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Llewellyn Edward & Catherine Elizabeth (Roderick) Baker

Lew & Kate (Roderick) Baker

by Ruth & Alzina Baker

Llewellyn Edward Baker, L.E. or "Lew", son of Henry and Elizabeth Emily (Powell) Baker, was born January 6, 1875, in Dade County, Missouri. At age 10 Lew rode a horse and "wrangled" loose stock when the family, with others, moved to Comanche County in covered wagons. He grew up on a ranch "Claim" east of New Eden, where herding cattle, threatened Indian raids, riding 11-dollar ponies from Colorado wild herds, were a part. In early manhood he moved to Coldwater and ran a dairy for four years. Here he met Catherine Roderick who was teaching grade school in Coldwater.

Catherine Elizabeth Roderick was born near Spencer, Iowa, November 10, 1875, to Daniel Boone & Louisa Mary (Thorpe) Roderick. Moving to Polk County, Missouri, when "Kate" was eight years old, country schooling 'till her mother's death, grade and high while living with her aunt. She taught school at Anchor, Illinois, and Nevada, Iowa. Here at a Billy Sunday revival, she made her start in the Christian Life, never losing her faith in God. Kate went to Missouri, helped her uncle in a Post Office for two years, in 1898 followed her father and sister to Barber County, Kansas. She taught school in Sharon, four years in Medicine Lodge, and three years in Coldwater Grades. Raymond Parcel, Hod Rich and Andy Six were among her pupils who were friends through the years. She also enjoyed clerking in Allderdice's Store.

Lew and Kate were married January 1, 1908, at Sharon, Kansas, moved into the old brick schoolhouse at the south edge of Coldwater, still standing as the "Little Brave". Here Roderick Henry was born January 24, 1909, and Llewellyn Edward ("Ed") was born October 12, 1910. They moved to Lew's old Ranchhome for one year, then to a farm adjoining Wilmore. Here Nicholas Boone Baker was born April 30, 1913.

They farmed, raised and milked cattle, raised sheep in the early years. They moved around the corner to his father's place. Lew enjoyed truck gardening, and peddling or giving away his tomatoes, corn, watermelons, and cantaloupes. Kate loved raising chickens, ducks, and often guineas, and gathering the eggs.

They were lifelong members of the Methodist Church, and staunch supporters of it, their friends and neighbors, and the community.

Roderick "Rod" Baker married Alzina Burditt, her parents were Ira and Anglie Burditt of Coldwater, on May 23, 1931. Their daughters are Nita Schmidt, Minneola, Ks; Yvonne Smith, Salina, OK; and Ruth Ann Phillips, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Edward Baker married Ruth Wood, daughter of Samuel and Christina Wood, on November 23,1935. Their children are Travis Baker of Protection, Ks, and Mary Helen Smith of Fort Worth, Texas.

Nicholas "Nick" Baker married Gwendolyn Woods, daughter of Rev. J.P. and Virgie Woods, on May 19, 1935. J.P. Woods was the Wilmore Baptist minister. Their children are Cherry Smith, Buena Vista, CO; and Joe Baker, Wichita, KS. They have nine great grandchildren.

Lew Baker died August 24, 1962; Kate died June 23, 1970. Both are buried in the Wilmore Cemetery.

There are seven grandchildren, thirteen great-grandchildren, and one great great grandchild.

-- written by Ruth and Alzina Baker. Published on page 226 of Comanche County History. A photo of Lew and Kate Baker which was taken in 1958 appears on the same page.

The Western Star, August 30, 1962.

Lew Baker Dies At the Age of 87

Funeral services were held on Monday, August 27, 1962, at 2:30 p.m. in the federated church at Wilmore for Llewellyn Edgar Baker, long time resident of Wilmore. Services were conducted by Rev. Ernest Lawrence and Rev. Al Cooper, Mrs. Ernestine Zeigler, organist, accompanied Mrs. Mary Ann Hooley, soloist. Selected songs were "Sunrise Tomorrow" and "Wonderful Peace."

Pallbearers were Sam Lawrence, Fay Smith, Vernon Pepperd, Jay Pepperd, Fred Booth and Glenn Redfield. Honorary pallbearers were Tom Pepperd, Lawrence York, Earl Ferrin, Ernest Ferrin, Alva Trummel and Ray Helbert.

Interment was in Wilmore Cemetery, Wilmore, Kans.


Llewellyn Edward Baker, son of Henry and Elizabeth Emily Baker, was born January 6, 1875, near Lockwood, Mo., in Dade county. He ended this life in Comanche County Hospital at Coldwater, Kans., on August 24, 1962, at the age of 87 years and seven months.

He moved with his parents to Comanche county in 1855, to a farm east of New Eden on which his father had filed a claim the year before. The trip was made by covered wagon and took 17 days. All of his childhood was spent in this homestead.

In early manhood he moved to Coldwater for four years. In 1906 he was united in marriage to Catherine Elizabeth Roderick. To this union were born three sons, Roderick Henry and Llewellyn Edward of Wilmore and Nicholas Boone of Medicine Lodge.

In 1912 the family moved to the present farm adjoining Wilmore.

Lew was converted in evangelistic meetings held by Rev. Farney of the United Brethren church. Later, after moving to Coldwater, he joined the Methodist church and then became a charter member of the Methodist church in Wilmore. He was a faithful and loyal member of the church until his death and lived always an example and witness for his Lord.

