Capt. John Teneretta Baker

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John Teneretta Baker

Also Known As: "Renta"
Birthdate: (96)
Birthplace: Pine Mountain, Wilkes County, Province of North Carolina
Death: Died in Ricetown, Clay County, Kentucky, United States
Place of Burial: Buffalo Creek, Owsley County, Kentucky, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Andrew Baker and Mary Mollie M. Baker
Husband of Aza Sookotosh; Elizabeth Baker; Elizabeth Baker and Susannah Baker
Father of Wansley Baker, I; Capt. Robert Julius Baker; Issac Baker, I; Bolling Baker; Margaret Patricia Baker and 9 others

Occupation: Fought in Revolutionary War, Revolutionary War soldier and longhunter
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Capt. John Teneretta Baker

John Renta Baker is buried in the John Baker Cemetery, Owsley County, Kentucky.

Name: John Teneretta "Renta" BAKER , Capt. Sex: M Title: Captain Birth: 17 OCT 1735 in Pine Moutain, Wilkes County, North Carolina Death: 1820 in Ricetown, Owsley/ Clay County, Kentucky Burial: Buried in the Old Eng. Gap Cemetary, Owsley County, Kentucky Military Service: Captian Note: Sometimes known as" Renta", "Terrenta","Renta Dan" or " Renta Den". Settled on Buffalo Creek, Owsley County, Kentucky. Died 1830, Owsley or Cl ay County, Kentucky. Buried in the Old English Boston Gap Cemetery in Owsl ey County,

The following information supplied from many other researchers.....Credi ts will be given when known.

All the information on the rest of the Baker family history, beginning he re and going back to Andy Baker, born about 1604 in England, has been gath ered from submissions from many other Baker researchers. A great deal w as found on LDS files and a great deal on the Baker-Bolling Web site. Ma ny people have researched this family from John "Renta" and Elizabeth Terr ill Baker, Andrew and Mary Mollie Bolling, Robert and Mrs. Robert Baker, J ohn Baker and Andy Baker. That is a total of five generations from the bir th of John "Renta" Baker in 1735 to the birth of Andy Baker in Abt. 16 04 in England, approximate 135 year span. It does not seem prudent for me to try to duplicate what has already be en done. What I will do as I enter this data through these five generation s, is to enter data where the facts are not in agreement. The researcher w ill be able to take a look for their own evaluation. Byron Brown, Janua ry 4, 2000! History used from Andrew "Andy" Baker to John "Renta" Baker ta ken from several web sites and many researchers via the internet. A li st of most of the web sites can be seen in notes on Andrew "Andy" Baker, b orn 1604 in Buckingham shire< England History also used from the LDS John "Renta" Baker submitters. 35 pages c an be printed out from this site. Just put in the name John "Renta" Bak er in.

Below is the balance of the article which began in notes for Robert Bake r, grandfather of John "Renta" Baker. NOTE: Found in BAKER FAMILY NEWSLETT ER (INTERNATIONAL) VOLUME #10 1997. A Genealogical publication ISSN: 0893- 5831 Editor/Publisher, Crystal Jensen, 326 Panhorst Staunton, Illinois 620 88.


If you talk to many people in Clay and Owsley Counties today about early s ettlers, eventually the name JOHN "RENTA" BAKER will come into conversation. He is thought to have been a v ery EXCEPTIONAL PERSON, but who? Why has his name survived all these year s?

John "Renta" Baker was a son o Andrew Baker and Mary Bollin. He was bo rn in Pennsylvania in about 1735 and brought into the valley of New Riv er when but a youth. His early life was mostly spent in the forest. T he time he spent in the woods was probably the closest thing to schooli ng he ever received. It is quite understandable that he became a professi onal hunter when he grew to manhood. He was a member of one of the first o rganized hunting parties to cross the Appalachian Mountains. This party w as lead by Benjamin Cutbirth in the summer of 1767. Ben Cutbirth and jo hn Renta were raised in the same neighborhood on New River. They liv ed a few miles apart. Cutbirth and Baker would go on many hunts togethe r. They developed a friendship for each other, a bond that would span near ly a lifetime.

