Austin History Center

Dewitt Clinton Baker Papers

An Inventory of the Collection

Collection Summary

Creator: Baker, Dewitt Clinton, 1831-1881,
Title: Dewitt Clinton Baker Family Papers
Dates: 1849-1937
Abstract: The Dewitt Clinton Baker Family Papers document the lives of Dewitt Clinton Baker, an Austin druggist, author, and businessman, his wife Mary Elizabeth Graham, their children, and the Graham family. The collection primarily contains financial records, correspondence, literary works, clippings, and photographs dated from 1849-1932.
Identification: AR.Y.002
Quantity: 2.2 linear feet (8 boxes)
Location: Archives Stacks
Language: English
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library,
810 Guadalupe, PO Box 2287, Austin, TX 78768

Biographical Sketch

Dewitt Clinton Baker was born and educated in Portland, Maine, and moved to Austin, Texas, with his family around 1850. His father, Symonds William Baker (known also as Sir William Baker), was a physician who pioneered the Baker family’s move to Austin where he established a drug store. Dewitt Clinton Baker married Mary Elizabeth Graham, formerly of Palestine, Texas, on May 28, 1861. Their children include Mary Lilly Baker, Dewitt Clinton Baker, Jr., Alice Graham Baker, George Graham Baker, Julia Baker, and Ethel Baker, who married Raymond B. Cox. Mary Elizabeth’s father, Beriah Graham, brought his family to Austin in 1861 when he accepted an appointment as Superintendent of the State Insane Asylum. A partial family tree for the Graham family is available.

Dewitt Clinton Baker continued the drug business founded by his father at 900 Congress Avenue for twenty-six years. He also published two books, one of which, A Brief History of Texas, was the first state history book used in Texas schools. He also wrote poetry, and his verses were published in the newspapers of cities as far away as New York and Portland, Oregon.

Active in civic affairs, Baker served Austin as both an alderman and city treasurer. He was a school trustee for Travis County District 1 in 1854 when he was only twenty years old. He was also the inspector for schools from 1872 to 1877 and first superintendent of Austin schools from 1876-1877. Civic and literacy propensities combined in Baker’s active involvement of the first literacy and library association in Austin. He was treasurer of the Austin Library Association in 1875.

Dewitt Clinton Baker’s wide-ranging interest encompassed science as well as literature. He was appointed a signal officer in the 1870s in which capacity he compiled the official weather records for the state of Texas.

When ill health forced his retirement from the drug business, Baker went to work as a collector for the Internal Revenue Department. A prominent parishioner of St. David’s Episcopal Church, father of nine children, Dewitt died on Easter Sunday, April 17, 1881.

SOURCE: Handbook of Texas Online, Jeanette H. Flachmeier, "Baker, Dewitt Clinton," accessed February 17, 2017,

Scope and Contents

The Dewitt Clinton Baker Family Papers, 1849-1937 illuminate some of the civic, professional and literacy activities of a nineteenth century Austin druggist who was born in Maine in 1832 and died in Austin, Texas, in 1881. A substantial body of materials, both correspondence and financial documents concerns the publisher, A. S. Barnes & Co. whom Baker paid to publish his A Brief History of Texas and A Texas Scrapbook. The collection includes the manuscript of A Texas Scrapbook as well as a few manuscript poems.

Financial documents are relatively abundant in the collection about half of these being receipts from A. S. Barnes & Co. Small numbers of items document in part Baker’s business, Baker & Graham Druggists, his brief stint as City Treasurer in 1871, his service as a signal officer for the United States War Department, and his duties as a deputy collector for the Internal Revenue Service.

Noteworthy omissions in the collection include the lack of any documentation of Baker’s vigorous support of public schools and libraries in Austin.

