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New plaque marks Oliver Springs home of Baker family members

Howard Baker Jr.'s parents were married there. His grandparents lived there.

OLIVER SPRINGS, Tenn. — A new historical marker in Oliver Springs marks a family home that had ties to former U.S. Ambassador to Japan and former Tennessee Sen. Howard Baker Jr.

The marker was unveiled Friday at the "Rose Terrace" House.

The Tennessee Historical Commission approved the marker last year. State Sen. Ken Yager, R-Kingston, initiated the effort last year and attended Friday.

Relatives of Baker lived in the house starting in the 1920s.

Baker's father, Howard Baker Sr., and mother Dora Ladd were married at Rose Terrace. Dora Ladd's parents, Chris and Matilda Ladd, bought the home in 1921.

The plaque at the home off the town square reads:


Rose Terrace was built in the mid-1880s by coal operator James K. Butler and was sold in 1921 to Chris Ladd and wife Matilda. The Ladd's daughter Dora married Howard H. Baker, Sr., in a ceremony held at Rose Terrace. Howard Sr. embarked on a storied career in politics as a candidate for governor of Tennessee and then as an unsuccessful candidate for the U.S. Senate. He was elected as a U.S. Representative in 1950 and served until his death in 1964. His refusal to join the resistance to the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education helped pave the way for the desegregation of schools. The firstborn of Howard and Dora was Howard H. Baker, Jr., who became a U.S. Senator from Tennessee and later served as Chief of Staff for President Ronald Reagan and as the United States Ambassador to Japan."

Baker was born in Hunstville, Tenn., in Scott County and died there in 2014.