Dakota Datebook

George Baker Lynched

Monday, November 7, 2005

George W. Baker was lynched in Steele on this day in 1912. Historian Frank Vyzralek writes: “…George Baker stepped off the train at Dawson, ND, one quiet [October] morning. Making his way to the home of his father-in-law, Thomas Glass, a respected local pioneer, Baker found his estranged wife, Myrtle, and Glass at breakfast and shot both to death.

Backer was described as a drifter who had met his wife six years earlier while working the harvest fields. Myrtle Baker disliked travel and eventually returned to Dawson with the couple’s two children,” Vyzralek says. “Her husband’s attack came suddenly and without warning. A few days later a small masked party assaulted the Kidder County jail in Steele, where Baker was being held, dragged him forcibly down the frozen street and hanged him from the entrance to the railroad stock yards.”

Source: Vyzralek, Frank. Vigilante justice – lynchings. The good, the bad, the ugly: justice on the Dakota frontier. North Dakota Humanities Council. January-February 2000. P. 6

Dakota Datebook written by Merry Helm

This text and audio may not be copied without securing prior permission from Prairie Public.

Dakota Datebook is a project of Prairie Public, in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, with funding from the North Dakota Humanities Council.

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