Annie Baker Daniels

Annie Baker Daniels, one of the first women principals in the Pampa school system, was a pioneer teacher in the Texas Panhandle. She was born November 27, 1873, at Carthage, Texas , where she later became a member of the First Methodist Church. Her father, B.M. Baker, was the first State Superintendent of Public Instruction in Texas.

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Eloise Lane

From 1889 to 1906, B.M. Baker was the district judge for the 31st judicial district which consisted of 26 counties in the Texas Panhandle. During that time his family lived at Canadian, Texas. As a tribute to Judge Baker’s long life as a public servant, the B.M. Baker Elementary at Pampa was named in his honor.

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Beginning in 1898, Annie Daniels taught two years in Amarillo and nine years in Canadian before coming to Pampa where she served as teacher or principal for 23 years. She taught at Lamar School (red brick at 309 North Cuyler) for several years before she succeeded Earl W. Lewis as principal of Woodrow Wilson Elementary School soon after that building was completed in January 1929. After twelve years, she transferred to Baker Elementary School and then to Sam Houston Elementary School as a fourth grade teacher.

In 1947, Annie Daniels, age 74, resigned from the Pampa school system and moved to Amarillo where she conducted a private school in her home. She died March 17, 1959, and was buried in Llano Cemetery at Amarillo.

During her 34 years of teaching, Annie Daniels was never tardy and missed only a few days because of illness. For 15 years she had a perfect attendance record.

Her energy was such that she refused to remain seated while teaching or conversing. Her enthusiasm for teaching was evidenced by the fact that she taught several years past her retirement privilege.

She took great pride and delight in displaying the accomplishments of her students. When visitors entered her classroom, she was eager to show articles made by her students or to call on them to lead the class in various activities.

With her sister, Mrs. W.A. Johnson of San Antonio , Annie Daniels spent her summers “just fishing, resting and piddling around” in the area of her cabin at Taos , New Mexico . Her hobby was collecting antiques and she had many pieces. As a pioneer of the Panhandle, she had many stories to tell of the growth of that region.

Upon retiring, Annie Daniels flew to San Antonio with her grandson, Danny Daniels, and then toured the South with Danny and her sister, Mrs. Johnson. Following the tour, she retired to her cabin to research for a book about Indian life which she intended to write for third and fourth grade students.

She had friends who owned a mine named “The Good Luck Gold Mine” near Eagle Nest, New Mexico . The nuggets from this mine were said to bring good luck and fortune to the carrier. Annie Daniels gave nuggets from the mine to two former students when they entered the service. “The boys became almost obsessed with them,” she said, “and whenever they would go into battle or an aerial dogfight they would feel to see if they had the nuggets with them.” Both the boys returned.

When Annie Daniels retired from the Pampa school system in 1947, Knox Kinard, superintendent at the time, made a statement which included the following remarks:

“The life of the teacher is not accorded with glamor which some walks of life enjoy; nor the public acclaim of other successful citizens; nor is it rewarded in material substances as others are.

“When the material fortunes have waned or vanished; when the acclaim can be heard no more; when the glamor has disappeared, there will remain in the hearts and minds of many grateful men and women fresh memories of unselfish service generously given for the welfare of others. The loyalty and joy of faithful effort, the vigor of youthful spirit, and the satisfaction of doing for others have always characterized the life of Annie Daniels.”

Approximately 200 Articles, written by Eloise Lane, were published in the Pampa News. These articles may be accessed by clicking on each section below. A list of articles will be revealed that are linked to a page containing the text of the article. Hover Over Camera Icon To Reveal Photo indicates a topic appropriate photo link.

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