Nacogdoches honors poet with statue

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Several members of the Nacogdoches community showed their appreciation for one of the most famous writers in town.  Karle Wilson Baker's statue was unveiled and dedicated Wednesday.

If you happen to go down on Mound Street, you'll now have the chance to admire a woman who fell in love with Nacogdoches in the fall of 1900.

"Its celebrating the life of Nacogdoches' most famous writer, Karle Wilson Baker. Mrs. Baker was a poet, a novelist, an essayist, an all around excellent writer," Sarah Jackson said.

Baker was a writer whose talent still lives on in the oldest town of Texas.

"She wrote the words for the original SFA school song," Jerry Baker said.

Sarah Jackson grew up with Karle Baker's daughter and was given the opportunity to learn all about the woman who was famous in the first part of the twentieth century.

"She was 82 when she died, so she spent many years in Nacogdoches. She wrote about Nacogdoches, about East Texas, and in so doing put our town once again, though already historic, on the map," Jackson said.

Baker's grandson could not believe the rain didn't stop the community from coming to support his grandmother's work.

"I'm pleased particularly with the way the weathers been, that it threatens to be to have such a turn out. This is really encouraging," Jerry Baker said.

The statue was sculpted in Northern California by an artist who felt privileged to tell Baker's story through his art.

"She was just a phenomenal poet, and author, and she was a master of using words," Brian Keith, the sculptor, said.

The Friends of Historic Nacogdoches were looking for an artist that would be best at making the statue.

"We're very proud," Baker said.

Baker's statue will forever sit on the land where she once lived and wrote her pieces many years ago.

The Friends of Historic Nacogdoches are working with local organizations to fund the expansion of the heritage walk by adding three more statues like Baker's. The statues will extend the walk along Mound Street beginning in historic downtown to the campus of Stephen F. Austin.

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