In June we received a letter of donation request from Christopher Hill, President of Lodge 144, Allegany County Sherriff’s Office. The following is information from the donation letter:
“On the evening of October 3rd, 1907 Patrolman August Baker of the Cumberland City Police
Department was on patrol in the area of Wineow Street, Cumberland, Maryland. As Patrolman
Baker walked a foot beat in a rough area known as Shanteytow he noticed a fight in front of Kate Preston’s Saloon. Patrolman Baker broke up the fight and attempted to arrest William Burns for what today would be considered disorderly conduct. As Burns was taken into custody, he pulled a revolver and shot Patrolman Baker about an inch below his heart. It was reported at the time that Patrolman Baker uttered the words “You dirty dog. You shot me”. After shooting Patrolman Baker, Burns was subdued by several citizens and taken to jail.
Patrolman Baker was rushed to the Western Maryland Hospital but unable to find a stretcher two officers took Patrolman Baker to Allegany Hospital where he was admitted. Sadly, on Saturday October 5th, 1907 Patrolman August Baker died from his injuries. On this same date after the news spread of Patrolman Baker’s death a crowd of 200 citizens formed at the jail’ When the lone deputy inside refused to open the doors, the mob grabbed a utility pole and knocked the door down. They then attacked the deputy and again used the utility pole to knock down the cell door. The suspect was dragged from the jail and beaten almost to death before his limp body was shot 12 times by the mob.
Patrolman Baker was laid to rest in Greenmount Cemetery in an unmarked grave.
Sadly, over the years the location of the grave was lost until being rediscovered recently. Since the discovery a local group; The Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization, Inc., has undertaken an effort to properly honor Patrolman Baker for his sacrifice by installing a graveside marker. Mr. Michael Allen Mudge, chaplain for the C.H.C.O. has a named project coordinator. It is estimated the cost for this memorial will be in excess of $8,000.00. The goal is to have the marker installed in time for a graveside dedication ceremony in May 2022 to honor Patrolman Baker.
When a law enforcement officer falls in the line of duty, we often hear the phrase “we will never forget” and with your help we will ensure that Patrolman Baker will never be forgotten. This is our chance to finally give Patrolman Baker a memorial fit for a fallen hero. So please consider sendind a donation, of any amoun t o:
Office of the Sheriff for Allegany County
695 Kelly Road, Cumberland, Maryland 21502
Earmark your check: FOP Lodge 144 August Baker Fund
Thank you in advance for assisting us in this endeavor to maintain the long-standing tradition of honoring our fallen and ensuring that we will never forget. FYI: Our Lodge has voted to sent a donation; and several members have also sent personal donations.
NOTE: Link to Cumberland Time newspaper story: