A grain elevator was erected in August 1882 at a cost of about $1,500 by Speer & Hulburd of Hiawatha. It had a capacity of 3,500 bushels. Mr. George E. Selleg was the superintendent. One of the first stores was opened by C. D. Baker, who dealt in general merchandise.
In August 1882, John C. Stapleton settled in Baker and became a dealer in grain, lumber, and coal. He was soon shipping out thousands of bushels of corn and grain to St. Louis, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He was also shipping in lumber and coal that was used in Baker and vicinity.
A Christian Church was erected in September 1882. It was 34×50 feet, crowned with a belfry, and cost about $2,000. A post office was established on October 5, 1882.
W. W. Littreal, a physician and surgeon, moved to Baker in November 1882. In addition to practicing medicine, he was also the senior member of the firm Littreal & Bowman, dealers in drugs and books, stationery, wallpaper, paints, oil, glass, and dishes.
Described as a “new and prosperous town” in the early 1880s, it boasted six business houses, 15 private residences, two grain elevators, and a thriving commercial center.
In 1910, Baker was still a station on the Missouri Pacific Railroad, from which goods were shipped in and out of the community. At that time, it had a money order post office with one rural route, express and telegraph offices, telephone connections, and a population of 112.
Baker’s post office closed on November 15, 1933. It was located eight miles south of Hiawatha.
Blackmar, Frank W.; Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, Vol I; Standard Publishing Company, Chicago, IL 1912.
Cutler, William G; History of Kansas; A. T. Andreas, Chicago, IL, 1883.