The Baker Family Collection, 1850-1970  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Baker family
The Baker Family Collection
1850-1970 (inclusive)
1850-1948 (bulk)
40 linear feet, (168 boxes)
Collection Number
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.
Whitman College and Northwest Archives
Whitman College and Northwest Archives
Penrose Library, Room 130
345 Boyer Avenue
Walla Walla, WA
Telephone: 509-527-5922
Fax: 509-526-4785
Access Restrictions

Collection is open to researchers.

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

Historical NoteReturn to Top

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.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Researchers are responsible for use in accordance with 17 U.S.C. Some copyright owned by Whitman College.

Preferred Citation

Baker Family Collection, Whitman College and Northwest Archives.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Series 1:  Baker family papersReturn 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
2.275 linear feet
Photographs and a photo album of images of Baker and Tibbetts family members and homes.
4, 70
: Geneaology
0.7 linear feet
Contains notes of family members and staff at Whitman College on the extended Baker family and the family Bible.
: 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.
: 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.
1.27 linear feet
Volume 1
Account book of Young, Vail and Company.
Volume 2
Stock lists and financial memoranda.
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
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
Volume 5
Trip from The Dalles, Oregon, to Rock Creek, British Columbia. Includes sketched maps and some financial records. Transcript included.
Volume 6
Fragmentary list of notes and accounts.
1860; 1863-1864
Volume 9
Account book.
Volume 10
Petty cash and gold dust account.
1863 June-1863 December
Volume 11
Expense account book.
1863 April-1863 October
Volume 12
Petty cash book.
Volume 14
Cattle account records.
1864 May-1864 October
Volume 15
1864 August-1864 December
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.
Volume 18
Rent accounts along with family expenses for Baker and William Orville Green.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Volume 24 [supplement]
Drafts of telegraphic messages. Account of a Bannock Indian skirmish at Blalock Island. Miscellaneous financial records. Transcript included.
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.
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.
Volume 28
Fragmentary notes.
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.
D.S. Baker correspondence, incoming
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
: Mary Legier Baker papers
This collection consists of only two letters.
: Elizabeth Baker papers
This sub-series includes her financial ledger, correspondence, and estate records.
Note that her second husband's surname is alternatively spelled McCulla.
: 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 herExcerpts from E.F. Baker Family Letters.
: 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.
Will, estate records, and obituary
General 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.
Personal records
This contains Henry Baker's records for banking, insurance, investments, and taxes, as well as legal documents.
John Warren Langdon papers
Umatilla County land investment records
Washington Territory general land records
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.
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.
30, 35 MC5,2
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.
Photographs of business enterprises
Most images are taken by John W. Langdon of their joint venture Klickitat Mineral Springs processing plant.
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.
41, 43
Mines and Mineral investment records
Klickitat Mineral Springs records
General business investment and financial records
Personal correspondence and financial records
13 volumes
Letter press books
8 volumes
Maps and drawings
Pamphlets, booklets, and advertisements
: William W. Baker papers
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.
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.
Personal Correspondence
Arranged alphabetically per entity or person addressed
Bound records
2.87 linear feet
This contains his college notebooks and financial ledgers.
Check registers
0.2 linear feet
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.
Letter press book and trial balance ledger
Book materials
1 linear feet
This contains research materials and original manuscript for Forty Years A Pioneer and newspaper clippings.
World War II maps
W.W. Baker Dixie Farm house plans
0.4 linear feet
65, 16
: 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.

Series 2:  Dorsey S. Baker LedgersReturn 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.

