Frank A. Baker

This page is dedicated to chronicling the Spanish-American War veteran Frank A. Baker. The information was supplied by his grandson Richard Baker of Toledo. The official records from the Michigan Adjutant General's office give the following details of his enlistments and promotions.
  1. Frank A. Baker enlisted in the Michigan National Guard on June 17, 1892 at Lansing, Michigan in Co. E, 1st Infantry.
  2. Appointed Corporal, July 10, 1894.
  3. Honorable Discharge ETS, June 16, 1895.
  4. Re-enlisted Co. E, 1st Infantry, June 18, 1895.
  5. Appointed Sergeant, July 26, 1897.
  6. Honorably discharged to accept commission, April 25, 1898.
  7. Appointed 2nd Lieutenent, Co. E, 31st Michigan Volunteer Inf., April 26, 1898.
  8. Mustered for Spanish War - April 26, 1898.
  9. Mustered out - May 17, 1899.

The following December 5, 1919, report was also located in the Michigan Adjutant General's Office: " I certify, that it appears from the official records of this office that Frank A. Baker entered service as a 2nd Lt in Co. E, 31st Regiment Michigan Infantry on the 26th day of April, 1898, at Island Lake and was duly mustered into the service of the United States for the term of 2 years, May 8, 1898 at the age of 23 years. Commissioned May 8, 1898. [Description] Black eyes, black hair, dark complexion, and 6'1" tall. Electrician. Mustered out May 17, 1899, and honorably discharged at Savannah, Georga." [signed] John S. Bersey, Adjutant General.

The following photographs, historic documents and artifacts are from the Baker family collection. for more details contact Richard S. Baker at

The officer sitting down (left) inside the tent is Lt. Frank A. Baker. He was born on January 22, 1875 in Lansing Michigan. He married Ursula Mann on April 24, 1898 (The day before he received his commission) and died July 18, 1935, at the age of 60.
The Detroit Free Press mentioned in his obituary that Frank Baker was the Superintendent of Distribution for the Municipal Water and Electric Light Commission. He had begun his service with the commission as a lineman 36 years before, right after leaving the Army. His affiliation with the Army, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Masonic Lodge were mentioned. His wife died the year before, and he died of natural causes after returning from a vacation trip in the East. He is buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery in Lansing, Michigan. He had two sons, Scott A. and Paul J. Baker. He was survived by his sister Katherine Klingensmith and three brothers, J. Lee, Herbert and Philip Baker.
  1. The first two pictures in this sequence show the 31st Michigan in Dress Parade. The third picture shows the encampment of the 31st Michigan and the 1st Georgia Regiments. The location is assumed to be Camp Poland near Knoxville, Tennessee. Click on Image to enlarge. Click on the BACK button to return to this page.

  2. There are two pictures in this sequence. One taken in the U.S. and one in Amaro, Cuba. The caption on the state-side photograph is "Copyright 1898. Co. E 31st Mich.Vol." The caption on the other picture is, "O.G. Avery Photographer with 31st Michigan V.I. Amaro, Cuba." Frank Baker has been identified in both photographs. Click on Image to enlarge. Click on the BACK button to return to this page.

  3. The medals displayed here are those from the Baker collection and are assumed to be those obtained by Lt. Baker along with reunion pins acquired after the war. Click on Image to enlarge. Click on the BACK button to return to this page.

  4. Photograph of the 31st Michigan. Mr. Richard S. Baker dates the photo as July 20, 1898, taken at Camp Thomas, Chickamauga National Military Park, Chattanooga, TN. The 31st Michigan arrived in Cuba on February 1, 1899, and remained there for less than three months guarding supplies. Click on Image to enlarge. Click on the BACK button to return to this page.

  5. The sword shown is the one carried by Lt. F.A. Baker (first photograph) during the war. In Ordnance Memorandum 22, the sword is referred to as a, "Staff and Line Officers Sword." The sword was produced at Springfield Armory and has the Master Armorer's inspection initials, S.W.P. (Samuel W. Porter) on the scabbard tip. This sword appears in a number of the Baker photographs. The buckle and the IDed part of the belt are shown. Click on Image to enlarge. Click on the BACK button to return to this page.

  6. The rifle is serial numbered 263428. This gun has been in the Baker family along with the other memorabilia since the war. From Frank Mallory's serial number records, the gun was issued to Co. F, 7th U.S. Volunteers in 1898. Evidently, the 31st Michigan was part of the 7th U.S.V. Infantry. In several of the photographs, the "U.S.V." is found on the collar of Baker and his colleagues. The third photograph in the sequence shows Frank Baker's wife, Ursula, on the far right. The lady in the foreground left is Frank's sister, Katherine, and the third lady has not been identified. Click on Image to enlarge. Click on the BACK button to return to this page.

  7. In the first photograph of the sequence, Lt. Baker and colleague, 1st Lt. John Durst are in Camp Eaton, May 11, 1898. They have their dress hats and "MICH" insignia on their collars. The original photograph was printed backwards, and is here corrected. Also both men have their swords with them. The last photograph shows the identification markings Lt. Baker inscribed on the inside, "1-1-1 / Lt. (eut) F.A.Baker / 10-15-98 / 31 Mich." Click on Image to enlarge. Click on the BACK button to return to this page.

  8. In this series a number of items should be noted. Photograph No.1 shows Baker and his wife (far right) with other family and friends. The two officers have "U.S.V." and "MICH/31" insignia on their collars. The Michigan ensignia is the metal one, 31/Crossed Rifles/MICH, shown in the medals section above. Photograph No.2 shows Baker and colleague in full combat attire. Photograph No.3 is another studio photograph of Baker and the same colleague. Photograph No.4 is a grouping of Baker and three other 31st Michigan volunteers. The names are 1st Lt. John Hurst, 1st Lt. Lois Heyer, 2nd Lt. James Ross (front) and Frank Baker. The original image was printed backwards. It was reversed, and the collar insignias are easier to read. All four collars have "MICH" on them. Click on Image to enlarge. Click on the BACK button to return to this page.

Home Page