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Naomi 'Nona' (Minard) Baker
(1872- ? )

Nona and her siblings, 1880s. Clockwise, from upper right: Royal "Dee," George,  Osie (seated, center), Ulysses Edward, Effie, Nona. Courtesy Dorothy (Carson) Baber

Naomi "Nona" (Minard) Baker was born on June 26, 1872 in Black Oak, Caldwell County, MO, the daughter of Nathan W. and Sarah Jane (Woodruff) Minard

At the age of five, she and her parents moved to Kansas where they were considered pioneer settlers of the town of Richland.  

On Christmas Eve 1890, when she was 18 years of age, Nona entered into marriage with 24-year-old William C. "W.C." Baker (1867-1942), a native of Findlay, OH, who also had migrated to Kansas in childhood. A probate judge in Shawnee County officiated.

The Bakers went on to become the parents of three children -- Grace Cox, Willard Carlteon "Carl" Baker and Edward "Dee" Baker.

Above: The Bakers' marriage license, 1890. Below: Streetcar on Topeka's Kansas Avenue, north from 9th Street

The young couple first lived on a farm in Richland, where their two children were born. They pulled up stakes and moved to Topeka. When the federal census was taken in 1900, Nona, Will and the two offspring lived on Chestnut Street in Topeka. Will 's occupation that year was as a day laborer. He is known to have worked for the Missouri Pacific Lines railroad while in Topeka. In a short time they moved again to Perkins, OK, where he found employment with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway.

By 1910, the Bakers had relocated to Winfield, Cowley County, KS, where William was employed as a foreman in a packing house. Their home was on Fourth Street. When her sister and brother-in-law Ida Bell and Henry Harrison "Clark" Cole and niece Matie (Dumars) Gleason visited for the Christmas holidays of 1910, it made news in the gossip columns of the Winfield Courier. Nona and her sisters had other visits over the years which also generated gossip coverage in the Topeka newspaper.

Again in 1920, Nona and William are shown in the census of Winfield, on East Fourth, with William continuing his work as a packing house foreman, with son Edward "Dee" employed there making boxes. After a move in the early 1920s to Madison, Greenwood County, KS, William managed a produce house assisted by the son, as shown in a special 1925 Kansas State Census. In all, they were in Winfield for 24 years.

Winfield, Kansas, early 1900s 

The Bakers relocated to Colorado by 1922 and that year, when Nona was named in the obituary of her father, they were in Lamar, CO. From Lamar they migrated to Dallas, TX and thence to Olpe, KS and El Dorado, Butler County, KS.

Union-Graham Cemetery, Winfield
Courtesy Linda Carpenter Shindler
In 1938, when Nona's brother Andrew "Edward" Minard died in Topeka, Nona and William made their home in El Dorado, and she was mentioned in the Topeka Daily Capital newspaper obituary. By 1941, at the death of her eldest sister Ida Bell, they were residing in Casper, Natrona County, WY, where their son Dee had settled. Then in 1945-In 1950, at the deaths of her sisters Emma Frances Dumars and Effie Pelsma Thomann, she was living in Wichita, Sedgwick County, KS. 

The pair marked their golden wedding anniversary in 1940 with an open-house party at the residence of their son Dee in Casper. In reporting on the happy event, the Casper Star Tribune said "The honored couple have lived in Casper since last April, but in that time have gained scores of friends and acquaintances. On the day of their anniversary they were showered with flowers, congratulatory telegrams, cards and gifts from 10 different states, and received the personal well-wishes from more than 50 guests." 

Sadly, while on a visit to their son Carl's home in Wichita, William passed away on Jan. 25, 1942. His obituary was printed in the Casper Star-Tribune and referred to him as a "produce dealer." His remains were shipped to Winfield to sleep under the sod of Union-Graham Cemetery. 

Extensive efforts to learn Nona's final fate has proven unsuccessful. 

~ Daughter Grace Ann (Baker) Cox Davis ~

Cedar Hill Cemetery, Ozona
Courtesy Nona Forrest
Daughter Grace Ann Baker (1891-1971) was born on Sept. 21, 1891 or 1892 in Kansas.

She lived in Winfield, KS in young womanhood.

