Remembering Elinor Clair Baker
Jerry Edward: I have read and heard about Elinor Clair Baker and her contributions to Burleson, Johnson County and beyond. Did you know her?
John: I didn’t personally know her, but I have also read and heard of her and her accomplishments in spite of her being short in stature.
Elinor Clair was the great-great-granddaughter of Henry and Mollie Renfro.
She was the only child of Royce and Martha Baker and born in Burleson on November 6, 1936.
She passed away on November 6, 1996.
There is a good summary of her life in the book Burleson, Texas- The First 100 Years which was published in 1981. The book is for sale at the Burleson Visitor Center and Museum.
Her story goes like this: She attended the Burleson public schools for twelve years and never failed to make the honor roll.
She then received her bachelor’s degree from Texas Christian University, master’s degree from Texas Women’s University, post graduate work at TCU, TWU, Tarleton University and the University of Texas. She was a speech pathologist who worked for the Burleson Independent School District.
Elinor was a member of Zontas, a member of the Association of College Women, director for the Cooke Developmental Center in Cleburne, belonged to the Speech and Hearing Association of North Texas and the TCU Alumni Association of Speech.
On the local level, Elinor served in many capacities; such as being a Den Mother for the Cub Scouts even though she didn’t have any children of her own and serving as chairman of the Heritage Committee for the Burleson Bicentennial Commission which gathered historical information about Burleson for the celebration which honored the 200th birthday of the United States of America.
The Acknowledgement on page one of the Burleson, Texas-The First 100 Years history book gives credit to Elinor and her Heritage Committee of the Bicentennial Commission of 1976 as the foundation of Burleson’s first history book published in 1981.
On the national level, Elinor served as the National Chairman of the Education Committee for the Little People of America as well as a National Co-Chairman for the Vocational Educational Grants Committee for the Little People of America. She may have been short in stature, but she stood tall among her peers in intellect, determination and achievements.
I wish I could have known her as a friend, as I greatly admire her for what she accomplished during her limited number of years serving Texas, Burleson and the little people of America.
John Duke Smith is history buff. If you have a question about Burleson history, contact John at firstname.lastname@example.org