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George O. Baker and Joseph M. Baker papers

Identifier: W-0066

Scope and Contents

This collection contains correspondence, ledgers, and other papers of Selma, Alabama, businessmen, George O. Baker and his son, Joseph M. Baker. The first series is George Baker's correspondence relating to the development of Gadsden, Alabama. The second series contains letterbooks from Baker and Co., dating between 1904 and 1908. Much of this correspondence relates to his business transactions, including the sale of livestock and building leases. The third series contains the financial records of Baker and Co., Chilton Lumber Co., Dallas Iron Works, and Dallas Oil Co. from 1862-1869 and 1887-1904. The final volume is Joseph Baker's autograph and commonplace book. It includes many autographs and journal-type entries describing social events, plays, dances, etc. One such entry is a description of Mardi Gras in Mobile, Alabama.


  • 1886 - 1898


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Due to the nature of certain archival formats, including digital and audio-visual materials, access to certain materials may require additional advance notice.

Biographical / Historical

George Oscar Baker was born on February 29, 1828, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. On February 27, 1854, he married Emma Belzora Miner in Petersburg, Virginia; the couple had seven daughters and three sons.

The Bakers moved to Montevallo, Alabama, in 1855, where he worked as an engineer at the Montevallo Coal Company. In 1859, he moved to Selma and founded several businesses, including a grain and produce business. In 1870, he became the President of the Central Oil Mill. George Baker died on October 16, 1891, in Selma.

The son of George O. and Belzora M. Baker, Joseph Minor Baker was born on September 4, 1858. According to census records and Selma, Alabama, city directories, Baker was the manager of the Alabama Cotton Oil Company mill located in Selma. Baker married Lillian Hall and had two children, George and Belzora. Joseph Baker died on July 19, 1912.


1.0 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Correspondence, ledgers, and other papers of Selma, Alabama, businessmen, George O. Baker, his son, Joseph M. Baker, and their various companies and businesses.

Physical Location

The A. S. Williams III Americana Collection, Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library, The University of Alabama.


Gift of A. S. Williams, 2010

Related Materials

The A. S. Williams III Americana Collection holds other materials on the development of Alabama cities and industries, letterbooks, and diaries. Please see the staff for assistance.


Title on phase box spines: Joseph Baker's Commonplace Book - Selma, Alabama, 1875; Baker & Co. Letterbooks - Selma, Alabama, 1904-1908; Gadsden's Industrial Development by George Baker & R. B. Kyle - 1890-1900; Financial Records of Baker & Co., Chilton Lumber Co., Dallas Iron Works, and Dallas Oil Co., 1862-1869, 1887-1904

Processed by

Haley Aaron and Martha Bace, 2013



Guide to George O. Baker and Joseph M. Baker papers
October 2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266