A bill designating a U.S. post office in Lake City as the Postmaster Frazier B. Baker Post Office has been signed into law. The bill was sponsored by U.S. Rep. James Clyburn.
Baker was appointed the first black postmaster at the Lake City Post Office in 1897. He maintained that position despite harassment that included the burning of the post office. In 1898, Baker moved the post office operations into his home of the outskirts of Lake City, where he and his 2-year-old daughter, Julia, were shot and killed by a lynch mon on Feb. 22, 1898. Baker’s wife and five other children narrowly escaped the shooting.
“With the enactment of this law, our country has repaired a fault and acknowledged the sacrifices of Frazier Baker and so many others who stood up against injustice and intolerance,” Clyburn said in a news release. “By paying tribute to his memory through the establishment of the Postmaster Frazier B. Baker Post Office, we will continue to honor the actions of this brave American hero.”
Baker’s great-niece, Fostina Baker, praised the action.
“We, as a family, are glad that the recognition of this painful event finally happened,” Fostina Baker said. “It's long overdue. Renaming the post office will give me an opportunity to revisit and memorialize on a personal basis. Being able to see the name Frazier B. Baker on the post office will bring me relief. For my relatives that are younger, I think that they will feel a part of Lake City when they see the name on the post office.”
A ceremony to dedicate the Postmaster Frazier B. Baker Post Office will take place at a date to be announced, the release said.