Colonel Baker

With Gratitude
to Colonel Edward J. Baker
Sculptor – Ray Kobald
Donated – by the Public Art Committee of the Downtown St. Charles Partnership to the City of St. Charles
Site – in front of Hotel Baker, 100 W. Main Street

The Gratitude Project: Colonel Edward J. Baker
Colonel Baker photo

Colonel Edward J. Baker (1868-1959), whose name is associated with both philanthropy and his champion horse, Greyhound, is one of St. Charles’s most famous historical residents. Throughout his lifetime Baker sought to develop St. Charles, and he did so by dedicating time and money to enhance its beauty and improve the city’s amenities. The buildings he constructed stand as a testament to Baker’s love of the city.—alphabetically/hotel-baker

The most special story at the heart of St. Charles is that of Col. Edward J. Baker and how he remade the town with the vast wealth of his brother-in-law, John W. Gates. Baker’s niece, Dellora Norris, and her family carried on that legacy, but at the heart of the story is Col. Baker, who gave generously to make St. Charles the “Beauty Spot” of the Fox River Valley.

St. Charles was known across the world for Col. Baker’s racehorse Greyhound, the world’s greatest horse who set and broke many records. Col. Baker named his race team Hotel Baker Stables, and the hotel was famous as the race headquarters for Col. Baker’s champion trotters. After competing, Greyhound retired in 1940 and gave exhibitions around the country.


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