William R. Baker

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William Robinson Baker (1820–1890) was a U.S. politician who was a Texas State Senator and Mayor of Houston, Texas.

Baker was born 21 May 1820 in Onondaga County, New York to Asa Baker and the former Hannah Robinson. He lived in New York until age 17 at which time he moved to Houston in the Republic of Texas. There he was a bookkeeper for the Houston Town Company for about two years and ran a general store for two years after that. In 1841, Baker successfully ran for County Clerk of Harris County, a position he held for 16 years.

Baker married Hester E. Runnels, niece of former Mississippi Governor Hiram Runnels, in December 1845.

In 1852, Baker became the Secretary of the Texas Central Railroad, and in 1856, Secretary of the Houston and Texas Central Railroad. He eventually became Director and the Vice President of the line. From 1868 to 1871 was President of the railroad, and from 1873 to 1875, served as Vice-President and Manager. He sold his interests and retired from the railroad business in 1877.

In 1874, Baker was elected to the Texas Senate from the 16th District and served one term.

Baker was elected mayor of Houston and served for six years, from 1880 to 1886. Baker died in 1890.[1]



Preceded by
James G. Tracy
Texas State Senator
from District 16 (Houston)

Succeeded by
John R. Henry
Preceded by
Daniel C. Smith
Mayor of Houston
Succeeded by
Andrew J. Burke