Description Dates
Ledgers of Dorsey Syng Baker and his estate.
Volume 1: Ledger, indexed
1858-1888 June
Volume 2: Day Book
1858 June-1868; 1874-1882
Volume 3: Cash Book
1859 March -1878 January
Volume 4: Cash Book
1861 May 1-1861 June 24
Volume 5: Ledger, indexed
Volume 6: Day Book
1861 May 1-1861 August 21
Volume 7: Day Book
1861 June-1863
Volume 8: Ledger, indexed
Volume 9: Cash Book
1862 August; 1863 July; 1870 January; 1874 February
Volume 10: Cash Book
Volume 11: Ledger, indexed
Volume 12: Day Book
Volume 13: Net Worth Register
Volume 14: Day Book
Volume 15: Day Book
1865 January-1865 May
Volume 16: Day Book
1865 June-1865 October
Volume 17: Day Book
1865 October-1866 May
Volume 18: Day Book
1862-1863; 1870-1874
Volume 19: Day Book
1866 May-1866 December
Volume 20: D.S. Baker and Company stock accounts
Volume 21: Ledger, indexed
Volume 22: Ledger, indexed
Volume 23: Day Book
Volume 24: Day Book
Volume 25: Day Book
Volume 26: Ledger
Volume 27: D.S. Baker and Company inventory of notes held
1869 January
Volume 27: Baker and Boyer Bank inventory of notes held
1870 January
Volume 28: Baker and Boyer Bank, first record book
Volume 29: Ledger, indexed
Volume 30: Ledger, indexed
Volume 31: Dorsey S. Baker personal accounts ledger
Volume 32: Dorsey S. Baker personal cash book
Volume 33: Financial journal
Volume 34: Ledger [Estate]
Volume 35: Ledger
Volume 36: Cash Book [Estate]
Volume 37: Financial ledger [Estate]
Volume 38: Ledger [Estate]
1899; 1901-1902

Series 3:  Business recordsReturn to Top

This series contains the collected records of Baker family businesses.

Container(s) Description Dates
Commercial Club of Walla Walla
Letter press book for this Walla Walla civic and business promotional organization.
: 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.
Chapman, Hastings, and Baker
: 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.

Wauna Toll Bridge records
Northwest Toll Bridge records
: National Sugar Company Records
1 linear feet
Stock journal and capital stock certificate books 1-1251
This company was the parent corporation and owner of the Stewart process patents.
: 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.
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.
Transcriber's notes for Merchant Transportation Line letter press book of Henry W. Corbett
Transcription of Merchant Transportation Line letter press book of Henry W. Corbett
Merchant Transportation Line letter press book of Henry W. Corbett
The steamship Spray records.
The steamship Northwest records.
: Mining and milling business records
0.8 lineaer feet
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.
Researchers of Baker and Baker should also see the papers of Henry Baker.
Garfield County, Washington records
0.4 linear feet
Wheat rental, collateral, and warrants ledger
Coal briquets patent of William W. Langdon and investment papers
1912 January 16
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.
: Baker and Clark RecordsFirst 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.
Correspondence, legal documents, and check records
0.8 linear feet
: Account ledgers
0.6 linear feet
A box of cancelled checks is also included in this box
: 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.
1898-1970; 1898-1957
Incorporation and meeting records
0.875 linear feet
Expense ledgers
1.7 linear feet
This comprises 14 volumes.
Account ledgers
This comprises a stock ledger covering 1900-1970 and a wheat reciept book covering 1915-1937.
1900-1970; 1915-1937
Reports, contracts, and statements
This includes property use and stock agreements, insurance and banking records, and tax information.
Lease contracts
0.6 linear feet
William W. Baker's ledgers
This contains William Baker's loan and discount ledger and his dividend and wheat receipt ledger.
Letter Press Books
This comprises 7 volumes.
9.2 linear feet
Prior arrangement was alphabetical, although this sub-series was divided into four approximate time-spans, with some overlap.
2.8 linear feet
1.8 linear feet
2.8 linear feet
Of this sub-collection, one small document case only contains records pertaining to Reverend Edward L. and Rosalia Baker Smith.
0.10 linear feet
1 linear feet
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.
: 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.
Researchers should also see the Baker Loan and Investment records, as well as the ledgers and the journals of Dorsey Syng Baker.
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.
3 linear feet
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.
: Baker-Langdon Orchards records
Henry C. Baker and John W. Langdon company. records, maps, and photographs.
: Baker and Cline
Pumping outfit cost information. See also the maps in series 7.
: Beehive Building accounting journal
A ledger showing the expenditures for the building. Melzar B. Dwelley and Bernard F. Simpson figure prominently in the record.
15 May 1900-1 October 1914
: Cattle business records
1 folder
See also D.S. Bake's journals for the same time frame.
: Chapman, Hastings, and Baker ledger
This ledger contains the record of this Portland, Oregon business.
: 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.
: 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.
: Moscow Real Estate and Commercial Association Articles of Association
Handwritten copy.
28 September 1883
: Walla Walla Hotel and Investment Company
1 folder
Articles of incorporation and correspondence.
These records were removed from an envelope inside the front cover of the Walla Wallla Woolen Manufacturing Company ledger.
: Walla Walla Valley Traction Company
This brief collection contains several legal documents and correspondence.
: Walla Walla Woolen Manufacturing Company
1 ledger
This ledger contains initial organizational letters for the company.
2 May 1887-7 May 1887
95, 97-99
: 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.
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
This contains Dorsey S. Baker's letter press book and transcription.
This contains Edwin F. Baker's letter press book and transcription.
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.
: 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
: Walla Walla Street Railway and Investment Company
1 linear foot
This contains the incorpration records, correspondence, reports, financial records, roadmaster and superintendent ledgers and notes, and stock certificates.
: Moore-Baker Company
1.6 linear feet
This contains meeting minutes, stocks, and correspondence; insurance records; and some financial records for the insurance company.
: 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.