More than a third of the items in the Dewitt Clinton Baker Papers do not relate directly to Dewitt Clinton Baker but rather to his wife and her sisters, to his children, and to other members of the Baker-Graham family. These items span a period from 1854-1937 and include scrapbooks and autograph books which are among the earliest in date, and newspaper photos and society notes chronicling the activities of Mrs. Raymond B. Cox (Ethel Baker), J. W. Graham, Mr. and Mrs. Williams G. Franklin (Ellen Graham) and others.

Dewitt Clinton Baker’s literacy proclivities were shared by his daughter Alice and his sister-in-law, Ellen. The collection contains manuscript poems, a number of which were evidently submitted to periodicals for publication, as well as locally produced literacy magazines ranging in date from The Texas University, 1891, to The Torchbearer, 1929.

There are 109 black-and-white photographs and 4 tintypes in the Dewitt Clinton Baker Papers, chiefly of family members, mostly taken by the Austin photographer H. R. Marks. Included are some early views of the capital and group photographs of the kindergarten classes conducted by Allie and Ethel Baker.


The collection is arranged into two series each containing five subseries:
I. Dewitt Clinton Baker
II. Baker-Graham Family


Access Restrictions

Open to all users

Use Restrictions

The Austin History Center (AHC) is the owner of the physical materials in the AHC collections and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the AHC before any publication use. The AHC does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Baker, Dewitt Clinton, 1832-1881.
Baker, Mary Elizabeth Graham, 1840-1910.
Baker, Julia, 1873-1951.
Cox, Ethel Baker.
Graham, Ellen, 1870-1950.
Franklin, William George, 1872-1947.
Baker, Mary Lilly, 1862-1888.
Baker, Dewitt Clinton, Jr., 1865-1935.
Baker, Alice Graham, 1863-1910.
Subjects (Organizations)
Baker & Graham Druggists.
A. S. Barnes & Co.
Autographs--Collectors and collecting.
Authors, American--Texas--Austin.
Business enterprises--Texas--Austin.
Austin (Tex.)--Commerce.
Austin (Tex.)--Genealogy.
Document Types
Financial records.
Greeting cards.
Legal documents.
Printed ephemera.
Creative works.

Related Material

Austin Files

  • AF Biography - Baker, Dewitt Clinton, Jr.
  • AF Biography - Baker, Symonds William
  • House-Building - Rio Grande, 2620

General Collection

  • A 976.4 BA A Texas Scrap-book: Made up of the History, Biography and Miscellany of Texas and Its People by Dewitt Clinton Baker, 1875
  • A 976.4 BA A Brief History of Texas From Its Earliest Settlement: To Which Is Appended the Constitution of the State. For Schools, by D. W. C. Baker, 1873
  • A 976.4 B172 INDEX Index to D.W.C. Baker's A Texas Scrapbook, Austin, 1935 by Richard Morrison, 1984

Archives and Manuscripts

  • Mary Harriet Graham Family Papers (AR.1991.096)
  • Pease, Graham, and Niles Families Papers (AR.A.001)

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Some materials were transferred from Recycled Reads, Austin Public Library, in April 2011, and added to this collection:

  • Letter to Ethel Baker from "Mother Clark", November 26, 1905 (Box 5/Folder 6).
  • School Trustee certification for D. W. C. Baker, 1854 (Box 2/Folder 2).
  • Lily Baker's copy of Brief History of Texas (Box 7).

Preferred Citation

Dewitt Clinton Baker Papers (AR.Y.002). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: Unknown