Benjamin Cutbirth was a relative to Daniel Boon. He was married to Boone 's niece, Elizabeth Wilcoxen. Daniel Boone, at the time, was living on t he south side of the Blue Ridge Mountains, some twenty-five miles aw ay on Beaver Creek, a tributary of the Yadkin river. Cutbirth and Baker 's hunting trip in 1776 proved to be a great success. After selling the ir furs, they managed to make as much in one hunting season, as they wou ld in several years of back breaking farming. Word soon spread of their s uccess and that of other hunting parties. In 1769 the largest and most fa mous hunting party ever formed in the area met at the mouth of Reedy Cre ek in Virginia. These men would become known as the "LONG HUNTERS", so ca lled for the great distances they traveled and the long periods of time th ey were out. Some of these hunters were away from home for as much as t wo years and a few even longer. Most of them had returned home by late Ju ne of 1771, with the exception of John Renta Baker, Cassius Brooks, and ei ght others. These men built two boats and two canoes and continued to hu nt and trap for several more months. They worked their way down the Cumbe rland and Tennessee Rivers to the Mississippi River. They then descend ed that river to the settlement at Natches. Here they sold their furs a nd returned home overland.

John Renta Baker encountered another problem after returning to his ho me in Wilkes County,. He had seen this one coming for a long time, but ne ither he nor his neighbors knew what to do about it. This problem was t he Loyalist or more often called Tories. They had gained complete contr ol of the valley. The political and economic structure was solely in the ir hands now. Speaking out against the Crown was one sure way of getti ng into trouble. If a person was ever suspected of disloyalty, they we re often forced to take an oath of allegiance to the King before they we re allowed to sell their products at market. Needless to say, this harass ment brought on many hard feelings. This would all come to an abrupt endi ng when a man by the name of Benjamin Cleveland moved into the Valle y. He would prove to be the Tories worst nightmare. Not long after his a rrival, he gathered together some forty of the most headstrong men in t he area. These men became known as "Cleveland's Devils" or sometimes call ed "Cleveland's Bull Dogs". They would soon rid the Valley of Tories, for cing them into the surrounding mountains. Col. Cleveland's main soluti on to the Tory problem was always the same. On the limbs of a giant oak t ree, standing in Wilkesboro, he hung every Tory he and his men could catc h, with no exceptions. Justice was always swift and very permanent.

I would like to note here that I wan in Wilkesboro in the Summer of 198 7. To the rear of the Courthouse still stands the above mentioned Oak Tre e. It looked today much as I imagined it did in Cleveland's time. It sta nds there as if it were defying time itself. At the base of this magnific ent old tree is a small plaque. It reads: "THE TORY OAK". On the lim bs of this tree Colonel Ben Cleveland and "others" hanged Tories during t he American Revolution. I knew that John Renta Baker had been on of Cleve land's Devils and as I stood here, I could not but wonder how many hangin gs he had witnessed or even taken part in?

When the Revolutionary War broke out back east, it came to no big surpri se to Rohn Renta Baker and his neighbors. After all, they had been fighti ng their own war with the Tory for quite some time. The main impact of t he war did not come to the Valley until September 1780. A rider came wi th some shocking news. Col. John Sevier, commander of the Wataugh Stati on in Tennessee, had sent him. Col. Sevier informed Col. Cleveland th at he had just received word from Col. Patrick Ferguson, a British offic er under the command of General Cornwallis. The message came in the fo rm of a warning. It stated that if he, (Col. Seivier) did not lay down h is arms and stop this rebellion against he Crown; he would come, "hang the ir leaders and lay waste to their country with fire and Sword. Riders h ad also been dispatched to Col. William Campbell in Virginia and Col. Isa ac Shelby in Tennessee with the same message. All were advised, with t he utmost urgency to gather as many men and as much supplies as possibl e. The Americans had made up their minds, they were not going to wait f or the war to come to them, they were going to meet it head on. In less t han a week Col. Cleveland had mustered about 350 men and started out to jo in the main force. When united with Campbell's and Shelby's men, the Amer ican Army amounted to a little over 900 men. The British officer, Col. Fe rguson, had about 100 regular soldiers under his command. He had also man aged to recruit about 900 to 1000 Tories also. Col. Ferguson and his m en had fortified themselves on top of a mountain. The battle was foug ht on October 7th, 1780 and would become known as the Battle of Kings Moun tain. The battle ended in defeat for the British. They lost 157 men th at day, among them their leader, Col. Patrick Ferguson.