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

Container(s) Description Dates
: 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.
: Financial records
Check registers, tax receipts, records of accounts and collateral, and correspondence about finances.
: Investment, contract, and insurance records
: 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.
: Abstracts of Title
Abstracts of title for Baker family land investments.
: 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.
: 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.
: Detail lists of properties
0.4 linear feet
Lists of land owned by Baker family members.
: Receipts and cancelled checks
This sub-series constitutes receipts and records for taxes, personal items, and property management.

Series 5:  Dorsey Syng Baker Estate Records, Return to Top

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

Series 6:  Papers of Baker family business associates or clientsReturn 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.

Container(s) Description Dates
: Henry E. and Cordelia L. Akeny papers
Correspondence and legal papers, with some relating to the Baker Estate.
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.
: Oswald Brechtel papers
Tax records and correspondence pertaining to his property.
: George A. Evans estate papers
: Marshall Field papers
Legal papers and correspondence pertaining the the Baker Estate.
: William H. Gilbert papers
Legal documents and receipts relating to the McKinnon Mill property in Whatcom County, Washington.
: William Orville and Mary F. Green papers
Belsey, Green and company account book, legal documents, and a bank ledger.
: 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.
: 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.
: James D. Laman estate papers
Legal documents regarding claims, especially by the Dorsey S. Baker estate, against Laman's estate.
: Edward H. Morrison papers
Legal documents, deeds, and correspondence regarding real estate negotiations.
: 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.
: 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.
: 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.
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.
: 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.
: David W. Small papers
The papers here records some of the negotiations between Small and Baker-Boyer National Bank.
: John C. Smith record of loan
: A.W. Sweeney collateral wheat receipts
: Walla Walla Agriculture and Industrial Exposition, Incorporated records
1885-1891; 1891
: 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.
Oliver T. Cornwell papers
1 linear feet
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.
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.

Series 7:  Maps, plats, and plat booksReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
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
: Plat books
1.7 linear feet
This contains 8 books, some containing loose maps.

