods, which spans the Columbia River from near Stevenson, Washington to Cascade Locks, Oregon.
1922-1949
119
5: National Sugar Company Records
1 linear feet
Stock journal and capital stock certificate books 1-1251
1907-1908
112-115
6: Walla Walla Water Company records
5.75 linear feet
These records include the correspondence, financial and administrative records, letter press books, and scrapbook for this privately-held water supply company.
1880-1900
101
7: Merchants Transportation Line and steamship records
This sub-series contains the records of the enterprise that included the association of Dorsey Syng Baker, Captain A.P. Ankeny, Henry W. Corbett, William Gates, and Captain E.F. Baughman.
1862-1887
Merchant Transportation Line letter press book of Henry W. Corbett
1862-1864
The steamship Spray records.
1862-1863
The steamship Northwest records.
1878-1879
105-106
8: Mining and milling business records
0.8 linear feet
1887
116-118
9: Baker and Baker, Incorporated
Baker brothers Henry, president, and Edwin, vice president, along with his son Dorsey Franklin, formed a real estate, farm loan, land development, and investment company.
1898-1970
Garfield County, Washington records
Wheat rental, collateral, and warrants ledger
1904-1923
Coal briquets patent of William W. Langdon and investment papers
1912 January 16
102
10: Pacific Utilities Company
0.4 linear feet
This contains the ledgers, share certificates, and articles of incorporation for this short-lived company. Researchers should note that the stock certificate book was originally for Thunder Mountain and Lightening Peak Gold Mines Company of Washington state, but was reused for Pacific Utilities Company.
1916-1918
11: First National Bank of Moscow, Idaho Records
This sub-series contains the records of the banking business formed by W.W. Baker and Herbert Clark in Moscow, Idaho Territory. The bank name was changed circa 1886 to First National Bank, for which M.C. Moore was president and W.W. the cashier.
1882-1887
Box
103
Correspondence, legal documents, and check records
0.8 linear feet
1879-1887
104
Account ledgers
1881-1886
12: Baker Loan and Investment Company Records
This sub-series contains the records of the company, for which William Baker was president, Louis F. Anderson, vice president, and Charles F. Jones, secretary.
1891-1970; 1898-1957
Box
133
Incorporation and meeting records
0.875 linear feet
1900-1957
134-135
Expense ledgers
1.7 linear feet
This comprises 14 volumes.
1902-1952
132
Account ledgers
This comprises a stock ledger covering 1900-1970 and a wheat reciept book covering 1915-1937.
1900-1970; 1915-1937
130
Reports, contracts, and statements
This includes property use and stock agreements, insurance and banking records, and tax information.
131
Lease contracts
0.6 linear feet
136
William W. Baker's ledgers
This contains William Baker's loan and discount ledger and his dividend and wheat receipt ledger.
1891-1933
132
Letter Press Books
This comprises 7 volumes.
1910-1915
137-147
Correspondence
9.2 linear feet
Prior arrangement was alphabetical, although this sub-series was divided into four approximate time-spans, with some overlap.
1898-1953
148
Receipts
1 linear feet
1899-1914
149
Newsletters
0.4 linear feet
This contains the newletters What's Happening in Taxation and Government Regulation and Accountant's Weekly News Letter and some company notes regarding overtime orders.
1943-1944
13: Baker-Boyer National Bank
This small sub-series provides information on the bank's early 20th century refurbishment of its building, an array of deeds pertaining to the bank's land investments, some insurance policy records, and information on bonds and security management, especially between 1890 and 1935. In additon, there are a few documents relating to legal actions taken. This is the Walla Walla bank formed by Dorsey Syng Baker and John F. Boyer, which was initially named Baker-Boyer Bank.
1867-1958
Box
152-158
Baker-Boyer National Bank Building reconstruction records
4.4 linear feet
Renovation records, John Langdon's photographs of the building, and documents of a dispute and arbitration with the construction company.
1910-1911
159-162
Documents
3 linear feet
1867-1958
Box
125
14: Real Estate Improvement Company
0.2 linear feet
These records are for the initial financing and opening of the Marcus Whitman Hotel in Walla Walla. They contain the fund-raising ledger, original sketch of proposed site, several legal papers, and an opening dinner program.