On Aug. 27, 1910, in nuptials held in Wichita, the 18-year-old Grace entered into marriage with 21-year-old Charles K. Cox (1888- ? ). Rev. D.H. Sill officiated.

Together, they bore a son, Robert Guy Cox.

Circa 1920-1940, the Coxes dwelled in Dallas, TX. Charles' occupation in 1920 was selling advertising. Their home in 1928 was at 310 West 9th Street, in 1930 on McFarlin Street in the city's University Park and in 1940 at the address of 1718 St. Clair. In 1930, Charles was employed as a traveling salesman for a signs business, believed to have been Diamond Steel Highway Sign Company.

By 1957, she had wed a second time to J.W. Davis ( ? - ? ). At that time, she shared a home in Wichita with her brother Carl and aged mother. 

Her final years were spent in Ozona, Crockett County, TX. As her health declined she was admitted to Kerrville State Hospital in Kerr County. Having aspirated her food, she died there from asphyxiation at the age of 79 on Oct. 20, 1971. Her remains were lowered under the sod of Cedar Hill Cemetery in Ozona. A brief notice of her death was printed in the San Angelo Standard-Times.

Cedar Hill Cemetery, Ozona
Courtesy Nona Forrest
Son Robert Guy Cox (1911-1977) was born on May 15, 1911 or 1913 in Kansas. He lived in Winfield as a young man circa 1935. On Oct. 12, 1935, he wed Leota Freeman (April 18, 1913-1997), a native of Fort Worth, TX and the daughter of Malvera Hill and Mary Freeman. The couple exchanged their vows in a ceremony heldl in Marietta, OK. They lived in Dallas in 1940 where Robert worked as a cashier for a wholesale produce company and Leota as a contract clerk for a film business. They became the parents of George Cox. He joined the U.S. Army during World War II and attained the rank of master sergeant. Then in 1948, the Coxes moved to Ozona, Crockett County, TX, where Robert owned and operated a drugstore. The angel of death cleaved him away suddenly at the age of 66 on Aug. 10, 1977. Funeral services were conducted in the First Baptist Church. An obituary appeared in the Odessa American and a shorter notice of his passing in the San Angelo Standard-Times. Leota endured for another two decades after her husband's passing. As a patient in a San Angelo hospital, she died four days before Christams 1997 at the age of 84. Her obituary in the Standard-Times. said she "had been a resident of Ozona for 49 years." Their remains sleep in eternal repose in Cedar Hill Cemetery in Ozona. 

  • Grandson Robert Doyle Cox (1946- ? ) was born in about 1946 in Texas. He was a 1963 graduate of Ozona High School, achieving salutatorian status. In 1968, he received his bachelor's degree in mathematics and chemistry, with honors, from the University of Texas. He joined the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War and in 1969 he was a student at the U.S. Naval Officers Candidate School in Newport, RI. On May 17, 1969, in nuptials held at St. Francis Episcopal Church of Houston, he was married to Pamela Ann Sheppard ( ? - ? ), daughter of Lloyd B. Sheppard of Houston. Pamela was an alumna of Spring Branch High School and in 1969 received her bachelor of science degree in elementary education and art from Southwest Texas State College. While in college, she was a dormitory counselor and a contestant in the Miss Southwest Texas beauty contest and the All Campus Beauty Pageant. Three offspring were born to this union. The family resided in Friendswood, TX in 1977 and Georgetown, TX in 1997. 

~ Son Willard Carleton "Carl" Baker  ~

Son Willard Carlton "Carl" Baker (1893-1957) was born on Jan. 31, 1893 in Richland, KS. 

Carl was joined in wedlock with Betty Beltz ( ? - ? ).

Their only son was Cecil Mano Baker.

The Bakers' dwelling-place in 1940 was in Wichita, with a street address circa 1957 of 222 East Orme. Carl earned a living with the produce department of Swift & Company. They belonged to the United Brethren Church.

As of 1957, Carl provided a home for his aged mother and sister Grace Cox Davis. 

Carl suffered an enduring illness and died at the age of 64, in Larned, KS, on Aug. 25, 1957. An obituary in the Wichita Eagle said that Rev. Clayton G. Layman, of the West Side Evangelical and Reformed Church, presided at the funeral services, with burial in Winfield, KS.