Series 8:  Inventories of previous arrangementsReturn to Top

Container(s): Box 164

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

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Personal Names :
  • Baker, Clara Elizabeth Young, 1860-1947
  • Baker, Emma Jones, 1880-1978
  • Baker, Mary Esther Jones, 1868-1903
  • Baker, Sarah Ann Miller, 1853-1945
  • Baker, Caroline Tibbetts, 1834-1863
  • Baker, Dorsey Syng, 1823-1888
  • Boyer, John Franklin, 1824-1897
  • Clark, Herbert,
  • Evans, George A., 1835-1916
  • Green, William Orville, 1830-1878
  • Kennedy, Harriet Tibbetts Waller, b. 1843
  • Osborn, Obediah, 1835-1904
  • Powell, Edward Louis, b. 1851
  • Preston, Platt A., 1837-1900
  • Preston, William G., 1832-1916
  • Reese, Isham Tyree, 1829-1903
  • Other Creators :
    • Personal Names :
    • Baker, Barton Peisch, 1821-1894 (creator)
    • Baker, Dorsey Franklin, 1880-1961 (creator)
    • Baker, Edwin Franklin, 1851-1936 (creator)
    • Baker, Edwin Sebastian, b. 1816 (creator)
    • Baker, Ezra Haupt, b. 1816 (creator)
    • Baker, Henry Clay Dorsey, 1858-1943 (creator)
    • Baker, Mary Leiger, 1840-1865 (creator)
    • Baker, W.W., 1861-1948 (creator)
    • Baker, Dorsey Syng, 1823-1888 (creator)
    • Baker, Elizabeth Hannah Millican Horton McCullough, 1840-1917 (creator)
    • Baker, William W., 1861-1948 (creator)
    • Besley, William Henry (creator)
    • Boyer, John Franklin, 1824-1897 (creator)
    • Cornwell, Oliver T. 1863-1935 (creator)
    • Green, William Orville, 1830-1878 (creator)
    • Kennedy, James K., 1824-1907 (creator)
    • Kennedy, Lincoln Earl, 1893-1969 (creator)
    • Langdon, John Warren, 1871-1930 (creator)
    • Langdon, William Warren, 1843-1915 (creator)
    • Moore, Miles Conway, 1845-1919 (creator)
    • Morrison, Edward H., b. 1846 (creator)
    • Ogilbee, John Watson, 1846-1927 (creator)
    • Shuham, Walter Guest, 1880-1961
    • Tibbetts, Mary Fox, 1815-1901 (creator)
    • Tibbetts, Gideon, 1808-1887 (creator)
    • Tibbetts, Oscar, b. 1841 (creator)
    • Wright, George, 1817-1893 (creator)
    • Wright, William T., 1845-1917 (creator)

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Family Names :
  • Baker family

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Corporate Names :
  • Middle Cascade Portage Company -- Walla Walla (Wash.)
  • Northwest (ship)
  • Oregon Railway and Navigation Company -- Portland (Or)
  • Spray (ship)
  • Whitman College --Walla Walla (Wash.)
  • Whitman Seminary -- Walla Walla (Wash.)
  • Other Creators :
    • Corporate Names :
    • Baker and Baker, Incorporated -- Walla Walla (Wash.) (creator)
    • Baker and Clark -- Moscow (Id.) (creator)
    • Baker and Cline -- Walla Walla (Wash.) (creator)
    • Baker Loan and Investment Company -- Walla Walla (Wash.) (creator)
    • Baker-Boyer National Bank -- Walla Walla (Wash.) (creator)
    • Baker-Langdon Orchard -- Walla Walla (Wash.) (creator)
    • Besley, Green and Company -- Walla Walla (Wash.) (creator)
    • Castilloa Rubber Plantation -- Walla Walla (Wash.) (creator)
    • Chapman, Hastings, and Baker -- Portland (Or.) (creator)
    • Cline Warehouse Company-- Walla Walla (Wash.) (creator)
    • Comstock Extension Mining and Milling Company -- Walla Walla (Wash.) (creator)
    • Cyanide Mining and Milling Company-- Spokane (Wash.) (creator)
    • D.S. Baker and Company -- Portland (Or.) (creator)
    • First National Bank -- Moscow (Id.) (creator)
    • George Wright and Company -- Union (Or.) (creator)
    • M.C. Moore and Company -- Walla Walla (Wash.) (creator)
    • Merchants Transportation Line -- Portland (Or.) (creator)
    • Mill Creek Flume and Manufacturing Company -- Walla Walla (Wash.) (creator)
    • Moore-Baker Company -- Walla Walla (Wash.) (creator)
    • Moscow Real Estate and Commercial Association -- Moscow (Id.) (creator)
    • National Sugar Company, Incorporated -- Los Angeles (Ca.) (creator)
    • Northwest Toll Bridge Company -- Walla Walla (Wash.) (creator)
    • Pacific Utilities Company -- Walla Walla (Wash.) (creator)
    • Park Improvement Company -- Walla Walla (Wash.) (creator)
    • Pioneer Supply Depot -- Waitsburg (Wash.) (creator)
    • Preston Brothers -- Waitsburg (Wash.) (creator)
    • Real Estate Improvement Agency -- Seattle (Wash.) (creator)
    • Union Mills -- Union (Or.) (creator)
    • Walla Walla and Columbia River Railroad -- Walla Walla (Wash.) (creator)
    • Walla Walla Commercial Club -- Walla Walla (Wash.) (creator)
    • Walla Walla Farm Agency -- Walla Walla (Wash.) (creator)
    • Walla Walla Farmers' Agency -- Walla Walla (Wash.) (creator)
    • Walla Walla Hotel and Investment Company -- Walla Walla (Wash.) (creator)
    • Walla Walla Street Railway and Investment Company -- Walla Walla (Wash.) (creator)
    • Walla Walla Traction Company -- Walla Walla (Wash.) (creator)
    • Walla Walla Valley Railroad Company -- Walla Walla (Wash.) (creator)
    • Walla Walla Water Company -- Walla Walla (Wash.) (creator)
    • Walla Walla Woolen Maufacturing Company --Walla Walla (Wash.) (creator)
    • Wardner Mining and Milling Company -- Walla Walla (Wash.) (creator)
    • Warm Water irrigation Company -- Walla Walla (Wash.) (creator)
    • Washington Flour Mills -- Waitsburg (Wash.) (creator)
    • Wauna Toll Bridge Company -- Walla Walla (Wash.) (creator)
    • Young, Vail, and Company -- Oakland (Or.) (creator)