There was little time for rejoicing over their victory of the battle. A m ore pressing problem was now at hand. These men had been continuous ly on the move and marching for many weeks. They were hungry, cold, tire d, and a long way from home. Their food and other provisions were almo st depleted. If this were not bad enough, they now had 750 British and To ry prisoners to contend with. Of these, 60 were wounded. They resort ed to scavenging for food anyway or anywhere they could find it. It was l ate in the year and all the crops had been harvested. Occasionally, th ey would come across an abandoned garden, where they would sometimes fi nd sweet potatoes green pumpkins. These they fried and ate as if they we re some sort of delicacy. As each day padded the situation became wors e. A constant reminder of all their suffering was always close at han d. These were the British and Tory prisoners they had captured. The ha te and resentment for them grew with each passing day and was about to rea ch a boiling point. Of course, Col. Cleveland had his usual solution to t he problem. He simply just wanted to hang them all. Col. Shelby and Camp bell were not quite as blood thirsty, but did agree to Hold trials, hopi ng to appease him and some of the others. So on the 7th day after the bat tle, a makeshift Court was set up in the middle of the woods. The tria ls began early and lasted all day. Needless to say, few of the prisone rs were pronounced Innocent, most were sentenced to hang. That nig ht in a nearby forest, a very eerie scene took place. By the Pine-knot to rches the prisoners were placed on horseback and hung, three at a time.

This process was repeated over and over, until the total of nine had be en hung. At this point a stop was called. What had begun in a rage of ha te and revenge, had ended in total silence. Never the less, it sent a ve ry clear message to the remaining Tory prisoners of their situation. With in the next few days most of them had managed to escape. Of the 750 pris oners taken, only 130 were turned over to the authorities at Hillsboroug h, North Carolina.

The Battle of Kings Mountain was one of the most decisive battles of the R evolutionary War. But for the people in Wilkes County, North Carolina t he war was a long way from being over. The personal war that Col. Clevela nd and his little band had waged against the Tory, once again raised its u gly head. A certain Tory leader by the name of Capt. William Riddle ma de a bold move. A party of six or eight men, led by Capt. Riddle, sneak ed into the Valley and captured the biggest prize of all, Col. Ben Clevela nd.

The Colonel was on a visit to his plantation up at "Old Fields". The cre ek that ran through is plantation and still bares is name today. This w as on Saturday, April 13, 181. The Tory had been following Col. Clevela nd and his whereabouts for quite some time. They had finally located h im at the house of Jesse Duncan, a tenant of the Colonel's plantation. N ot known to the Tory, there were two men in the house at the time. Richa rd Callaway and John Shirley, who had come over to visit the Colonel and d ecided to spend the night. The Tory knew that the Colonel was not goi ng to be taken without a fight, so they devised a plan. Under the cov er of darkness, they came and stole the Colonel's horses, knowing he wou ld think they had broken loose and would try to find then. Sure enough, t he next morning the Colonel after discovering his horses missing, set o ut to find them. His tenant, Duncan, came along accompanied by Richard Ca llaway and John Shirley. As the Tory had planned, they ran head on into t heir ambush. Col. Cleveland was taken prisoner. Richard Callaway was sh ot through the thigh and left to die. Jesse Duncan and John Shirley had m anaged to escape.

The discovery of what had taken place was not made until later that mornin g, Joseph Callaway, who I guess became concerned in the whereabouts of h is brother, set out to find him. After reaching Duncan's house, he discov ered no one there and the horses gone. It was about this time Callaway he ard gunfire. He ran in the direction from where the sound came and the re discovered Shirley and Duncan. After the story was related to Joseph C allaway, he mounted his horse and road off as fast as he could in the dire ction of his father's house, a short distance away. After telling his fat her, Thomas Callaway, the location of his wounded brother, he remounted h is horse and set out again. This time to tell Colonel's brother, Capt. Ro bert Cleveland, of the situation. There was no time to waste. Capt. Robe rt Cleveland lived some 12 miles away. By the time Callaway reached his h ome and the return trip, the trail would be long cold. IN a short time t he whole neighborhood was alerted.

