1849: According to Kauffman's 1960 book "The Pennsylvania - Kentucky Rifle", Charles Raker is identified as a gunsmith in the 1849 tax roll of Bedford County.
1849-1850: Whisker's 2017 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford County, Pennsylvania" has an entry for a Charles F. Raker who was born in Holland in 1823, and was a son of David Raker and Caroline Raker. Unlike Carey and Kauffman, Whisker reports that Charles Raker is identified as a gunsmith on the 1849 and 1850 tax rolls of Todd Township in Fulton County, and in the 1850 federal census.
Circa 1850: According to A. Merwyn Carey's 1953 book "American Firearms Makers" Charles Raker was a Bedford County gunsmith circa 1850.
1850: The probable reason for the discrepancies between the above references is that Fulton County was formed from a portion of Bedford County on April 19, 1850. The following excerpt is from the 1936 book "The History of Fulton County Pennsylvania":
If Charles Baker lived in the part of Bedford County that became Fulton County, then he is not within the intended scope of this website project, which is gunsmiths who worked within the present bounds of Bedford and Somerset counties, Pennsylvania.
1865: Whisker's 2017 book reports that starting in 1865 Charles Raker was working in Knox County, Illinois as a gunsmith, either in or near the village of Maquon.
1907: Whisker's 2017 book reports the year of death for Charles Raker as 1907. In the Knoxville Cemetery in Knox County, Illinois there is a tombstone for C. F. Raker and Sarah A. Raker. Her birth and death dates are given, but only his birth date is given: May 27, 1827. I am not sure this pertains to the right individual.
A Bedford County-style .44 caliber smooth rifle, reportedly signed in cursive "C. F. Baker" was offered for sale by Heritage Auction in 2011. It has a 42-1/2" octagonal barrel. The G. Goulcher lock has an engraved Bedford County-style percussion hammer. The maple stock has a cheekpiece and incised carving that includes a bird, a fish, and some scroll work. The rifle has no patch box. I wonder if the signature was actually intended to be "C. F. Raker".
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