Son Cecil Mano Baker (1917-1995) was born on June 10, 1917 in Winfield, KS. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He moved to the Pacific Northwest and was self-employed as an automotive upholsterer. His first wife was Oklahoma native Agnes E. (1923- ? ). They lived in Kansas before relocating to Grays Harbor County, WA. Their three daughters were Betty I. Caruthers, Helen M. Wilson and Alva Rose Miller Schneff. In 1959, Cecil tied the knot with Evelyn Maxine (Elliott) Dorland Gupton (Sept. 16, 1914-1997), originally from Westport, Grays Harbor County and the daughter of Guy and Ruth (Sergeant) Elliott. Evelyn had been married and divorced twice before. She thus brought several stepchildren into the union with Cecil -- Kenneth Dorland, Guy Dorland, John Gupton, Maxine Barnett and Barbara White. For decades, they dwelled in Aberdeen, Grays Harbor County, where Evelyn held a membership in the Order of Eastern Star. In her free time she liked to cook and sew. A smoker, Carl was burdened for years with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Sadly, he died in Laurelwood Care Center in Bellevue, WA at the age of 77 on Jan. 28, 1995. Burial was in the local Fern Hill Cemetery. Evelyn lived for another two-and-a-half years as a widow and resided during that time in Lacey, WA. As a patient in Roo-Lan Healthcare Center in Lacey, she was gathered in by the angel of death at the age of 82 on Sept. 6, 1997. The Olympian printed an obituary which said her survivors included 26 grandchildren, 42 great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren. Her interment took place in Fern Hill, with Tim Madding presiding.

  • Granddaughter Betty I. Baker (1941-2013) was born on Dec. 15, 1941 in Kansas. She grew up in Grays Harbor County, WA. She married Carl Jerome Caruthers (July 8, 1939-2004). Their pair of daughters were Ann Jolander and Cathy Caruthers. Carl was a longtime member of the U.S. Marine Corps and served during the Vietnam War. During his career he rose to the rank of master sergeant. Their dwelling-place was in Seattle in 1997. Sadly, Carl passed away on June 28, 2004. Betty survived him by 19 years. She died on Dec. 7, 2013. Interment of the remains was in Camano Island Lutheran Cemetery. Inscribed on her grave marker are the words, "We will love you always."

    Great-granddaughter Ann Caruthers was twice-wed. Her first spouse was (?) Bruno ( ? - ? ). They were the parents of Anthony Bruno and Zachary Bruno. In time her second husband was (?) Jolander. 

    Great-granddaughter Catherine "Cathy" Caruthers ( ? - ? ) 

  • Granddaughter Helen M. Baker (1947- ? ) was born in about 1947 in Kansas. She was very young when she accompanied her parents to a new life in Grays Harbor County, WA. She tied the marital knot with (?) Wilson. As of 1997, she was in Ephrata, Grant County, WA. She was still living when named in the 2013 obituary of her sister Betty Caruthers.
  • Granddaughter Alva Rose Baker (1949- ? ) was born in 1949 in St. Peter's Hospital in or near Olympia, WA. News of her birth was printed in the Olympian. Evidence suggests that she may have been elected Grand Bethel Honor Queen of Washington in 1967. Circa 1972, she entered into marriage with Wayne Stephen Miller ( ? - ? ) of Olympia. The pair settled in Portland. By 2013, she had wed again to (?) Schneff ( ? - ? ).
  • Step-grandson Kenneth L. Dorland (1937-2014) was born in 1937 in Aberdeen. He tied the knot with Christine ( ? - ? ). Their duo of offspring were Marcie Moores and Mark Dorland. Said a newspaper, "Ken always had a sense of wanderlust and never stayed in one place too long." They moved to Hawaii in 1981 and dwelled there for five years. The Dorlands relocated to Alaska where he was employed in the 1990s by the City of Fairbanks as information technology manager. They retired to Kauai, HI on New Year's Day 2000. He died in Honolulu on May 26, 2014. He was pictured in an obituary in the Honolulu Star Advertiser, which said he "always loved living near the water and the leisure life that Kauai offered." A celebration of his life was held at the Hawiliwili Yacht Club, and the family asked that any memorial donations be made to Doctors Without Borders.   

    Step-great-granddaughter Marcie Dorland married Michael Moores and put down roots in Lacey, WA.

