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Collection 1119 - Charles W. Baker Diary, 1864-1868

Creator: Baker, Charles W., fl. 1864-1868

Provenance Note: Mimeographed typed transcript of the Charles W. Baker diary was donated to Special Collections by Della Mae Jacobs of Cabool, Missouri on April 25, 1975.

Historical Note: Charles W. Baker was a schoolteacher from Polo, Illinois, who decided to immigrate to Montana Territory in 1864. Starting his trip from Polo on April 21 of that year, Baker embarked with several other individuals which likely included his brother Joseph. The Baker party followed The Platte River route to Fort Laramie and then north along the Bozeman Road and Bridger Cutoff. Initially settling in the Virginia City area, Baker engaged in mining until he returned east in 1867 by way of the Missouri River. He married Lydia Windle of Polo, Illinois in February 1868 and the couple afterwards made their home in Missouri.

Content Description Note: The Charles W. Baker diary is a mimeographed typed transcription of originals in the possession of the Marvin Jacobs family of Cabool, Missouri; the Howard Prather family of Liberty, Missouri; the John T. Baker family of Cameron Missouri; and the Charles W. Baker family of Northridge, California. The diary consists of terse daily entries describing The journey to Montana, incidents occurring along the Bozeman Road and Bridger's Cutoff, life in Virginia City, mining and social activities, and the return trip east by way of Fort Benton and the Missouri River. Also included are transcriptions from financial account books kept by Baker during his years in Montana.

Contents | Special Collections

Updated: 3/4/09