Jim Baker, of Scotch-Irish descent, was born in Illinois in 1818. As a young man, he traveled on foot to St. Louis, Missouri, where he met Jim Bridger. Baker signed a contract with the American Fur Company to join a trapping expedition, marking the beginning of a new adventure.
May 25th, 1839, on the old steamer, St. Peter, traveling up the Missouri to Kansas City,
the party was transported on keel boats traveling to Grand Island on the Platte River, reaching the Laramie Plains where they had their first encounter with the Red Man. They continued down the Medicine Bow and Laramie Rivers to Sweetwater, crossing South Pass to arrive at Fort Bonneville.
1838 to 1839, Baker hunted and trapped the Wind River Mountains. When spring broke in 1840 he returned home to Illinois.
During the spring of 1841, Jim set out for his second journey to the Rocky Mountains, traveling back across the Laramie Plains, over South Pass, down the Green River to Bridger's camp at the Henry's Fork. Bridger, who was worried about his associate Henry Frapp, sent Baker along with others to search for the lost party who had been trapping at the Base of Squaw Mountain on the banks of the Little Snake River.
On August 21, 1841, Jim Baker noticed a cloud of dust arising on the southwest side of Bastion Mountain. A shower of arrows flew from a cliff overhead; they had encountered hostile Indians. This was the start of one of the most memorable fights that ever took place between the Indians and the white men in the Rocky Mountains. Captain Frapp died early in this fight, leaving Jim Baker, age 21, to take charge. This battle gave a new name to Bastion Mountain--Battle Mountain.
August 27th, 1841, after the Indians retreated the trappers departed from Battle Mountain and returned back to Bridger's camp.
1847, Baker settled for a short time in Salt Lake City Utah where he became a government Scout and guide. His talent to speak the Shoshone language and use Arapahoe sign as well as his knowledge of the rivers, trails, mountains and Indian War trails led him for Old Mexico where he returned with a regiment of soldiers to Fort Bridger. General Johnson who was in command of this army was sent here to protect the emigrants, as they encountered hardships with the Mormons on their journey westward. This was known as the Mountain Meadow Massacre.
1859, Jim Baker took up homestead near Denver, three miles north on Clear Creek. He built an adobe brick building at what is now 53rd and Tennyson Street, just west of Regis College. He built a toll bridge as well as owned the first coal mine in Colorado where Eris is now, 18 miles west of Denver.
1859, Baker was appointed Captain along with General Chivington who lead the fight at Sand Creek.
1873, Jim left Colorado and bought a ranch near Savery Wyoming, he built a cabin from cotton wood trees that were chopped by Jim and his three daughters, Isabel, Madeline and Jennie. The cabin had three stories, the upper was used as a watch tower but as the threat of hostility gave away the third story was removed.
1875, Jim Baker served to General Custer as a scout during the Fight at Rosebud in the Black Hills.
1881, Jim Baker once again was ask to aide in yet another Battle, The Meeker Massacre led by General Thornburg.
May 15, 1898, Jim Baker died in his cabin near Savery, Wyoming. He was loved and respected by all and was known as Honest Jim Baker.
1917, The Baker Cabin was removed from Savery and taken to Frontier Park in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
July, 1976, the home of Jim Baker returns home to Savery Wyoming and is now located at the Little Snake River Museum. The cabin was reconstructed under the direction of Jim Baker's Great-Grandson Paul McAllister who still lives in Dixon Wyoming.
In a little cemetery overlooking the Little Snake River Valley that after scouting from Missouri, to Oregon, from California to the Kansas territory, through Salt Lake and over our own Rocky Mountains lays the body of Jim Baker, one of the greatest scouts, trappers and Indian fighters of all time.