    Step-great-grandson Mark Dorland wed Kathie and established their home in North Pole, AK.

  • Step-grandson Guy Dorland is thought to have served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War, aboard the USS Wright. Circa October 1960, he married Linda Jane McCormack. Their nuptials were conducted by Rev. Teddy E. Turner in the First Christian Church of Olympia. The pair divorced in 1966. He made his home in 1991-2014 in Olympia, WA. His second wife was Diane Laughlin ( ? - ? ), daughter of David Richard and late Agnes Cecilia (Perron) Laughlin.
  • Step-grandson John William Gupton (1937-2008) was born on Jan. 15, 1937 in Aberdeen, the son of Winslow John and Bonnie Bentley Gupton. He served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. While stationed in Texas, he met and married Doris Newby ( ? - ? ). Their wedding was held in Temple, TX four days before Christmas 1963. Together they produced a family of two -- David Dwayne Gupton and Carla Renee Carver. The pair moved to Austin in 1965 and thence to Cedar Park in 1968 where they remained for good. John was trained in carpentry and was employed as a union carpenter and then joined Leander I.S.D. Plant Services. His career with I.S.D. involved "overseeing the maintenance and construction of many new schools as the area exploded with growth," said the Austin American-Statesman. "His first thoughts were always what was best for the "kiddos" he served. He retired in 1999 after 21 years. In retirement, the couple liked to camp and travel and spent a lot of time at Lake Georgetown where he was dubbed "Mayor of Jim Hogg Park." John was stricken by lung cancer and died from its effects at the age of 71 on Aug. 24, 2008. His celebration of life was held at New Hope First Baptist Church of Cedar Park.
  • Step-granddaughter Maxine Dorland ( ? - ? ) was joined in wedlock with Jacke Barnett ( ? - ? ). They put down roots in Olympia and were there in 1997-2014. 
  • Step-granddaughter Barbara White lived in Ocean Shores, WA in 1991 and in Olympia in the late 1990s-2014. 

~ Son Edward "Dee" Baker  ~

Son Edward "Dee" Baker (1904-1972) was born on July 7, 1904 in Winfield, KS.

At the age of 16, he lived with his parents in Winfield, Cowley County, KS, and was employed as a box maker in a packing house. After they moved to Madison, Greenwood County, he is marked in their home in a special 1925 Kansas State Census, assisting his father in a produce house. 

He stood 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighed 152 lbs. and sported a tattoo on his right arm.

Dee graduated from the local Southwestern College in Winfield.  

In nuptials held in Winfield, Dee was joined in matrimony with Virginia Goetting (1912-1984), an Oklahoma native. They do not appear to have reproduced.

Refineries in Casper, Wyoming 

He initially was employed by an oil company in Augusta, KS. They relocated in 1937 to Natrona, WY, where he secured a position as a chemist with Socony Vacuum Oil Company, an oil company operating the White Eagle refinery. White Eagle was known for processing sweet crude from the region of the Rocky Mountains. He remained with the company for the balance of his career, becoming part of Mobil Oil Company in 1968, and stayed in the Casper area. 

His parents lived under their roof there in 1940. As of 1941, their address was 1320 South Cottonwood Street.

Dee's sister Grace Cox and family visited from Dallas in July 1941 and made a tour of Yellowstone National Park. 

Federal census records for 1950 show the pair remaining in Casper, with Dee's occupation shown as "asphalt technologist" at the refinery. 

They held a membership in the First Christian Church of Casper. Dee was very active over the decades with the Masons organization. Among the lodges where he held leadership positions were the Matrona, Blue and Capital Chapter. He was a commander,, sovereign and/or master of the Knights Templar, Korein Temple of the Shrine and Red Cross Constantine. In recognition of his work, he received the Masons' Award of Merit from the Grand Chapter of Wyoming. 

Virginia appears to have been very socially active in Casper and to have been an organizer with the Presbyterian Women.  

Death enveloped Dee in Natrona County Memorial Hospital at the age of 67 on May 19, 1972. His photograph accompanied his obituary in the Casper Star-Tribune. Interment was in Casper's Highland Cemetery.

Virginia outlived her spouse by a dozen years. She passed away in 1984. 

Copyright 2001-2003, 2009-2011, 2022, 2023 Mark A. Miner