So much has been written about Captain John Baker and Elizabeth Ann Sullivan. Descendants of Margaret Baker and Catherine Baker tend to hold a special interest in the history of the Baker Family. Margaret and Catherine are twins. They were born in 1761 in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia to John Baker. Margaret went on to marry Peter Yoho and Catherine married Henry Yoho. Peter and Henry are the sons of Johannes Joho and Susann Catherine Lau.
Perhaps some of us hold a fascination with Jon Baker because his life was perilous. For me, it started when I was a young girl. When I would often travel from New Martinsville to Wheeling my father would always point out the historic sign for Baker’s station and point to the area of the red X on the B&O rail tracks at the intersection. Dad would tell me fantastic stories about Indians, kidnappings, and murder. Family history and trains, I was hooked.
There is a lot we do not know about the early life of John. There are many stories and theories. They all conflict with one another or with what little we do know to be true.
We begin to see more of his life come together after the birth of the twins, and his sons George and Henry. This was when he migrated from the Shenandoah Valley to Greene County at Dunkard Creek. They had followed the Warrior Trail, a Native American trail, running just north of what is now the Mason Dixon Line. Children John and Elizabeth were born at Dunkard Creek.
Between 1774 and 1775 John moved his family to what is now Brownsville, Pennsylvania where Jacob and Joseph were born. This move was to keep the family safe from the fall out of Dunmore’s War.
His son Martin was born in 1780 in what is now Washington, Pennsylvania. The family had moved after the Revolutionary War. They were not there long. The next child Isaac was born at Fort Henry, now Wheeling, West Virginia in 1782. Though the Siege of Fort Henry had ended many smaller hostilities with the natives still occurred.
Finally, John stopped moving his family and settled into what is known as Baker’s Station. That was in 1784. It was only three years later that Johns life ended in an incident with Indians.
Many of his descendants will write about the battles he was in. They may write about the Red X that B&O railroad does keep repainting. That is not what I think about when I think of John Baker. I think about how sad it is that this man lived near the Mason Dixon line and moved so many more times to protect his family only to be fell and buried near the Mason Dixon line at Cresap, West Virginia.