William Callaway, another brother of Richard, John Rena Baker and Samual M cQueen set out on the trail in pursuit of the Tory. After tracking most t hat day, shortly before dusk they discovered the Tory camp. Not wanti ng to alert the Tory of their presence, our little rescue party retreat ed back down the trail and bed down for the night. Just before sunri se of the next morning, Capt. Robert Cleveland rode up with another twen ty or so. After exchanging ideas of how to deal with situation, the par ty moved in closer to take a look at their camp. The Tories were going ab out their business preparing breakfast, totally unaware of what was abo ut to take place. Old Ben Cleveland was setting on a log, acti ng as if he didn't have a care in the world. He was among the first to di scover the presence of his rescuers. The Colonel was a very large man, we ighing upward to 300 pounds. When the first shots rang out he knew it wou ld be of little use for him to try running . So he just sat there on t he log shouting, "Hurrah for Brother Bob! That's right , give 'em hell !" With this he fell backward off the log and lay on the ground, in fe ar of being shot by one of is own men.

With exception of one, the Tories made their escape, including their leade r, Capt. Riddle. But Colonel Cleveland was not to be denied is reveng e. Capt. Riddle and two others by the names of Reeves and Goss were captu red shortly after. It does not take much imagination to figure out the ir fate. That's right! The Oak Tree in Wilkesbore. But, it could nev er be said the old Colonel wasn't an understanding person. He did allow C apt. Riddle's wife to watch as he hung her husband.

The mentioned Callaway family was kinfolk to John Renta Baker. Thomas Cal laway was married to Mary May Baker. She was an aunt to John Renta and si ster to Andrew Baker. Thomas Callaway's son, Richard, was one of the foun ders of Boonesbourogh, Kentucky.

John Rent Baker continued to live in Wilkes County, until about1790 or 179 1. At which time he, and his old hunting companion Benjamine Cutbirth, wi th their families moved to Carter County, Tennessee. John Renta lived he re for six or seven years before moving to Hawkins County, Tennesse e. He remained there only a short time. In about 1798 he moved into t he the Blackwater Settlement in Lee County, Virginia

By 1800 John and his friend John Abner had penetrated the wilderness by fo ot, horseback, and boat settling near what is now the Clay-Owsley Count y, line near to what is now Cortland. This is about the same time the Gabb ard family migrated from Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee to sett le in what was then Madison County, and is now Jackson County, near McKe e. There are many connection between the Gabbards and the Bakers.

From: Captain John Renty Baker, By Wm O'Connor. Captain John Baker October 1735-1820 Clay County, Kentucky, married 1st El izabeth Terrill, d/o James Terrill and a niece of Obediah Terrill, Long Hu nter. John was a Long Hunter and in1793 was living on the Green Rive r, in what is now Kentucky, with the Cherokees. Beginning about 1763 he and other Long Hunters hunted and trapped on the G reen River made trips down the Cumberland River to Spanish Natchez to se ll their furs. Col. Gasper Mansker once became ill in Natchez and John Bak er stayed with him until he was able to travel, the he and Gasper walked c ross country back to Virginia. John served with Col. Benjamin Cleveland 's Regiment during the Revolutionary War. John Renty came to Kentucky after the Fayette, Boyle, Madison Rockcastle a nd Clay Counties. Late in life he married Aza Williams. After Aza died Jo hn lived in a rockhouse near the mouth of Buffalo Creek, now Owsley Count y, and died there in 1820. John is said to have fathered several 1/2 indi an Children.

Industrial Authority Owsley County Action Team City of Booneville Fisc al Court Education History Early Beginnings

Owsley County was formed in 1843 from portions of Clay, Breathitt, and Est ill Counties and was named for Governor William Owsley. Owsley County w as Kentucky's 96th county. Parts of Owsley County were used to form Jacks on County in 1858 and Lee County in 1870.

The first settlers in Owsley County were John Renty Baker and John Abne r. They first settled in 1780 near the present Clay County line at Courtla nd. The exact year of their settlement is unknown, however, a gravestone f ound in a cemetery in Upper Buffalo Creek reads, "Milly, wife of John Abne r, died March 1846."

John Renty Baker and his sons, who were all gunsmiths, also invented and d eveloped hand operated machines to cut the rifle barrels. John Renty's fat her, Robert Baker, developed the rifle that became known as the "Kentuc ky Rifle".

John Renty Baker was known as one of the "Long Hunters", spending more th an a year at a time in the forests of Tennessee and Kentucky trapping a nd hunting. In "The Conquest of the Old Southwest", it is stated that in 1 766 John Baker hunted with Daniel Boone's brother-in-law, John Stewar t. He lived on the Green River among the Cherokees in what is now Kentuc ky and made trips down the Cumberland River to Spanish Natchez to sell the ir furs.