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Geographical Names :
  • Adams County (Wash.) History
  • Bridge of the Gods (Or. and Wash.)
  • Columbia River Interstate Bridge
  • Garfield County (Wash.) History
  • Lewiston (Idaho)
  • Portland (Or.) Genealogy
  • Portland (Or.) History
  • Washington Territory
  • Whatcom County (Wash.) History
  • Milton-Freewater (Or.)
  • Benton County (Wash.) History
  • Chelan County (Wash.) History
  • Columbia County (Wash.) History
  • Franklin County (Wash.) History
  • Grant County (Wash.) History
  • Jefferson County (Wash.) History
  • King County (Wash.) History
  • Lincoln County (Wash.) History
  • Mason County (Wash.) History
  • Moscow (Idaho)
  • Nez Perce County (Idaho) History, Local
  • Nez Perce County (Idaho) Maps
  • Oakland, (Or.)
  • Pierce County (Wash.) History
  • Portland (Or.) Commerce
  • Spokane County (Wash.) History
  • Spokane, (Wash.)
  • Union, (Or.)
  • Waitsburg, (Wash.)
  • Walla Walla (Wash.) Maps
  • Walla Walla (Wash.)
  • Walla Walla (Wash.) Commerce
  • Walla Walla (Wash.) History
  • Walla Walla (Wash.) Social life and customs
  • Walla Walla County (Wash.)
  • Walla Walla County (Wash.) Biography
  • Walla Walla County (Wash.) Economic conditions
  • Walla Walla County (Wash.) Genealogy
  • Walla Walla County (Wash.) History
  • Whitman County (Wash.) History

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Banks and banking
  • Banks and banking Washington (State) History
  • Farm labor
  • Land tenure Oregon
  • Land tenure Oregon Willamette River Valley History 19th century
  • Land titles Oregon
  • Water rights Washington (State)
  • Wheat farmers Northwest, Pacific History
  • Abstracts of title United States
  • Agriculture Washington (State), Eastern
  • Banking
  • Banks and banking Washington (State)
  • Land tenure Washington (State)
  • Land titles Washington (State)
  • Milling industry, Flour
  • Mining United States
  • Railroads Washington (State) History
  • Real estate business Washington (State)
  • Social life and customs Washington (State)
  • Utility companies, Rural
  • Washington (State) History Maps
  • Water rights Washington (State)
  • Wheat Northwest, Pacific History
  • Wheat Prices Washington (State)
  • Wheat Reproduction