Besides his wife, Kate, and his three sons, he is survived by seven grandchildren, seven great grandchildren, four sisters, Mrs. Martha Wright, Tempe, Ariz., Nellie Wall, Coldwater, Mrs. Alice Grace and Mrs. Ethel Trummel of Wilmore, and a host of nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters, Mrs. Will Pepperd, and Mrs. Zelma White, and by a brother, Henry Baker.

Lew was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. His friends cannot be numbered and the Wilmore community will never be quite the same again.

The Western Star, June 23, 1970.


Mrs. Katherine E. Baker, 94, died Tuesday morning, June 23, 1970, at the Pioneer Lodge in Coldwater after a short illness.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday, June 25, 1970 at 2 p.m. at the Wilmore Federated church in Wilmore, Kans., with Rev. Ralph Barcelo in charge of the services.

Pallbearers will be Glenn Redfield, Lester Trummel, Joe Baker, Kenneth Trummel, John White, and Travis Baker.

Interment will be in Wilmore cemetery, Wilmore, Kans.

The Western Star, July 2, 1970.

Services Held for Mrs. C. E. Baker

Funeral services for Mrs. Catherine Elizabeth Baker were held at the Wilmore Federated church in Wilmore, Kans., on Thursday, June 25, 1970, at 2 p.m. with Rev. Ralph Barcelo in charge of the services. Rev. Barcelo sang "No Night There" and "In The Garden" accompanied by the organist, Mrs. Ernestine Zeigler.

Pallbearers were Glenn Redfield, Lester Trummel, Joe Baker, Kenneth Trummel, John White, and Travis Baker.

Interment was in Wilmore cemetery, Wilmore, Kans.


Catherine Elizabeth Roderick, daughter of Daniel Boone and Louisa Mary Roderick, was born near Spencer, Iowa, November 10, 1875. She moved with her parents to Polk county, Mo., when she was eight years old. She started her schooling in a county school near there. After her mother's death. She attended grade school and high school while staying with an aunt. She prepared herself to teach. When she was 18 years old, she visited a sister in Illinois and there taught her first school near Achor, Ill. She moved with her sister's family to Iowa where she taught school for one year. It was while she was here that she attended a Billy Sunday revival and made her start in the Christian life. From this time on she never lost her faith in God. She united with the Methodist church at Nevada, Iowa. She returned to Missouri to help an uncle in the post office, staying there two years. At this time her father and sister had come to Barber county, Kansas. She followed in 1898 to fill a vacancy teaching in the Sharon school. The next four years she taught in the Medicine Lodge school and from there she came to Coldwater and taught three years. Here she met Lew E. Baker and they were married at Sharon, Kans., in 1908. To this union were born three sons: Roderick H., Edward and Nick. Her highest ambition for her sons was that they be honest Christian citizens.

She and her husband were charter members of the Wilmore Methodist church. She was the first Sunday School superintendent and has filled nearly every office in the church organization. As long as health allowed she was vitally interested in the women's work in the church. Her lively wit and humor added spice to many a meeting. She often said, "A group of women can do anything, but the impossible takes longer."

Hers has indeed been a varied life. She valued relatives and friends as her most precious assets, and leaves a host of each. She was the last of her immediate family, except her half-sister, Mrs. Ura Wright, of Payson, Ariz.

Her husband, Lew Baker, preceded her in death in 1962. This left her lonely indeed. Her youngest son, Nick, preceded her in death in April of this year.

She leaves to mourn her passing her son, Rod Baker, Wilmore, and his wife, Alzina, her son, Edward Baker, and his wife, Ruth, also of Wilmore and her daughter-in-law, Mrs. Nick (Gwen) Baker of Medicine Lodge. She had seven grandchildren: Nita Lou Schmidt, Minneola; Yvonne Smith, Owasso, Okla.; Ruth Ann Phillips, Raleigh, N. C., Travis Baker, Mary Helen Baker, Wilmore, Cherry Smith, Coldwater, and Joe Baker, Wichita. She also leaves to mourn her passing eight great grandchildren: Brenda, Kay, and Roger Schmidt, Melody, Monte, Greta, and Hope Smith, and Kelly Smith, many beloved nieces and nephews, other relative, friends, and many who will remember her as their school teacher.

Gravestone of Lewellyn & Catherine Baker, Wilmore Cemetery, Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas. Photo by John Edward (Ed) Schrock, used with permission of Janet Schrock Hubbard.
Gravestone for Llewellyn and Catherine (Roderick) Baker
Wilmore Cemetery, Comanche County, Kansas.

Related histories:

Memories of Lew Baker: the Baker & Powell Families

The Roderick Family in Sharon & Wilmore, Ks

The Powell trek to Comanche County, Ks

Harry Powell Baker, brother of Lew Baker.

Alice (Baker) Grace, sister of Lew Baker.

Zelma Hazel (Baker) White, sister of Lew Baker.

Grant Lucius Wright, nephew of Lew and Harry Baker.

The 1924 Pocket Directory of Wilmore, Kansas

Letter to Jerry Ferrin re: Nellie May (Barnett) Ferrin by Alzina Baker

Roderick Henry Baker

Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above obituary to this web site!

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This page was last updated 18 Jan 2006.