Processing Information

Initial Inventory and Preliminary Processing By/Date: Stephanie Neely/April 1987

Final Processing and Finding Aid By/Date: Alisha Little/September 2002

Finding Aid Edited and Encoded By/Date: Kelly Hanus/February 2017

Detailed Description of the Collection

Dewitt Clinton Baker, 1849-1926

Correspondence, 1849-1879
A. S. Barnes & Co., 1873-1879
Box Folder
1 1-5 Letters, 1873-1879
General, 1849-1874
Box Folder
1 6 Christmas verses "To Lilly", 1862
6 "To My Wife" Christmas card, 1867
6 J. Jay Watson to D. W. C. Baker, 1849
6 Austin K. Dumbell to D. W. C. Baker, undated
6 J. W. Johnson to D. W. C. Baker, 1874
Literary Productions, 1862-1881
Box Folder
1 7 Manuscript of A Texas Scrapbook, undated
8 Speech, 1879
8 Notes on Texas Veteran's Association, undated
8 "Deus Vigilat", undated
9 Commonplace book, 1881
Legal and Financial Documents, 1860-1926
Legal, 1865-1926
Box Folder
1 10 Deeds to Outlot 60, Division D, lots 1-4 known as Beriah Graham's subdivision, 1872-1926
11 Amnesty oath and certification, 1865
11 Voter's registrations (2 items), Travis County, 1867, 1871
11 Publisher's contract, 1873
11 Proof of claim under policy, 1881
Financial-Tax Receipts, 1866-1870
Box Folder
1 12 Travis County assessor, 1866
12 Occupation tax, 1869-1872
12 United States direct taxes, 1866
12 United States Internal Revenue (4 items), 1866-1870
13 Receipts and monthly statements from A. S. Barnes & Co., 1875-1878
Financial-General, 1860
Box Folder
1 14 Payment coupons and receipt for five shares of Air Sine Railroad Co. stock, 1860
14 Confederate $100 6% certificate, 1862
14 Bill of lading, 1878
14 Receipt for registered letter, 1878
14 D. W. C. Baker's summation of his financial situation, 1878
Printed Materials, 1880, undated
2 A Texas Scrapbook inscribed "To Mother from Clinton...", 1880
1 Clippings concerning incidents in Texas history, undated
Professional, 1854-1879
School Trustee, 1854
Box Folder
2 2 Certification of election to District 1, 1854
City Treasurer, 1871
Box Folder
2 3 City of Austin on account with D. W. C. Baker, 1871
3 Letters from John W. Glenn, Mayor, 1871
3 Receipt from F. Everett, City Treasurer, for tin look box and account book 1871
Deputy Collector - U.S. Internal Revenue, 1874-1876
Box Folder
2 4 Account books, 1874-1876
Signal Officer, 1876-1879
Box Folder
2 5 Bulletin of International Meteorological Observations, 1876
5 Forms and instructions for simultaneous international meteorological observations, 1877
5 The Texas Empire, 1879 February
5 The Texas Empire, 1879 May
Baker & Graham Druggists, 1874-1878, undated
Box Folder
2 6 Copyright application forms for "Compound Aluminum Paste", 1876
6 Copyright application for "Carbolic Screwworm Destroyer", 1868
6 Letter from Findlay & Thompson, 1878
6 Prescription envelope - Dr. S. W. Baker, undated