After the death of his wife, John Renty Baker became a recluse and liv ed in a rockhouse near the mouth of Buffalo Creek and died there in 182 0. He fathered at least 21 children that are documented.

The Bakers are the source of many colorful stories. The were involved in o ne of the longest and bloodiest family feuds in U.S. history which beg an in 1943 when Dr. Thomas Baker (a grandson of Julius Bob) shot John Bale s. Dr. Baker and John Bales were both married to daughters of John White a nd the two young couples became more intimate than is usual in this mounta in country. Dr. Baker became insanely jealous of his wife and Bales. Final ly in a fit of rage, he deserted her and began suit for divorce but sudden ly withdrew it. He went to the salt works, where Bates worked in Mancheste r, called him to the door and shot him with an old-fashioned "pepper bo x" pistol. Bates died, but while he was dying he cursed Baker and authoriz ed $10,000 from his estate to be used toward the capture and conviction Ba ker. The feud lasted for 59 years and took over 100 lives before it ende d.

The first settler in the City of Booneville was James Moore, Sr. The si te of their home is located just outside of Booneville in front of Boonevi lle Homes apartments. James Moore, Jr., son of James Moore, Sr., built a t wo room cabin on the opposite side of the river from his parents. This ho me still stands, although it has been remodeled through the years, a nd is owned by Mayor Charles Long and his wife.

The Moore's land included all of Booneville, east across the South Fork Ri ver and toward Lerose. The community was known as Moore's Station and w as later named Booneville after Daniel Boone. James Moore, Jr. was the fir st postmaster. Elias Moore donated land for a seat for the new county in 1 843 and the town was incorporated Booneville in 1846. The Owsley Court Hou se Post Office opened in 1844 and was renamed Booneville in 1846. In 185 8, Owsley County lost some of it's territory to Jackson County and in 18 60 to Wolfe County. In 1870, when Lee County was formed, again Owsley Coun ty lost some of its territory.

The Moores, Bowmans, Bakers, Gabbards, and Reynolds were the first permane nt settlers.

Most land patents came from Virginia. The three types included military se rvice, grants from settlement or preemption, or warrants from the treasur y. There are still families here who have their original land grants.

In January 1929, and again on January 5, 1967, there were courthouse fire s. All records were lost in the 1929 fire.

For more information contact: Ronnie Callahan, Jr. - Chairman Booneville/Owsley County Industrial Authority P.O. Box 637 · Booneville, KY 41314 Phone: 606-593-6800 · Fax: 606-593-7700 Email: ------------------------------------------

Birth: Oct. 7, 1735 Ashe County North Carolina, USA Death: 1820 Ricetown Owsley County Kentucky, USA

John Baker was officially married two (2) times. Last count there were tweive (12) children with Elizabeth Terrell. No children with Susannah Perkins. There were two (2) children with an Agatha "Aza" Williams but there is still question whether these two were ever married.

Family links:

 Elizabeth Terrell Baker (1734 - 1785)
 Susannah Perkins Baker (1750 - 1815)

 Andrew Baker (1765 - 1841)*
 Robert T. Julius Baker (1774 - 1859)*
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Burial: Cortland Cemetery Cowcreek Owsley County Kentucky, USA

Created by: Richard Wayne Baker Record added: Sep 19, 2011 Find A Grave Memorial# 76785586


Parents: Andrew Baker Mary Bolin Masonic emblem on old stone 1 Mar 1774 29 Nov 1859(New Stone) Lt. 2nd Reg., William's Mountain Ky. Volunteers, War of 1812 His old stone is not now readable. In 1976 this stone read died 29 Nov 1859 age 86 years. Two old stones on each side believed to be those of his two wives. John Baker was officially married two (2) times. Last count there were twelve (12) children with Elizabeth Terrell. No children with Susannah Perkins. There were two (2) children with an Agatha "Aza" Williams but there is still question whether these two were ever married

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Capt. John Teneretta Baker's Timeline

October 7, 1735
Pine Mountain, Wilkes County, Province of North Carolina
Age 21
Chowan County, North Carolina, United States
April 1762
Age 26
Buncombe County, North Carolina, United States
Age 27
Frederick County, Province of Virginia
Age 28
Wilkes County, North Carolina, United States
September 20, 1765
Age 29
Buncombe County, North Carolina, United States
Age 31
Buncombe County, North Carolina, United States
Age 34
Buncombe County, North Carolina, United States