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Raymond Thomas Baker (November 22, 1877 – April 28, 1935)[1] was a wealthy United States businessman who was Director of the United States Mint from 1917 to 1922.

Raymond T. Baker
Raymond-Baker-Mint-US.jpg
Raymond T. Baker
Director of the United States Mint
In office
March 1917 – March 1922
Preceded byFriedrich Johannes Hugo von Engelken
Succeeded byFrank Edgar Scobey
Personal details
Born
Raymond Thomas Baker

(1878-11-22)November 22, 1878
Eureka, Nevada, U.S.
DiedApril 28, 1935(1935-04-28) (aged 56)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)
Margaret Emerson Vanderbilt
(m. 1918; div. 1928)

Delphine Ione Dodge Cromwell
(m. 1928)
ChildrenGloria Mary Baker
Anna Ray Baker
ParentsGeorge Washington Baker
Mary Agnes Hall Baker
Alma materUniversity of Nevada, Reno
Stanford University
Raymond T. Baker and Anthony de Francisci inspecting model of new silver dollar.

Early lifeEdit

Baker was born in Eureka, Nevada on November 22, 1877. He was the son of George Washington Baker, the lead counsel of the Southern Pacific Railroad, and Mary Agnes (née Hall) Baker.[2] His brother Cleve Baker served as the Nevada Attorney General.

He was educated at the University of Nevada, Reno, then at Stanford University.[3]

CareerEdit

After college, Baker became involved in gold mining, being one of the first investors active in Rawhide, Nevada.[3] He became a rich man when he sold his claims.[3] He then moved east and had a brief romantic relationship with Elinor Glyn.[3] Baker had a longtime interest in prison reform and in 1911, with his brother, Cleve Baker, serving as Nevada Attorney General, Raymond T. Baker became warden of the Nevada State Prison, a position he held from February 1, 1911 to May 10, 1912.[4]

In 1915, Baker traveled to Russia to become confidential secretary to George T. Marye, Jr., the United States Ambassador to Russia. While in the diplomatic service, "he carried out one of the longest messenger trips on record, coming to Washington with dispatches from Ambassador Marye by way of Finland and England, and then returning, after a two or three days' stop at the capital, to Petrograd by way of California and Siberia.[4]

Upon his return from Russia, President Woodrow Wilson named him Director of the United States Mint in 1917. Baker subsequently held this office from March 1917 until March 1922.[5]

During the 1926 Senate elections, Baker sought election as United States Senator from Nevada on the Democratic ticket, but was defeated by the Republican incumbent, Tasker Oddie.[6]

Personal lifeEdit

On June 12, 1918, he married Margaret (née Emerson) Vanderbilt (1886–1960)[7] at Homewood in Lenox, Massachusetts. Margaret, the daughter and heiress of Isaac Edward Emerson (the "Bromo-Seltzer King") was the widow of Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt, who died aboard the RMS Lusitania.[3] At the wedding, his best man was U.S. Senator Key Pittman.[4] Before their divorce on October 1, 1928 in Reno after a decade of marriage, they were the parents of:[8]

  • Gloria Mary Baker (1920–1975), who married Henry Junkins Topping (1914–1968) in 1938. They divorced and she married Edward Harrison Alexander (1902–1978) in 1944. They also divorced and she married Sidney Taylor (1934–2004) in 1966.

After their divorce, Margaret remarried to Charles Minot Amory in October 1928.[9] On December 4, 1928, he married a second time, to Delphine (née Dodge) Cromwell (1899–1943), daughter of Anna Thompson Dodge and Horace Elgin Dodge, one of the two co-founders of the Dodge Motor Company.[10][11] Delphine was the ex-wife of James H. R. Cromwell, who married Doris Duke in 1935.[2] Together, Raymond and Delphine were the parents of:

  • Anna Ray Baker (1933–2001), who married James Ranger.[12]

Baker died of coronary thrombosis on April 28, 1935, In Washington, DC approximately three months after suffering a heart attack.[1] He was cremated, and his ashes interred with his family at Mountain View Cemetery, in Oakland, California. After his death, his widow remarried to Timothy Godde in August 1935.[13]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "RAYMOND T. BAKER, EX-MINT HEAD, DIES; Held Federal Post From 1917 to 1922 Led in Development of Mining in Nevada" (PDF). The New York Times. 29 April 1935. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  2. ^ a b Political Graveyard
  3. ^ a b c d e "Political Notes: High Adventure", Time, Apr. 5, 1926
  4. ^ a b c "MRS. A.G. VANDERBILT TO WED R. T. BAKER Widow of Lusitania Victim to Marry Director of the Mint at Her Lenox Home in June. HEIRESS'S THIRD MARRIAGE Daughter of Capt. Emerson Divorced Her First Husband, Dr. S. H. McKim--Baker's Career" (PDF). The New York Times. May 31, 1918. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  5. ^ List of Directors of the United States Mint
  6. ^ "Famous Nevadans"
  7. ^ "MRS. EMERSON, 75, OF THE '400' DEAD; Society Leader Was Mother of Alfred Vanderbilt -- Her Father Headed Drug Firm" (PDF). The New York Times. 3 January 1960. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  8. ^ vintagememorabilia.com
  9. ^ "Mrs. Raymond T. Baker Wed to C.M. Amory By Archbishop Francis at F. Cutting Home" (PDF). The New York Times. 25 October 1928. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  10. ^ "MRS. CROMWELL TO MARRY TODAY; Former Delphine Dodge to Wed Raymond T. Baker, Ex-Director of U.S. Mint. NUPTIALS AT AMBASSADOR Bride-to-Be the Former Wife of James H.R. Cromwell--Mr.Baker's Second Marriage" (PDF). The New York Times. 4 December 1928. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  11. ^ "Mrs. Horace Dodge Dies at 103; Among World's Richest Women" (PDF). The New York Times. 4 June 1970. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  12. ^ "3 Dodge Heirs Are Denied Equal Shares of the Estate" (PDF). The New York Times. 31 December 1972. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  13. ^ "MRS. DELPHINE BAKER TO BEWED ABROAD; Widow of Raymond T. Baker to Become Bride Next Week of Timothy Godde of New York" (PDF). The New York Times. 9 August 1935. Retrieved 3 September 2019.

External linksEdit

Government offices
Preceded by
Friedrich Johannes Hugo von Engelken
Director of the United States Mint
March 1917 – March 1922
Succeeded by
Frank Edgar Scobey