1927-1928
Box
15: Baker-Langdon Orchards records
Henry C. Baker and John W. Langdon company. records, maps, and photographs.
1912-1934
96
16: Baker and Cline
Pumping outfit cost information. See also the maps in series 7.
96
17: Beehive Building accounting journal
A ledger showing the expenditures for the building. Melzar B. Dwelley and Bernard F. Simpson figure prominently in the record.
1900 May 15-1914 October 01
96
18: Cattle business records
1857-1876
96
19: Chapman, Hastings, and Baker ledger
This ledger contains the record of this Portland, Oregon business.
1850-1856
96
20: Cline Warehouse Company Records
These records include a notebook containing the articles of incorporation, accounts, and meeting notes for the board of directors, who were R.L. Cline, Henry Baker, and nephew Dorsey F. Baker, the latter two of Baker and Baker, Incorporated.
1913-1937
96
21: M.C. Moore and Company
Dorsey S. Baker contracted with Miles C. Moore to have Moore handle the pricing and shipping of Baker's wheat. These records contain the accounts for this business.
1878-1882
96
22: Moscow Real Estate and Commercial Association Articles of Association
1883 September 28
96
23: Walla Walla Hotel and Investment Company
Articles of incorporation and correspondence.
These records were removed from an envelope inside the front cover of the Walla Wallla Woolen Manufacturing Company ledger.
1889
96
24: Walla Walla Valley Traction Company
This brief collection contains several legal documents and correspondence.
1908-1909
96
25: Walla Walla Woolen Manufacturing Company
This ledger contains initial organizational letters for the company.
1887 May 02-1887 May 07
26: Walla Walla and Columbia River Railroad Company
2.2 linear feet
These records include correspondence, maps, stock and tonnage reports, and materials related to finances. Two letter press books and transcriptions of them are here: Dorsey S. Baker's, along with the transcriber's notes; and Edwin F. Baker's. Additionally, there is a small clipping collection.
1871-1887
General records
Correspondence, maps, finacial records, tonnage statements, treasury drafts, stock receitps, US Army correspondence, and printed material. Abridged list of corresponders: 160 letters Per a previous arranager, the notable correspondents include: John C. Ainsworth, 15 letters Edwin F. Baker, 7 letters Henry W. Corbett, 6 letters Henry Failing, 7 letters E.S. Kearney, 1 letter Willaim S. Ladd, 3 letters Simeon G. Reed, 8 letters General John W. Sprague, 5 letters C.E. Tilton, 2 letters Henry Villard, 10 letters Charles B. Wright, 2 letters
Box
99
This contains Dorsey S. Baker's letter press book and transcription.
1872-1884
98
This contains Edwin F. Baker's letter press book and transcription.
1877-1878
100
Clippings.
1879-1884
Box
108
27: Mill Creek Flume and Manufacturing Company
This collection contains the records of Dorsey Syng Baker's efforts to create a flume in the Walla Walla area. Here can be found the records pertaining to the company's incorporation, right-of-way deeds, land-use contracts and claims, finances, correspondence, and clippings.
1878-1888
109-110
27: Blue Mountain Flume Company
1.6 linear feet
This company took over the operations of the Mill Creek Flume and Manufacturing Company. This collection contains the records for financial and incorporation records, meeting minutes, land deeds, and correspondence. In a ledger is also a record of Mill Creek Camp Sites.
1888-1947; 1888-1938
111
28: Walla Walla Street Railway and Investment Company
1 linear feet
This contains the incorpration records, correspondence, reports, financial records, roadmaster and superintendent ledgers and notes, and stock certificates.
1889-1905
150-151
29: Moore-Baker Company
1.6 linear feet
This contains meeting minutes, stocks, and correspondence; insurance records; and some financial records for the insurance company.
1917-1951
120-124
30: Walla Walla Farmers' Agency Records
3 linear feet
This contains records of the agency, which provided grain, bags, twine, and fire insurance. Founding board members included Oliver T. Cornwell, Harry A. Reynolds, and B. Frank Brewer. This agency was associted with Northwestern Mutual Fire Association. The records include meeting minutes, annual reports, policy account records, mortages, automobile registration records, and tax records. A substantial record exists for a farm in Lewiston, Idaho.
1911-1934

