Henry G. “Hank” Baker

Pre-1940 Rodeo

Inducted 2013

Henry “Hank” Baker was born March 10, 1907 near Garrison, ND to Albert George and Lena Bakker. Henry later changed the spelling of his last name due to people frequently misspelling it. In 1927, he married Alice Lorna Tower. Henry and Alice lived and ranched on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, the Bakker homestead, and the Tower Ranch west of Underwood.

Through the 1920s and 1930s, Henry rode saddle bronc horses in numerous rodeos throughout North Dakota. A great accomplishment was winning the Schomockers’ Coulee Rodeo, in McLean County on July 3-4, 1930.

From 1942 to 1950, Henry owned and operated his Livestock Trucking business. He soon after purchased a ranch near McClusky, where he raised Hereford cattle, horses, some grain crops, and ran a saw mill along the Missouri River. In 1955, Henry registered the 5 (reverse hanging) K brand. During the building of the Garrison Dam, Henry worked as a carpenter.

Henry sometimes conducted his own cattle drives, as well. He drove cattle from Garrison to pastures along the Missouri River or to be shipped by train to market. In 1965, Henry and Alice sold their ranch and moved to Minot where Henry worked as a carpenter at the Minot Air Force Base and missile sites in northern North Dakota.

After Henry retired, he continued to own horses. In the 1970s, Henry and Alice enjoyed attending the bucking horse sales in Miles City, Montana. During this time, Henry also served as a rodeo judge at the Dakota Boys Ranch rodeos in Minot. His other interests were antiques, antique auctions, history, and reading about the cowboys and Indians of the Old West.

Henry continued doing it all until the day he passed away on August 23, 1982.