Haunted Crime Scenes: The Murder of Samuel T. Baker
Another Late Night
After another late night at the office, Samuel deposited his paycheck into an account at his firm and withdrew one dollar in cash. He spoke briefly with his son-in-law, E.M. Hopkins, who also worked at John Lynes & Company, and told him he had a few errands to run before heading home.
Near his office, Samuel passed a fruit stand. He spoke briefly with the fruit vendor and mentioned that he was going to stop and get a shave on his way home. Because so many people worked such long hours, town merchantsmany of whom lived above their shopsalso kept long hours.
On East Broughton Street, Samuel stopped in at Gayou's Barbershop. After his shave, he bought a bottle of whiskey to give to a sick friend.
In 1901, the medical "profession" was hardly a profession at all. A college education wasn't required to enroll in medical school. Viruses had yet to be discovered. Antibiotics to fight bacterial and fungal infections were still three decades away. When their patients felt bad, doctors often prescribed whiskey.
With his friend's whiskey bottle in hand and 72 cents left in his pocket, Samuel shuffled north on Lincoln Street, his wooden canea permanent reminder of the war he'd fought nearly 40 years beforeclacking against the sidewalk with each step.
Fifteen blocks separated Gayou's Barbershop on East Broughton Street and Samuel Baker's home at 416 East Charlton St. Between them sat the cemetery.