4:  Baker family legal and financial documents, 1869Return to Top

These documents primarily relate to Dorsey S. Baker's finances, investments, insurance records, and contracts. Researchers should also consult related material in other series, such as the business records' series.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
75
1: Washinginton Territory petitions, bills, and acts
0.2 linear feet
Contains a draft of Dorsey's petition to change community property laws for the Washington Territory as well as copies of the ensuing act, territorial legislative bills and publications, a draft of the petition to incorporate the town of Walla Walla, and a certificate of signatures for Walla Walla board of commissioners.
1878-1894
77
2: Financial records
Check registers, tax receipts, records of accounts and collateral, and correspondence about finances.
1852-1905
74
3: Investment, contract, and insurance records
76
4: Legal documents
Primarily contains applications for farm loans, assignments of contracts and mortgages, bills of sale for property, chattel, and crops, collateral notes, foreclosure deeds, leases, satisfactions of mortgages, and water rights negotiation records.
1873-1934
68-69
5: Abstracts of Title
Abstracts of title for Baker family land investments.
1869-1936
66-67
6: Property deeds
This sub-series includes land deeds of indentureship and mortages, warranty, quit-claim, bond for deed, deeds for trust, and articles for agreement. Leases, sheriffs deeds and foreclosures, as well as satisfactions of mortgages, whether in full or partial, are also included, as are many original land grant certificates.
Arranged chronologically by date of creation or closure of deed. All but the leases, sherriffs' deed, foreclosure documents, and land grant certificates are arranged togther.
1850-1940
72
7: Deeds to railroads
Deeds concerning land owned by Baker family member, the Dorsey S. Baker Estate, the Oregon and Washington Territory Railroad Company, the Oregon Railway Navigation Company, and the Northern Pacific Railroad Company.
73
8: Detail lists of properties
0.4 linear feet
Lists of land owned by Baker family members.
1876-1889
78
9: Receipts and cancelled checks
This sub-series constitutes receipts and records for taxes, personal items, and property management.
1866-1903

5:  Dorsey Syng Baker Estate Records, undatedReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
92
1: Dorsey Syng Baker will and estate records
Includes the record of the settlement and management of the estate hodlings.
Box
94
6: Estate legal papers
Box
4: Estate correspondence
5: Estate financial documents
93
Estate accounting ledgers
79
2: Will and estate distribution
Distribution of assets, asset lists, copies of will, and post-marriage covenant with Elizabeth Baker.
79
3: Whitman College papers
1885-1886; 1906

6:  Papers of Baker family business associates or clients, 1857-1987Return to Top

The papers in this series contain legal and records documents of people not of the Baker family, but collected and kept by various family members. Some pertain to buisiness or legal matters, others to the Dorsey S. Baker Estate.

