Baker Hoax Letters

Note: A "Baker Hoax" had started around the USA in the mid to late 1800's; that changed to end up being the Baker Heirs Association and Baker Heirs Bulletin produced by W.H. Baker, and the Baker Genealogical Group, Baker League, and other names used.

This letter wrote by Wiley D. Baker, is the only one that turned up about a W.C.M. Baker from NC, that died in Texas. Most of the other letters I have are in regards to the phony Jacob Baker estate in PA.

From: Batesville, Miss Sept 30th, 1894

To: Mr. Allen Baker

Beams Mill, NC

Dear Sir,

I am writing to find if possible W.C.M. Baker, whom my Father says is a kinsman of our family, this man Baker left that state in or about 1828 or 1830 and came to this state. from here he went to the state of Texas and there joined the fronteers and was killed in the Alamo War in 1836 or 1837, the state gave him a large tract of land for his services, which is now very valuable and can be recovered for the heirs, said property is estimated to be worth $30,000,000

I will tell you who I am ixam (copied the way it was in the letter), my Father is I------ (6 letter name starting with I) Wiley Baker, half brother of yours and my name is Wiley D. Baker.

Pa says that in his boyhood days that his Father and a nephew of ------(6 letter word, looks like the word "people", but is a name) left that place and went west, he also says that the old man got letters from this kinsman of ours quite often.

If you will look up all the old records and can find this man it will be great fortunes for all the Bakers that is living.

Please give this a serious thought and let me hear from you at your earliest convenience. I am your nephew W.D. Baker of Batesville, Miss.

NOTE: Wiley Baker of Batesville, MS:

b. 1856; d. 1898, Batesville, Panola Co.,MS.

This family line belongs to: Robert E. Perdue

Baker Hoax Letter: From well meaning Baker to E.H. Shaffer of the Baker Association.

Letter sent to: E.H. Shaffer, Esq. Spencerville, Ohio

From: Benjamin T. Norris Sept 6, 1913

Dear Sir,

Owing to my being out of this city I did not recieve your letter of August 23rd, 1913 until yesterday, hence my delay in answering the same.

I was very much pleased to hear from you and of the facts contained in the letter, and from which it appears to me that with the facts at hand you are about ready to close in, on the matter.

As to the lineage of my family, taken from my father's old family Bible, is, so far as it relates to the Baker Estate as follows:

My grandfather, after whom I was named, as Benjamin Townsend, born May 22, 1773. Died 1st May 1818. He was married to Lydia Townsend, who was Lydia Baker and born September 20, 1777. Died Nov. 29th, 1837.

From this union there were born:

Elizabeth Townsend, born Jan 21st, 1798

Edith E. Townsend, born Jan. 16th, 1800

Esther Townsend, born May 9th, 1802

Nathan B. Townsend, born Nov 26th, 1804

Louisa Townsend, born March 7th, 1807

Jesse Townsend, born April 7th, 1809

Aaron Townsend, born Sept. 19th, 1811

Mary Townsend, born May 28th, 1814

Joseph Townsend, born Nov. 6th, 1817

Esther Townsend married Zenas Norris August 18th, 1825.

From this union were born:

Jesse Norris, born May 27th, 1826

Abram Norris, born MAy 28th, 1828

Benjamin Townsend Norris, born August 8th, 1830

Lucinda Norris, born August 14th, 1833

Lydia Ann Norris, born Feb'y 25th, 1838

I am unable, at this time, to give you the lineage of Esther Baker, my grandmother. I am taking up the matter, however, with the hopes of being able at an early date to be able to furnish the same.

Although but a child at her death in 1837, I remember her, and I have her talk with my Mother (Esther Townsend Norris) and tell her of the great fortune that was coming to the family some time, and have freqently heard my mother talk about the Baker Estate in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to which our family would get some part.

The fact that we were to get a fortune, some time through our Grandmother Townsend from a Baker Estate in Philadelphia, has been a tradition in our family ever since I can remember, and this belief was encouraged through my mother, Lydia Townsend, married to Benjamin Townsend, and I am firmly of the belief, that my Grandmother Townsend, was of the family of Bakers whose estate is now in dispute.

