T. F. BAKER. In a history of the banking institutions of Snyder and western Texas, mention should be made of T. F. Baker, cashier of the First National Bank of Snyder, and a man of excellent business ability and enterprise, who in his career is keeping in touch with modern progress characteristic of the times. A native of Tennessee, his birth occurred in Madison county on the 30th of May, 1875, and he was but eighteen months old when brought to Texas by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. James Henderson Baker. The former is now a prominent farmer and stock raiser of Jack county, Texas, where he located in pioneer times. He, too, was born in Madison county, Tennessee, his natal year being 1832, and in the state of his nativity he was reared to manhood and there followed several different occupations. When a young man he was overseer of the Negroes on a plantation belonging to his uncle, Turner Fuller, a very wealthy man. Subsequently he engaged in merchandising in Denmark, Madison county, prior to the outbreak of the Civil war. When hostilities began between the north and the south, he entered the Confederate service in 1861, and remained with the army through the four years of the war. He was several times detailed for special service and was in a hospital corps for a while. At the beginning of the war he was in the division of General Beauregard and later was attached to one of the Tennessee regiments until the fighting was ended. He saw active service, and although he participated in many hotly contested engagements he was never seriously wounded. He took part in the battle of Lookout Mountain, and he was in nearly all of the engagements in Tennessee and Georgia. After the war closed he returned home and found his mercantile business entirely ruined. He had lost all that he had and was a poor man. He then purchased a small farm in western Tennessee and entered upon the attempt to retrieve his lost possessions, remaining there until his removal to Texas in 1876, when he established his home in Jack county, where he has since resided. He has now attained an advanced age and he spends his time in supervising his stock and other interests. Mr. Baker was married twice, first in Tennessee, before the war, and again in 1874 to Miss Sarah Brown, of West Tennessee, by which marriage there have been born five children: Turner F., James E., William, Mattie Belle, and Egbert Ausburne. The daughter is now deceased.
Turner Fuller Baker, whose name introduces this review is practically a native son of Texas, for, with the exception of the first eighteen months of his life, he has always lived in this state. He remained in Jack county until fifteen years of age, and during that period attended the public schools. He then went to Hill county, Texas, where he spent two years in the employ of his uncle, Baalam Sanford, during which time he saved from his earnings a sum sufficient to enable him to continue his education, and being ambitious in this direction he spent two years at what was known as the North Texas Baptist College at Jacksboro, Texas, an institution which has since surrendered its character. When he had completed his two years’ course of study there Mr. Baker, then nineteen years of age, began teaching school, which profession he followed for three years in Jack county and for one year at Snyder, Texas, coming for one year at Snyder, Texas, coming here in 1897. On his retirement from the teacher’s profession he entered mercantile life in the employ of L. D. Grantham, with whom he remained for nearly two years, and on the organization of the First National Bank at Snyder he became bookkeeper. This was in October, 1900, and in October, 1902, he was appointed assistant cashier, so serving until January, 1905, when he was made cashier, which is his present connection with this strong and reliable financial institution. He is also one of the directors of the bank and is a popular official, his unfailing courtesy and helpful support, which he manifests to the patrons of the institutions, winning him the friendly regard of many with whom he has been associated.
Mr. Baker was married August 25, 1897, to Miss Lulu Antoinette McMath, of Seymour, Texas, a daughter of Mrs. N. E. McMath. This union has been blessed with three children, Augustus Grayum, Turner Fuller and Ralph Henderson.
Mr. Baker is deeply interested in local progress and advancement, and co-operates in many measures that have been of direct and tangible benefit in the material, intellectual and moral progress. He has been a member of the Christian church for about five years, and fraternally is connected with the Woodmen of the World and the Knights of the Pythias. He was council commander of the former and for about four years. He has always taken a deep interest in school affairs and was one of the prime movers in the organization of an independent school district for Snyder. He is a member of the school board and is now its treasurer. He built the telephone exchange at Snyder, which is an independent enterprise and after operating it for about eighteen months he sold the plant to other parties. He is a good business man, thoroughly capable of filling the responsible positions he holds.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 460-461.