These records are arranged separately here because they appeared to have been organized individually by the creators. Even so, records in other series within this finding aid should also be researched for material concerning the people categorized in this series.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
165
1: Henry E. and Cordelia L. Akeny papers
Correspondence and legal papers, with some relating to the Baker Estate.
1885-1892
165
2: William Henry Besley papers
Diary, correspondence, and expense records. His surname is alternatively spelled Besly by other creators of this collection. Besley was a business partner and employee of Dorsey S. Baker.
1857-1863
165
3: Oswald Brechtel papers
Tax records and correspondence pertaining to his property.
1896-1987
165
4: George A. Evans estate papers
1929-1946
165
5: Marshall Field papers
Legal papers and correspondence pertaining the the Baker Estate.
1891-1899
165
6: William H. Gilbert papers
Legal documents and receipts relating to the McKinnon Mill property in Whatcom County, Washington.
1889-1893
165
7: William Orville and Mary F. Green papers
Belsey, Green and company account book, legal documents, and a bank ledger.
1863-1912
165
8: Herbert E. Johnson property deeds
Legal documents pertaining to the Nahant property in Essex county, Massachusetts and one piece of correspondence regarding property in Port Townsend, Washington.
1891-1899
165
9: Kennedy Elavator
Two documents relating to Mrs. John H. Connell's share in the elavator, part of Kennedy estate, but not for James K. Kennedy.
1928
165
10: James D. Laman estate papers
Legal documents regarding claims, especially by the Dorsey S. Baker estate, against Laman's estate.
1895-1898
165
11: Edward H. Morrison papers
Legal documents, deeds, and correspondence regarding real estate negotiations.
1881-1899
165
12: Daniel F. Percival and Company
This folder contains documents and correspondence between the Dorsey S. Baker Estate and Daniel, or D.F., Percival, pertaining to notes on collateral for loans.
1891-1901
165
13: Edward Louis Powell account records
These papers contain the depot records of accounts and the correspondence of Edward, or E.L., the Pioneer Supply Depot proprietor, with officers of Baker-Boyer National Bank.
1884-1888
165
14: Preston Brothers financial records
This containt the receipts and business correspondence between William and Platt Preston and Dorsey Syng Baker concernig the Prestons' Washington Flour Mills and Preston, Powell and company.
1880-1883
165
Isham Tyree Reese papers
Records and bankruptcy papers for Washington Territory merchant, early Walla Walla civic leader, and an early Jewish settler of the territory.
1869-1875
165
15: Harvey Shaw papers
These records contain the property deeds and other documents relating the negotiations between Baker-Boyer National Bank and Shaw for Joel D. Woodworth's property.
1881-1897
165
16: David W. Small papers
The papers here records some of the negotiations between Small and Baker-Boyer National Bank.
1890-1898
165
17: John C. Smith record of loan
1888-1894
165
18: A.W. Sweeney collateral wheat receipts
1888
165
19: Walla Walla Agriculture and Industrial Exposition, Incorporated records
1885-1891; 1891
165
20: George and William T. Wright papers
Correspondence and records pertaining to their businesses Union Mills, George Wright and Son, George Wright and Company, and Baker and Wright. William T. (W.T.) Wright was the son of George.
1864-1882
166
21: Oliver T. Cornwell papers
1 linear feet
1909-1934
169
22: William Guest Shuham papers
1 linear feet
Correspondence and cashier records for Shuham, who was an executive with Baker-Boyer National Bank. These records were arranged geographically, chronologically, and alphabetically, per his work for banks in Spokane and Walla Walla.
1924-1935
167-168
23: Obediah, Mary, and Dollie Osborn estate papers
This collection primarily contains the legal and business papers of Obediah and Mary Clementine Osborn and their daughter Dollie Frances Maling. John W. Langdon, an employee of Baker-Boyer Bank, managed the Osborn estate, which included a Walla Walla area farm.
1897-1913

7:  Maps, plats, and plat books, undatedReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Folder
MC.5.2
List of maps and loose plats
  • Walnut Grove Addition plat, Walla Walla, May 2, 1892. Two plats, for Baker-Boyer National Bank.
  • Palouse Street Addition plat, Walla Walla, November 29, 1899, for D.S. Baker Estate.
  • Baker-Langdon Heights plat, undated
  • Walla Walla homesteads plat, undated.
  • Baker-Langdon Orchard, orchard design drawings, circa 1900-1910, by L.W. Loehr. 5 copies.
  • Baker-Langdon Orchard, chart recording sale of apples, September 29, 1916-January 12, 1917.
  • Baker-Langdon Orchard, drawings for apple processing plant, circa 1915-1919. 3 drawings.
  • Baker and Cline records, map of pumping stations and line form Snake River
  • J.D. Jones drawing of oiling system, Holt Combined Harvester, undated.
  • Proposed Baker Ditch map, Walla Walla County, May 1926, by Dorsey F. Baker. 2 copies
  • Railroad map, Walla Walla area, showing Northern Pacific Line, undated
  • Baker family genealogy, by Ruth Baker Kimball, 1976, in circular form
The following two listings are rolled and stored together on map shelf 4.
  • Titus Creek maps, Walla Walla, November 1925, by E.R. Smith, from G. Cookerly survey.
  • Baker and Cline Company, survey for pipeline
Box
163
Plat books
1.7 linear feet
This contains 8 books, some containing loose maps.

8:  Inventories of previous arrangements, undatedReturn to Top

Container(s): Box 164

Included here are copies of previous arrangers' publications and inventories. Please note that these inventories are incomplete.