Baker-Graham Family, 1854-1937

Scrapbooks, 1854-1881
3 Lilly Graham's album, 1854-1860
Mary Elizabeth Graham's autograph album, 1855-1856
Alice Graham's scrapbook and family ledger, 1855-1856
4 Alice Graham's album, 1860
Alice Graham Baker's autograph book, 1879
Nellie Baker's autograph book, 1881
Mary Elizabeth Graham's commonplace book, 1881
Alice Graham's scrapbook, undated
1 Loose scrapbook material from Allie Graham's scrapbook, 1897, undated
Literary Productions, 1871-1910, undated
5 "The Spectator", a family literary magazine edited by G. T. Graham and Ellen Graham, 1871
Original poems and essays by Allie Baker, 1883
Mary Lilly Baker's etymological exercises, undated
Allie Graham, 1902, undated
Box Folder
5 1 Manuscript material, undated
1 Notebook-history notes, 1902, undated
Ellen Graham, undated
Box Folder
5 2 By-laws of Home Association, undated
3 Poem-"The Mockingbird", undated
3 Poem-"Dewey", undated
3 Poem-"My Three Wraiths", undated
3 Poem-untitled, undated
General, 1899-1910, undated
Box Folder
5 3 Student petition-Ethel Baker, 1899
3 Poem to "Dear Allie" by Jessie Andrews, 1910
3 Untitled poem by Ethel Baker, undated
3 Leaf from Bishop's Book of Remembrance, undated
4 Manuscript of a biographical profile of D. W. C. Baker, undated
Correspondence, 1881-1937
Cards and Invitations, 1881-1920
Box Folder
5 5 Postcards, 1881-1920
5 Greeting cards and invitations, 1891-1913
Letters, 1881-1937
Box Folder
5 6 E. T. Eggleston to Mary Elizabeth Graham, 1881
6 Resolution of the Vestry, St. David's, 1881 May
6 Edward W. Bok to Ellen Graham, 1892
6 D. W. C. Baker, Jr. to Mrs. Lewis McLellan, 1904
6 Letter to Ethel Baker from "Mother Clark", 1905
6 Mary McLellan Lewis to D. W. C. Baker, Jr., 1920
6 R. Graham to Mrs. W. G. Franklin, 1937
Printed Material, 1867-1937
Periodicals, 1875-1936
Box Folder
6 1 The Amateur, 1875 April
2 The Texas University, 1891 December
2 The Texas University, 1894 February
3 Daily Texan, 1919 January 19
4 Freshie, 1924 September 24
5 Matrix Table Talk, "Austin Women Writers Night", 1928 April 7
6 Report of the 17th Annual Meeting of the Texas Fine Arts Association, 1926 May 12
7 The Torchbearer, 1929 September
8 Texas Druggist, 1931 December
9 Violet Crown Garden Club Yearbook,, 1935-1936
General, 1867-1905
Box Folder
6 10 Travis County tax receipt-Beriah Graham, 1867
10 Insurance policy-S. W. Baker, 1879
10 Funeral announcement-Lilly Baker Metcalfe, 1888
10 Love and Light for the New Year by Frances Ridley Havergal, 1894
10 Wedding service-solemnization of matrimony of the Protestant Episcopal Church, 1903
10 Booklet-Nellie Baker, undated
11 Engraver's metal plate for a wedding invitation-Ellen Baker and William George Franklin, 1903
7 Julia Baker's copy of A Texas Scrapbook,
Lily Baker's Copy of Brief History of Texas, 1873
Clippings, 1920-1937
Box Folder
7 1 Newspaper photos of family members and society notes, 1920-1937
Photographs, circa 1870s-1940s
Box Folder
8 1 Dewitt C. Baker, Jr. (#004, 042-043, 050, 095, 108), circa 1870s-1910s
2 Allie Baker (#009-010, 060, 069, 070-071, 076, 100, 107), circa 1880s-1920s
3 Graham Baker (#075, 096), circa 1880s
4 Raymond B. Cox (#011, 073) circa 1920s-1930s
5 Pease-Graham-Cruseman family members (#036, 053, 080, 084-087, 103, 105-106, 109), circa 1880s-1900s
6 Ethel Baker Cox (#012, 052, 059, 072, 092), 1885-1918
7 Nellie Baker (#001, 051, 056, 091), circa 1860s-1900s
8 Bessie Baker Carr and Joseph Baker Carr (#002, 045, 097, 098), circa 1870s-1905
9 Mamie Cardwell (#035, 038), circa 1870s
10 Marie Baker (#015, 033, 041), circa 1870s-1890s
11 Cecilia B. Townsend (#008, 113), undated
12 Horace Roberdeau (#058, 088), 1897-1899
13 Buildings, houses, and views (#054, 078, 089-090, 093, 111), circa 1890s-1910s
14 Unidentified portraits and snapshots (#061-068, 099, 101), circa 1920s-1940s
15 Assorted friends and family (#013-014, 016-029, 031-032, 034, 037, 039-040, 044, 046-049), circa 1870s-1880s
16 Assorted friends and family (#003, 005-007, 030, 057, 074, 077, 079, 081-083, 094, 102, 104, 110, 112), circa 1870s-1910s