The Statue of Karle Wilson Baker on Mound St. in the Washingon Square District of Historic Nacogdoches
KARLE WILSON BAKER
Site of Tanglewood
Nationally acclaimed and nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, Karle Wilson Baker
received more honors for poetry than any other writer in Texas in her lifetime. She was a celebrated
novelist, essayist, and historian. A naturalist and birder, she became captivated by the rustic beauty of
Nacogdoches from the time she first arrived in 1900. Birds and trees are frequent subjects in her poems.
Karle Wilson married a local banker, Thomas E. Baker. After the death of her parents,
the Baker's young family moved into the Wilson's home, Tanglewood. In poetic prose she paints
scenes of Tanglewood as a place of wild beauty and planned gardens. The Birds of Tanglewood,
her remarkable essays on birdlife, describes neighborhood birds with intimacy and grace, deeming
them the rightful owners of Washington Square.
Fascinated by its illustrious past, she often wrote about the rich history of Nacogdoches.
Her best selling novel, The Star of the Wilderness, set in Nacogdoches during the years just before
the Texas Revolution, brought further fame to the city. Karle Wilson Baker successfully juggled the roles
of author, college teacher, public lecturer, wife, and mother throughout her literary career. She was active
in the Philosophical Society of Texas, a founding member of the Poetry Society of Texas, the Texas Institute
of Letters, and became the first woman to be named a Fellow of the Institute. She defined herself:
"I am just a writing person."
Friends of Historic Nacogdoches Inc. 2013
SFASU Interfraternity Council & Panhellenic Association
(Text from the Plaque at the historic site.)
(Next Picture: Caddoan Mound)