Congressman James E. Clyburn

Proudly Serving the 6th District of South Carolina

Clyburn Praises Enactment of the Law Renaming Lake City Post Office in Honor of Postmaster Frazier B. Baker

January 07, 2019

Columbia, S.C. – U.S. House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (SC-06) announces the president has signed into law Congressman Clyburn’s bill designating the U.S. Post Office located at 226 West Main Street in Lake City, South Carolina, as the Postmaster Frazier B. Baker Post Office.

Frazier B. Baker was the first African American appointed to serve as postmaster at the Lake City Post Office in 1897.  Baker and his family were tormented for his refusal to give up his position.  After the Lake City post office was burned to the ground by those who opposed his appointment, Baker moved the operation into his home on the outskirts of Lake City where, on Feb. 22, 1898, he and his infant daughter were shot and killed by a white mob and his wife and five other children barely escaped.

“This post office naming ensures the story of Frazier Baker will no longer be lost to history,” Whip Clyburn said.  “As a former history teacher, I believe it is our duty to heed the words of George Santayana, ‘those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’”

The post office renaming has the support of the local community.

“This will be a great honor for Postmaster Frazier B. Baker who gave his life serving the citizens of this community,” Mayor of Lake City Lovith Anderson said. “Let’s not ever forget cost of the opportunities we have today.”

"As a family, we are very happy that the elected officials are willing to recognize and commemorate the memory of Frazier B. Baker. We would be remiss if we didn't recognize that we are coming close to 121 years since the painful event against Frazier and the other members of the family. We, as a family, are glad that the recognition of this painful event finally happened. It's long overdue," said Postmaster Baker’s great-niece Dr. Fostina Baker. "Renaming the post office will give me an opportunity to revisit and memorialize on a personal basis. Being able to see the name Frazier B. Baker on the post office will bring me relief. For my relatives that are younger, I think that they will feel a part of Lake City when they see the name on the post office."

“With the enactment of this law, our country has repaired a fault and acknowledged the sacrifices of Frazier Baker and so many others who stood up against injustice and intolerance,” continued Whip Clyburn. “By paying tribute to his memory through the establishment of the Postmaster Frazier B. Baker Post Office, we will continue to honor the actions of this brave American hero and take one small step toward creating a more perfect Union.”

A ceremony will be planned to dedicate the Postmaster Frazier B. Baker Post Office at a later date.