I would be very much pleased to have you furnish me information, if you have it, bearing on this particular point.

I showed your letter to my son-in-law attorney, William M. Roach, in whose office this letter is being written, and after reading it he said that it had the right ring to it, and that it was the first tangable information that he had ever recieved in regard to this matter, and that you were on the right and only course that could be taken to unravel the matter.

He further said that the information you had was of the most vital importance, and that it would be foolish to undertake to do anything, along the lines followed by Major Morris and Mr. Williams, who visited this city some time ago, and with Mr. Roach, had a conference,

I shall be very glad to hear from you further in regard to the matter and will be pleased to give you any further information that you may solicit.

Very Truly,

Benjamin Townsend Norris

== Notes:

Nathan Baker, Bethlehem, Washington Co, Pa. Estate Divisions. Family Hist Lib. Film #1888963

April Term 1807, wife Hannah.

Children: Lydia Baker wife of Benjamin Townsend; Nehemiah; David; Mary wife of Joshua Linton; Joseph; Enoch; Nathan; William ca1797; Israel ca1799; Hannah ca1801; Mahlon ca1803; & Aaron "oldest" b ca1775.

Nathan Baker married Elizabeth ___, 3 Sep 1772, Philadelphia, PA (3 Sep 1772, Old Swedes Church, Philadelphia, Pa.) (Elizabeth may have been a Baker before marrying Nathan Baker; born ca1760 and died ca 1794)

Nathan Baker born ca1757, Egemont Twp, Chester Co., Pa. died 20 Oct 1804; he married Hannah Jordon. Married 2 times: 1st to Elizabeth, then to Hannah.

Letters and Notes From Association

NOTE: W.H. Baker was the genealogist for the Baker Heirs Association aka: Baker Bulletin; aka: The League of Baker Heirs; aka: The Associated Baker and Becker Heirs; aka: The Cowosto Products Company.

W.H. Baker, Independence, Missouri
Feb 15, 1934

Mr. Harry V. Daugherty, Esquire
Register of Wills
and ExOfficio Clerk Orphans Court
Philadelphia, PA

Dear Sir,
I am writing you in regard to the Will that one E.L. Biddle of Altoona, PA holds. A Will made by Jacob Baker of Philadelphia in 1839. Now it seems that on Feb 12th, 1934, there was a citation served on E.L. Biddle while in the hospital in Altoona, PA. The petitioners being William H. Baker of Pattersonville, Pa and William H. Baker of Shenandoah, PA. coal miners.

Now I ask that you look into this and see why this citation was served on Biddle, and who is back of this work, one of this bunch of four is E.E. Baker of Desoto, Kansas, then treasurer. When a new Treasurer was elected he would not turn over the money, so they are now using to buck the heirs, and one Dr. Donahoo of Moline, Illinois and Mrs. Dodson of Pittsburgh, PA.

It seems Mrs. Dodson went up in to the mountains and located some of these heirs who are un learned and got them to give her power of attorney. Her expenses being paid by E.E. Baker, with our money. She learned the address of these heirs through my self in a underhanded way.

Now I ask you turn this citation down, on the ground that these Heirs on this line had already given E.L. Biddle of Altoona power of attorney, away previous to this time, and that these same people knew that ex E.L. Biddle was working on this estate getting it ready for court as fast as he could.

They knew E.L. Biddle had made contract with me, who is representing all the Baker Heirs, to furnish him money to get this estate ready for court. This contract was made November 16, 1933, of which I am sending you a copy.

As you will see I was to be administrator of this Will when probated, if it was your will also there was to be (5) five percent of this estate set aside to reimburse those who have contributed to this work. We now have spent over $500.00 so we do ask that we be protected from this bunch.

I will be in Philadelphia next week to take care of further abstracting and other expencies. I will then make this more clear to you.

I am the genealogist for all of the Bakers. I have 27 different lines of the Bakers back to 1600, charts and blueprints of the same. I hold over 3000 family trees. I have worked steady on this for over seven years.

This Will now in controversy is only a small part of the Baker Estates which you will see later on.

