MINERVA ANN (BELLER) BAKER
*VICTIM OF THE 1857
MOUNTAIN MEADOWS MASSACRE*
Minerva Ann Beller was the third daughter of William C.
Beller and Martha Lovina Wilburn, born abt. 1832 in Madison County,
Alabama. Moving to Carroll County, Arkansas around 1836,
Minerva Ann's father, William C. Beller, was one of the most prominent men
in Crooked Creek Township. He owned substantial property and was a
slaveholder. He was also a merchant who operated a store near his home
called "Beller's Stand", was a Carroll County Treasurer, County Clerk, and
the Crooked Creek postmaster for several years. The Beller homestead was
located a short distance southeast of Milum Spring (also called
In 1850 Minerva Ann Beller married George Washington Baker,
the son of John Twitty Baker and Mary A. Ashby, in Carroll County,
Arkansas, and the couple resided next to
her husband's parents in Crooked Creek Township.
Planning to move to
California, Minerva Ann, her husband, George Washington Baker, and their four
young children, prepared for their journey, with the other family members
that comprised "The Baker Train". The group gathered, and made their
preparations, in the area of Milum Spring (Caravan Spring) near Minerva
Ann's late father's store, Beller's Stand. Minerva Ann and her husband had
approximately $500 in cash, 2 ox wagons and chains, a rifle, a
double-barreled shotgun, 8 oxen, 3 young mares, 136 head of cattle, and
beds, bedding, provisions, clothing and other possessions. The family then
departed from Carroll County in April of 1857, under the leadership of her father-in-law, Captain John
Minerva Ann was one of
15 children. Her mother had died on 7 December 1849, and her father died
two months later on 26 February 1850 of smallpox, leaving the youngest of the orphaned
children to be cared for by members of the Beller family. Minerva Ann, and
her husband, George Washington Baker, became the legal guardians of
Minerva Ann's sister, Melissa Ann Beller, and her brother, David W.
Beller. The two Beller children accompanied the Baker family on their trip
Among the depositions regarding the livestock and possessions that George
W. Baker had when he departed from Carroll County were those given by
Minerva Ann (Beller) Baker's brothers, William C. Beller and Irvin T.
Beller, and Minerva Ann's brother-in-law Joseph Benjamin Baines. Baines
was married to Minerva Ann's oldest sister, Mary Frances, and the Baines
were also the Bakers next door neighbors. Before leaving for California,
Joseph B. Baines had paid George W. Baker $700 in cash, as guardian of
Melissa Ann Beller. In his deposition Baines makes no mention of any
monies paid out for David W. Beller, the other ward of Minerva Ann and
George W. Baker.
(Beller) Baker's husband appears to have been killed in the initial
on 7 September 1857.
According to the account of their daughter, Sarah Frances, her sister
Martha Elizabeth told her she had been sitting on her father's lap, and the bullet that killed
him nicked Sarah's ear. Minerva Ann,
and their oldest child, Mary Lovina ("Vina") Baker, died in the Mountain
Meadows Massacre on 11 September 1857. During the Massacre, Vina's
sister, Martha Elizabeth, said she saw her 7
year old sister being led over a ridge by some men.
(Beller) Baker was 25 years old when she died. Along with her
husband and daughter, her siblings, Melissa Ann Beller, and
Beller, her brother-in-law Abel Baker, and her
father-in-law John Twitty Baker, also
died in the Massacre. Minerva Ann's three youngest children, Martha
Elizabeth "Betty" Baker, born 7 March 1852, Sarah Frances "Sally" Baker, born 20 November
1854, and William Twitty "Billy" Baker, born 15 November 1856, survived
the Massacre and were returned to their paternal grandmother, Mary A.
(Ashby) Baker, in Arkansas in 1859.
© 2008 A.C. Wallner for the
Mountain Meadows Association. All rights reserved
IN THE VALLEY
BELOW BETWEEN SEPTEMBER 7 AND 11, 1857, A COMPANY OF MORE THAN 120
ARKANSAS EMIGRANTS LED BY CAPT. JOHN T. BAKER AND CAPT. ALEXANDER
FANCHER WAS ATTACKED WHILE EN ROUTE TO CALIFORNIA. THIS EVENT IS
KNOWN IN HISTORY AS THE MOUNTAIN MEADOWS MASSACRE
MANERVA A. BELLER BAKER, 25
*Please note that the names of the victims of the 1857 Mountain Meadows
Massacre that appear here are those who we have personally researched and
verified as actual victims. In some cases this list will differ from the
names that were inscribed on the 1990 Monument on Dan Sill Hill.
virtual flowers - MMA FIND A GRAVE
MINERVA ANN (BELLER) BAKER