Thomas Baker

Thomas Baker

Birth
England
Death 16 Dec 1919 (aged 82)
Helena, Lewis and Clark County, Montana, USA
Burial Helena, Lewis and Clark County, Montana, USA
Memorial ID 168446451 · View Source
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The Flathead Courier (Polson, MT), Dec. 25, 1919, Pg. 10
(original edited by RunninonMT #49509864)

Tom Baker died at his home in Helena, December 16, 1919. To many the news will mean nothing, but time was when he was the first newspaper man in the state. He came to Montana over a half century ago, locating in Virginia City, which was then a robust gold camp of 20,000 people. With the Montana Post, first as printer, and afterwards as a newswriter and editor, his talent soon made him one of the foremost men of the gold community. He saw its thousands melt away, its daily newspaper suspend, but he remained until old age came and he became blind, after which he removed to the Helena home of John Baker, a printer son.

Eighty-two years old at the time of his death, he was born on August 19, 1837, at Somerton, Dowerthshire,* England. It was at the place of his birth that he was married on March 27, 1859, to Miss Margaret Hays. His wife died several years ago. Mr. Baker and his family came to the United States in the early part of 1864. The voyage across the Atlantic was in a sailing vessel, and consumed six weeks of time. Soon after arriving in America, the family started across the continent to seek their fortune in the west. They arrived from across the plains at historic Alder Gulch in December 1864. He engaged first in mining, later turning to journalism to which he gave the best part of his life before invalidism forced him to retire practically from active work. His first work was on the Montana Post, at Virginia City, the first newspaper to be published in the treasure state. Later he was on the Montanian, which later was changed in name to the Madisonian. In 1871 he left Virginia City and went to Bozeman, where he took the editorial management of the Courier. Returning to Virginia City in 1874, he resumed his editorial work on the Madisonian, purchasing that newspaper property in 1884. He conducted the paper under his ownership successfully until 1892, when he disposed of the property, his failing health making this step necessary. For years after 1892, notwithstanding his invalidism, he was a special correspondent for the Anaconda Standard, and contributed numerous articles of historical facts and interest, of Montana and other states, to magazines. His writings, whether editorial comment or historical reviews, had a charm and illumination which made them much in demand. His was a wonderfully retentive memory, and later-day historians of Montana often came to Mr. Baker for assistance and confirmation of dates and incidents, when having articles or lectures in preparation. He made his home with his son for the last 27 years. Though physically suffering, he maintained the optimism and sweetness that characterized his nature, and he died, as he always lived, unafraid and with a smile on his face.


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  • Created by: PassingTime
  • Added: 15 Aug 2016
  • Find a Grave Memorial 168446451
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Thomas Baker (19 Aug 1837–16 Dec 1919), Find a Grave Memorial no. 168446451, citing Resurrection Cemetery, Helena, Lewis and Clark County, Montana, USA ; Maintained by PassingTime (contributor 47816658) .