The following is taken from the book, "The History of Leon County, Texas"
John Pinkney Baker was born June 15, 1838, the youngest of three sons, born to Ferdinand Baker(Born in S.C. 1810-Died Leon County Texas 1889) and his wife in Pike County Alabama. He was the grandson of Leonard Baker (born Va. 1775-died S.C. 1847) and his wife Nancy Gassaway Baker(born Va. 1784-died Ms. 1852) of Union County, S.C. Nancy was the daughter of Revolutionary soldier James Gassaway, and a direct descendant of Col. Nicholas Gassaway of England who settled in Maryland in 1649. By 1843 John Pinkney's mother had died and Ferdinand had remarried to Elizabeth Castleberry. In the early 1850's John Pinkney and his brother, Robert, accompanied Ferdinand and his second family to Leon County, Texas.
As a teenager, John Pinkney, called Jack, joined the Texas Rangers and was stationed in west Texas where he was engaged in several skirmishes with the Indians. When the war between the states broke out, he left the frontier and came back to Leon County. on January 16, 1861 he married Mary Jane Cooper, sixteen year old orphan daughter of John G. Cooper and his wife, Lucy Ann. Mary Jane was the ward of her uncle, Allen Cooper, and on her marriage to John Pinkney, the guardianship was dissilved. John Pinkney enlisted May 8, 1862 in Fairfield, Texas in Waul's Texas Legion. Co. B, under Captain L.D. Bradley. His brothr Robert also served in this unit. John Pinkney was wounded in the seige of Vicksburg in May 1863 and taken prisoner. On July 17, 1863 he was paroled at the Marine Hospital, Vicksburg Mississippi. He was carried on the Regimental Returns through April 1865 although it is known that he spent some time in the hospital and was furloughed back to Leon County.
After the war, John Pinkney and Mary Jane accumulated land in and around Buffalo, Texas. They farmed, raised stock and had a large orchard. They had eleven children: Eva, the oldest, born in 1866 married Benjamin Franklin Reeder, Jr.; Mattie married Jim Overcash; Dee died as a child; Martin died in infancy; Nora married Bernard B. Cope; Dora married Thomas A. Davis; John F. married Maggie Dare; Docie married J. Will Taylor; Doloros married Tim Nettles; Clara married Levi Singleton and Addie married Lawrence Festus Bentley.
John Pinkney and his father, Ferdinand, were initiated into the Keechi Masonic Lodge in 1871 and were charter members of the Buffalo Lodge. He and his family were Presbyterians.
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