Now if it should be that you can not side tract this citation, we ask that you postpone this case for 30 days if you can. I have some suggestions to make, that can only be made in person.

Yours Truly,
W.H. Baker

Written by Sollie Miller, Aug 18, 1956

NOTE: Sollie was convicted in the Baker Hoax trial, and served time for his part in the swindle. Sollie born ca1882. Lets hope Sollie learned his lesson and wasn't trying to "revive" the success of the Baker Hoax swindle.

Ludwig Becker born in Strasburg, Germany in 1603 or 1604.

Had 4 children who came to the USA namely: Peter, Henry, Jacob, and Elizabeth.

Henry was a Colonel, Jacob was a Captain, Elizabeth married Nicholas Shultz and had a daughter named Barbara married to Chrisian Fry and had several children.

Sollie signed and dated this note, Aug 18, 1956. -- This was added:
Nicholas Shultz @ 1746-1844
Barbara Shultz 10/15/1782- 3/8/1876
Christian Fry d. 1848 (will)

From: Niagara Falls South, Ontario, Canada
August 1st, 1900 To: Mrs. Robert McFarlane
Marlett, Michigan

From: H.J. Groner, Attorney for Heirs
Box 284, Niagara Falls South
Ontario, Canada

Dear Friend: Re-Baker Estate

Having just reached home from a three months trip among the Baker claimants in search of documentary evidence to prove the genealogy of our race of people, I was just preparing to leave for Philadelphia to meet with other attorneys, when today I recieved a meassage from my agent at the City saying, the attorneys had gone back to their homes to get more proof of lineage, and that they would return in about two weeks, at which time they wished me to meet them.

You will observe by this movement that my plan of securing the necessary evidence on lineage before going to Philadelphia was the only judicious course to take and that there has been no unnecesary waste of the Heirs money in my work.

Holding meetings in Phil. and other places, and agitating lengthy discussions will not help us one whit in the recovery of our rights, and we ought to all be convinced of this fact now, after the past fifteen years experience in that line of work.

The Authorities or Trustees in charge, in any civilized country are not going to hand over property that has been lying unclaimed over 100 years, until the claimants produce the necessary legal proof to show that they are the genuine lineal descendants.

I have now secured sworn statements from some of the oldest living descendants to prove the identification of our ancestors with those names inscribed in German, in the old Jacob Baker Family Bible Record I hold. I have also secured old records and original land grants that corroborate these statements. More statements will have to be taken to prove the connection of each and every family member, down to the living heirs of today. This part of the work can of course be done later on.

I wish to express my sincere thanks to those heirs who rendered me kindly assistance in the work during my travels among them.

When I get to Philadelphia with the proof of lineage I have gleaned I will require funds sufficient to employ able legal counsel and secure the filing of the claims of those heirs who have placed their interests in my charge through their Letters of Attorney. I should have enough money to enable me to push our part of the claims to a successful stage before returning, and then we shall no trouble in getting plenty of help to finish the work. Nothing succeeds like success and when our discouraged friends learn what my work consists of, and what it is going to do for them, they will not be slow in contributing their share of the expenses.

Having held up to date, continuous correspondence with the authorized representatives of all the American Branches of Heirs, and learned their views in regard to co-operation I think it advisable that I meet them at that time mentioned above, and will do so if my clients will provide the necessary funds to push our claims to a successful stage as explained above.

I trust you will now give the matter prompt attention as our claims as Heirs sould be filed without delay.

In sending money procure P.O. Money Order, Express or Postal Order, and avoid risks.

Yours Truly,
H.J. Gonder
Attorney for Heirs
Box 284
Niagara Falls South, Ontario

Baker Hoax:

Heir To Millions:
News Article undated from Lawrence Kansas News
Lawrence, Kansas

Mr. Isaac L. Baker of this city may get lots of money:

J.B. Hipple, publisher of the Press at Kansas City, Kansas was in Lawrence Saturday to confer with his Uncle, Isaac L. Baker, in reference to an estate in Philadelphia, valued at $300,000,000. An investigation of the property and a search for heirs which has covered a period of seven years is about to reach termination.

