Family Buring Grounds in Wise County Virginia
The Jim Baker Graveyard
by James Taylor Adams, 1936, {part of a WPA project}

The Jim Baker Graveyeard is about halfway between the head and mouth of the Middle Fork of Bold Camp, on a rolling hill, four hundred yeard southwest of the Jim Baker plave, where Jim's son, Jesse Baker, now lives. The plot contains about half an acre, fenced, and is in a well kept condition.

I stayed the night of September 1, 1936, with William Harvey and Nancy Sylvanie (Short) Mullins on the Righthand Branch of the Meade Fork of Bold Camp. Red Jeems Short, Sylvanies's father, came down from Creed's about duskdark to converse with me about the Short and Mullins families. We slept together and talked far into the night.

The next morning I followed a trail that wound up, over and down the hill to the Middle Fork of Bold Camp. I turned up Middle Fork, and it started raining about the time I got to Luther Bakers Store. A little girl was there wanting to get into the store to trade some. Luther's wife Gracie Delona, a daughter of Jeems Henderson and Jane VAnover, came over from the house to wait on the child, and , at her invitation, I went back with her and sheltered out of the shower. As soon as the rain slacked Luther went with me around to the graveyard. So it happened that it was exactly nine o'clock, Wednesday morning September 2, 1936, when I walked through the little gate at the east end of the burying ground and began taking down the inscriptions.

James M Baker
July 26, 1857
Sept 27, 1906

James Monroe (Jim) Baker was son of Samuel and Malinda (Estep) Baker, and a grandson of Richard and Abigail (Beverly) Baker. He married Hester Ann, daughter of William and Matilda  R Roberson, and lived on the Middle Fork of Bold Camp where his son Jesse now lives. His wife is buried by his side, but her grave is not marked.

Joseph F
son of
William & Matilda R Roberson
Mar 1, 1866
April 13, 1885

His brother, Claudius Roberson, and Claudoius' wife are buried by him.

Nathaniel G Roberson
July 3, 1858
Mar 14, 1904

Nathaniel George Roberson was a son of William and Matilda Roann Roberson. He married Mary Ellen, daughter of Benjamin Salyer (also known as Ben Hubbard.) Nathaniel G was killed when he fell from a house on which he was working. Luther Baker said that he only fell about eight feet, but that he never spoke. His wife is buried by him in an unmarked grave.

Martha L Keith
June 12, 1870
Aug 16, 1932

She was wife of Lum Keith, and a daughter of Keel Baker.

Cedric I Baker
Nov 21, 1906
Oct 27, 1909

Cedric was Trigg Baker's boy. Trigg is buried by him in an unmarked grave.

J. R.
Husband of
Martha Stallard
June 29, 1880
May 5, 1907

Luther Baker told me that the "J R" was for James Richmond, and that he was called Jim Richmond. He died with pneumonia.

Marie Slemp
Oct 29, 1915
June 1, 1932

Marie was a daughter of Pat Slemp. She fell dead one night as she was going home from a community singing.

Orpha Delona Noles
Feb 19, 1911
July 11, 1911

She was daugher of Winifred Noles.

Callie Noles
Oct 30, 1887
Mar 16, 1916

She was the wife of Winifred Noles.

M H Baker
Nov 30, 1884
Nov 30, 1914

She was the wife of George Baker

J L Jones
Oct 16, 1884

Malinda Perry (Estpe Baker)
died Oct 17, 1884

James Gaston Gordon (Dicks)
July 27, 1840
Jan 5, 1918

W  D Gordon
June 21, 1881
Oct 8, 1884

L E Gordon
July 12, 1883
Oct 1, 1884

I E Powers
D. Aug 13, 1895

son of James M & Margaret H Baker
Spet 27, 1877
Oct 5, 1884

Almira R 
daughter of James M & Margaret H Baker
May 17, 1879
Sept 29, 1884

Rhonda C
daugher of James H & Margaret H Baker
Aug 3, 1894
Oct 6, 1884

Alice Joanne Gentry
Died Dec 15, 1935
Aged 2 yrs. 6 mos. 21 dys.
This marker is placed at the grave by a Jenkins undertaker.

I found many unmarked mounds there. Most of them of the graves of victims of the terrible flux epidemic of 1884, the most tragic year in the history oof Wise County. Whole familes where wiped out. Some neighborhoods were almost depopulated. I have been told that the Baker settlement on the Middle Fork of Bold Camp was so stricken that people from other less effected communities had to go in and dig the graves and bury the dead.

By the time I had finished with the tombstones it was raining again. We went back to the house and sat on the porch with Wilson Mullins who had been working on a new stone building for Luther, and I jotted down some genealogical notes on the Baker, Mullins, Roberson, and Vanover familes. Then I borrowed an old hat and raincoat from Luther and he and I went up to see his ninety year old great-uncle, Richard (Rich) Baker. We found the old man , spry as a kitten, in the front yard, chopping stovewood for his sixtyfive year old widowed daughter who lived with him. To him I was a stranger and he seemed a little suspiscious of me at first, but at Luther's suggestion he opened up and gave me a lot of information on the Baker family. He told me that his father was named Richard Baker, that he was born in Washington County, Tennessee, July 25, 1797, married Abigail a daughter of Elijah Beverly from Orange County, North Carolina, settled at the mouth of White Oak Branch on Guest River, later moved to Cranes Nest River, and died August 25, 1871. He said his mother died in 1862, and that she and his father are buried in the Jim Baker Graveyard. He then brought out records to show me that he was born on Cranes Nest, February 22, 1846, and that he married Margaret, daughter of David Gentry. Margaret died serveral years ago and she, too, is buried in the Jim Baker Graveyard. He said that he was the youngest son of his father, and that his father was the youngest son of his father who was also named Richard, and that this Richard Baker, his grandfather, married a Mullins.

[Also buried here are :
Richard Baker and his wife Abigail Beverly.
Edward Baker, older brother of Richard Baker, he married 1. Susannah Mullins, 2. Judith Beverly.
Samuel Patrick Baker, son of Richard and Abigail Baker and husband of Malinda Estep.
Charles H Baker, son of Samuel and Malinda Baker, husband of Martha Jane Stallard.
Alloria Baker, daughter of Charles and Martha Baker.]

submitted by Nancy Clark Brown 

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