John Baker – 12

The circumstances of Katie and John’s move to Huntsville are a mystery.  John’s older brother, Eugene, had lived there since at least 1898.  It was a town about the same size as Clarksville, around 8,000 people.  It has been a cotton trading center before the Civil War and was saved from destruction due to its large number of wealthy pro-Union citizens.  Even when Eugene and John worked there, it was a thriving textiles center.  Eugene was trained as a carpenter, and presumably apprenticed in that town. After working for a while as a furniture maker and repairer with partner, JS Taylor, he opened a planning mill, presumably seeing the need for a source of Woodstock for furniture makers.  A planning mill would have required blacksmith work, either in-shop or purchased to fashion tools for the mill, and presumably John moved to Huntsville to serve in that role.

The reason that Katie and John moved back to Clarksville after five years is a mystery.  Prior to doing so, they lost at least one other child near birth, in 1904.  Both infants are buried with the Dean family in Greenwood Cemetery, in Clarksville.  When they returned, Katie and John moved in with her parents on Second Avenue.