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Colonel Thomas Baker - Founder of Bakersfield​

Colonel Thomas Baker was the visionary founder of the city of Bakersfield and the source of its name. Bakersfield is a monument to his pioneer spirit, hard work and creativity.

Benjamin Brundage was a celebrated jurist who made Bakersfield a political power center and helped draft a controversial new constitution for California in the 1870s.


A classic frontiersman, Elisha Stephens was the first to guide a wagon train safely over the treacherous Sierra Nevada mountains, opening Northern California to overland migration.


Pioneer George Chester accomplished several “firsts” for Bakersfield, including acting as its first postmaster and first telegraph operator and opening its first general store.

Henry Jastro

Henry A. Jastro, known as “The Commodore,” was an important cattleman and an influential politician.


Jacob Niederaur was Bakersfield’s first undertaker and the first sexton of Historic Union Cemetery, which he helped to develop.


In 1903, Bakersfield was the scene of one of the great gun battles of the Wild West.


Ellen Baker Tracy wasn’t what you’d call the demure, retiring type. Born in 1837 in Washtenaw, Michigan, she was a pioneer in every sense of the word.


Faustino M. Noriega is regarded as one of the early developers of Bakersfield’s legendary Basque community.

Alexis Godey

Of all the many colorful personalities forever residing at Historic Union Cemetery, the prize may go to this man, Alexis Godey.


Alfred Harrell, editor and publisher of The Bakersfield Californian for nearly 50 years, helped provide wise direction to development of the entire Southern San Joaquin Valley.

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