The head of the family of claimants to the estate reaches back to George Peter Baker, who was born, reared and died in Strausburg, Germany. He had four sons that came to America in 1727. They were George, Jacob, Henry, and Peter. Henry died a bachelor, Jacob married, but died without issue, and George died when a youth.

Peter inherited the property from his father, and the accumulated property of his brothers by will and lease. The property therefore became an entailed estate. The paper reads as follows "To Peter Baker, his children and grandchildren forever." The property became an entailed estate and the claim of Peter Baker, the attorneys hold, are just as valid as today as it ever was.

Peter Baker had two children, Jacob and Elizabeth. Jacob married Hannah Lemon and Elizabeth married Leonard Ellmaker. Jacob had 10 children, one of them being Lemon Baker, the Grandfather of Isaac Baker of Lawrence, Kansas, and also Mr. Hannah Hipple of Mt. Joy, Pennsylvania, the mother of Editor Hipple of Kansas City. There are 75 claimants to the estate, so that each may fall into the possession of $4,000,000.

The estate consists in part of 2 leases, covering 360 acres of land within the city limits of Philadelphia. One lease covers Fairmount Park where the Centennial was held in 1876, and the 2nd lease of 260 acres in the Zoological Garden. There was a large amount of cash deposited in the North American Bank of Philadelphia which, with the annunities accruing fro the leases of land, amounts to upwards of $80,000,000.

Four distinguished attornneys of Pittsburgh, who have been at work on the estate, say that the records prove the authenticity of the claims of the heirs.

The Ellmaker branch of the family and the Baker branch have joined forces in an effort to settle up the estate. The complete family line has been established, there not being a missing link. Two Bibles, one 165 years old and the other 135 years old, contain indisputable evidence of the genealogy.

Isaac L. Baker one of the direct heirs of the estate lives as a retired farmer of Douglas County, Kansas and resides at 1012 Kentucky St, Lawrence, Kansas. He came to Kansas in 1857, settled at Baldwin, where he now owns two large farms, and moved from there to Lawrence.

Speaking of the matter he said: " We have always had faith in the settlement of the estate, the leases of which expired in 1888. When a boy in Pennsylvania, my parents spoke of the fortune that awaited the grandchildren of Peter Baker.

Peter Baker, who is looking after out interests, was a companion of mine in the East and we have kept up correspondence about the estate for years. I am glad it will soon reach a termination."

Brooklyn New York: Advance Daily News
22 January 1879

A Family Claiming to be Heirs to $315,000,000

Captain C. W. Baker, town trustee of Patchogue, Long Island, and a well-known fisherman, claims to be a lineal descendant of Colonel Jacob Baker, whose heirs were inquired for.

The "Advance" publishes the following:

Quite recently an advertisement appeared in a number of papers through the country asking for information of the heirs of Colonel Jacob Baker, a Revolutionary War soldier, who died intestate at the residence of his brother, in Canada, in the year 1801.

He was an odd, eccentric character, and had been visiting his relative some time. He always appeared to have sufficient means to meet his wants, but was quite reticent about his financial affairs, and it was not known that he had anything more than a pension from the United States Government for his service during the war.

His health was very good, but taking a severe cold he grew very ill, and died unexpectedly, at his relatives, leaving with them his discharge from the Army, his uniform, cocked hat and sword, all of which are still in their possession.

It now appears that the old colonel owned a large tract of nearly 1,500 acres, then in the suburbs, now in the centre and most valuable portion of Philadelphia.

The value of the estate is enormous, being rated as high as $315,000,000. Only of late years the fact has been elicited, and efforts have been made to discover the old colonel's relatives. He was a bachelor, but at the time of his death had several brothers living.

A son of one of these brothers, and a nephew of the old colonel, is Benjamin Baker, living in Brookville, a small town several miles form Dayton, Ohio.

A large number of the family are living in the neighborhood of Ohio, and a meeting was called in Brookville the early part of the week, at which fifty-seven representatives of the family were present.

Funds were raised and subscribed to for sending Mr. Benjamin Baker to make any necessary investigations into the old family records for proving their claim to the property, and the family are determined on ascertaining their claim.

From: Baker Hoax Files, Baker Family Newsletter Int
Crystal Jensen

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