9:  Unprocessed accession, 1871-1963Return to Top

Container(s): Box 170-174

2 linear feet, (5 boxes)

This is an unprocessed addition to the Baker family papers. Materials include the personal correspondances of William W. Baker, Dorsey S. Baker II, and Howard D. Baker, as well as business records, and financial records.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Personal Names :
  • Baker, Barton Peisch
  • Baker, Caroline Tibbetts
  • Baker, Clara Elizabeth Young
  • Baker, Dorsey Franklin
  • Baker, Dorsey Syng
  • Baker, Edwin Franklin
  • Baker, Edwin Sebastian
  • Baker, Elizabeth Hannah Millican Horton McCullough
  • Baker, Emma Jones
  • Baker, Ezra Haupt
  • Baker, Henry Clay Dorsey
  • Baker, Mary Esther Jones
  • Baker, Mary Leiger
  • Baker, Sarah Ann Miller
  • Baker, William W.
  • Baker, William W.
  • Besley, William Henry
  • Boyer, John Franklin
  • Boyer, John Franklin
  • Clark, Herbert
  • Cornwell, Oliver T.
  • Evans, George A.
  • Green, William Orville
  • Green, William Orville
  • Kennedy, Harriet Tibbetts Waller
  • Kennedy, James K.
  • Kennedy, Lincoln Earl
  • Langdon, John Warren
  • Langdon, William Warren
  • Moore, Miles C. (Miles Conway)
  • Morrison, Edward H.
  • Ogilbee, John Watson
  • Osborn, Obediah
  • Powell, Edward Louis
  • Preston, Platt A.
  • Preston, William G.
  • Reese, Isham Tyree
  • Shuham, Walter Guest
  • Tibbetts, Gideon
  • Tibbetts, Mary Fox
  • Tibbetts, Oscar
  • Wright, George
  • Wright, William T.
  • Corporate Names :
  • Baker and Baker, Incorporated
  • Baker Boyer National Bank
  • Baker Loan and Investment Company
  • Castilloa Rubber Plantation
  • Chapman, Hastings, and Baker
  • Cline Warehouse Company
  • Comstock Extension Mining and Milling Company
  • Cyanide Mining and Milling Company
  • D.S. Baker and Company
  • M.C. Moore and Company (Walla Walla, Wash.)
  • Merchants Transportation Line (Portland, Or.)
  • Middle Cascade Portage Company (Walla Walla Wash.)
  • Mill Creek Flume and Manufacturing Company (Walla Walla, Wash.)
  • Moore-Baker Company (Walla Walla, Wash.)
  • National Sugar Company, Incorporated (Los Angeles, Ca.)
  • Northwest Toll Bridge Company (Walla Walla, Wash.)
  • Oregon Railway and Navigation Company (Portland, Or.)
  • Pacific Utilities Company (Walla Walla, Wash.)
  • Park Improvement Company (Walla Walla, Wash.)
  • Pioneer Supply Depot (Waitsburg, Wash.)
  • Preston Brothers (Waitsburg, Wash.)
  • Union Mills (Union, Or.)
  • Walla Walla and Columbia River Railroad (Walla Walla, Wash.)
  • Walla Walla Commercial Club (Walla Walla, Wash.)
  • Walla Walla Farm Agency (Walla Walla, Wash.)
  • Walla Walla Farmers' Agency (Walla Walla, Wash.)
  • Walla Walla Hotel and Investment Company (Walla Walla, Wash.)
  • Walla Walla Street Railway and Investment Company (Walla Walla, Wash.)
  • Walla Walla Traction Company (Walla Walla, Wash.)
  • Walla Walla Valley Railroad Company (Walla Walla, Wash.)
  • Walla Walla Water Company (Walla Walla, Wash.)
  • Walla Walla Woolen Manufacturing Company (Walla Walla, Wash.)
  • Wardner Mining and Milling Company (Walla Walla, Wash.)
  • Warm Water irrigation Company (Walla Walla, Wash.)
  • Washington Flour Mills (Waitsburg, Wash.)
  • Wauna Toll Bridge Company (Walla Walla, Wash.)
  • Whitman College
  • Whitman Seminary
  • Young, Vail, and Company (Oakland, Or.)
  • Family Names :
  • Baker family