The May 3 article in the Eufaula Tribune, “What’s in a name?” asked why there are two different spelling regarding the small town of Bakerhill/Baker Hill. The town hall refers to the town, which was incorporated in 1997, refers to the town as one word although the Alabama League of Municipalities has it as two words.
The town hall has a sign above its office listing it as two words. There are numerous other signs in town listing the town as both one and two words.
Here are some of the responses:
Is it Lake Eufaula, or Walter F. George ? I guess it depends on what side of the lake you live on.
I have lived in the Baker Hill community for over 72 years, except for the time I was in the Army; I also lived briefly in Texas. I went to Baker Hill school for 12 years; graduated in 1966. My brother, mother, and father went to Baker Hill school and also graduated from there.
If, we could just talk to some of the older residents that have passed on, they would also tell you Baker Hill is two words! Baker Hill was founded with two words. At one time when we had a Post Office it was listed as two words. It was two words when the major event for Barbour County took place — the Charon Pokphand Poultry Plant, came to Baker Hill. The present company, Tyson Foods, also has it as Baker Hill and Eufaula as their location.
Mrs. Gene Belcher Bryant’s mother, who founded the Baker Hill rescue squad, put it as two words. Mrs. Bryant also worked for over 36 years at the school, and it was two words.
I think when the confusion came when the Baker Hill Water Authority came into existence and started to use one word, Bakerhill. The town was incorporated all after the fact that Baker Hill was already a community with people who had been using two words Baker Hill as it existed.
So, for my 72 years it has been two words, and I will always recognize it as two words... Baker Hill.
Michael E. Odom
In response to your article in the May 3 Eufaula Tribune, “What’s in a name?” I would like to say that I am probably the oldest person living in Baker Hill. I was born here, and I have lived in the same house since I was two years old when we moved one mile from my first home. My parents were also born and reared in Baker Hill.
Baker Hill was named for a Baker family who lived in the community. Baker Hill was not at the crossroads as it is now but was across Highway 131 in front of the Baker Hill Town Hall, or there about. Mr. Baker had a store near that hill. My grandparents also had a store nearby.
In the mid-1800s, Mr. and Mrs. Chestnutt had a store next to the one currently at the crossroads. They owned all the land in this area. At that time, the community was called Chestnuttville, according to the Alabama Department of archives in history. The first post office was established circa 1877 and the postmaster was Mr. D. Rogers. The first office was called Baker’s Hill, named for the Baker family who lived in the community.
There were five country stores in the Baker Hill community at that time along with several thriving businesses, including a peanut purchasing and storage warehouse, a cotton gin, a feed mill, a barber shop, two medical doctors, a grist mill, and later, bauxite companies. The Baker Hill Water Authority is one of the largest in this area, and there are also several churches.
Both of my parents lived their entire lives here. Country stores were places where friends would meet to visit. We have always had good neighbors and still do. Our daughters have also built their homes on our property.
I graduated from Baker Hill High School and I was school secretary for the last 35 years before the school was closed.
We have a very active Baker Hill Volunteer Fire Department and Baker Hill Rescue Squad that my husband, Robert, helped organize, and he was treasurer until he became disabled.
I am thankful that the name is correctly spelled on the Baker Hill Town Hall. We will continue to pray for our community.
Jean Belcher Bryan