Baker, Minnie “Bryte”

Miniature portrait of Bryte Baker, undated. Courtesy of granddaughter Bryte Baker Abernethy Williams.

Bryte Baker, c. 1904. Photo courtesy of granddaughter Bryte Baker Abernethy Williams.

Bryte Baker on her wedding day, 21 Jun 1910. Photo courtesy of granddaughter Bryte Baker Abernethy Williams.

Robert Eugene Ranson and Bryte Baker Ranson, c. 1910. Photo courtesy of granddaughter Bryte Baker Abernethy Williams

The Charlotte News (Charlotte, NC) 6 May 1941.

The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, NC) 16 Feb 1945.



























The Charlotte News, 12 Jul 1946.

Traveler’s Aid Society pin. Courtesy of granddaughter Bryte Baker Abernethy Williams.















Class of 1904

Birth: 25 Jan 1888, Falston, Cleveland County, North Carolina
Death: 10 Mar 1949, Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina

Michael Joseph Baker (1851-1931)
Dora Shell Baker (1866-1937)

Robert Eugene Ranson (1879-1947)
Marriage: 21 Jun 1910, Kings Mountain, Cleveland County, North Carolina

Leila Baker Miller (1890-1988)

Mary Agnes Ranson Abernethy (1911-1971)
Bryte Baker Ranson Hall (1914-2001)

Elmwood Cemetery, Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina

Source:, #37194544


E-mail from granddaughter, Bryte Baker Abernethy Williams, 10 Nov 2020.

Recently I looked up the house my grandmother built in Charlotte in 1939. In 2003 it sold for $600,000 and now has an estimate over $1 million. It was renovated in 1975. HGTV would be proud to air that story.  When my grandmother lived in High Point she built two houses side by side with same floor plan but different exteriors.  House in Charlotte used the same plan but with a few perfections she had made to it over the years. I have lived in house we built in 1978 and keep renovating it .  If I didn’t have such a great view of Arkansas River it would be easier to start again.  Doubt it would be cheaper…As an aside the farm my grandmother grew up on is now a winery run by her descendants….Baker Buffalo Creek Vineyard….

12 Nov 2020

Her father was a drummer boy during the civil war and returned from the war and started his family of three boys and four girls. Two of the boys became doctors, third boy got a degree from N.C. State and returned to farming and four girls graduated from college. I find that remarkable because I know a number of people my age who never considered attending college.


Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, NC), 22 Jun 1910

The Groom, a Charlotte Man and the Bride, a Graduate of Elizabeth College, Well Known Here–Pretty Ceremony in the Lutheran Church at Kings Mountain.

A wedding of more than ordinary interest to Charlotte and Mecklenburg people was that of Miss Bryte Baker, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. M. J. Baker of Fallston and Robert E. Ranson, son of Mr. Robert M. Ranson of this city, which took place last evening at the Lutheran church in Kings Mountain.

The bride, wearing a lovely gown of white duchess with pearl trimmings and carrying bride roses, was given away by her uncle, Mr. David M. Baker of Kings Mountain. She was attended by her maid of honor, her sister, Miss Lelia Baker, who wore pink silk, and by her bridesmaids, Misses Pearl Baker, Clara Carpenter, Eunice and Lucy Plonk and Grace Ranson, the latter of Charlotte, all wearing green silk and carrying pink carnations.

The groom was attended by his best man, his brother, Mr. J. Lester Ranson of Charlotte and the following groomsmen, Messrs. Boyce L. Ranson of Charlotte, John O. Plonk, M. L. Harmon, Dr. L. P. Baker of Kings Mountain, Dr. T. G. Chamblee of Spring Hope and Mr. James O. Walker of Charlotte.

The ribbon bearers were little Misses Virginia Hambrick and Willie Baker; the flower girls, Juanita and Guinevere Mauney, and the page, Master Thomas Fulton.

Mrs. H. E. Rowe presided at the organ. The chorus consisted of Mrs. R. B. Hunter, Mrs. M. C. Carpenter, Miss Maybelle Greever, Dr. R. B. Hunter, Mr. F. Floyd, Mr. W. C. Ridenhour, and Mr. Austin Rhyne. The chorus sand the famous bridal chorus from “The Rosemaids,” as the party entered the church. Miss Maybelle Greever then sang a solo while the ceremony was in progress entitled “Forever Thine.” She also gave Schubert’s “Serenade.”

The ceremony was performed by Rev. Dr. Mills in the presence of one of the largest assemblages of friends and relatives that ever witnessed a wedding in Kings Mountain. After a brief reception, Mr. and Mrs. Ranson took the Southern train for Spring Hope, where they will make their future home.

Mrs. Ranson, as Miss Bryte Baker, has many friends in Charlotte, where she attended college for several years at Elizabeth. A decided brunette, she is very beautiful and attractive. Mr. Ranson is a son of Mr. Robert Ranson of Charlotte and resided here for many years prior to his removal to Spring Hope. He is now superintendent of education for Nash county and is one of the rising young educators of the State.


Ray Street School, High Point, Guilford County, North Carolina

Opened in 1923, on the southwest corner of East Ray and North Hamilton Streets, on land purchased from William Tate and the Pickett Estate. Mrs. R. E. Ranson was the first principal. Damaged by arson in May 1961 and subsequently closed. At its closure, the school’s street address was 122 East Ray Street. The site is now occupied by a condominium block.


The Charlotte News (Charlotte, NC), 12 Sep 1939, p. 10.

Aid Elects Mrs. Ranson Secretary
Mrs. Presson Resigns Travelers’ Aid Post

Mrs. Bryte Baker Ranson was elected to the newly created position of executive secretary of the Travelers’ Aid Society at a meeting of the board of directors today at Efird’s.

The resignation of Mrs. Sam Presson as secretary was accepted. For twelve years Mrs. Presson has been the representative of the society at the local bus terminal. She tendered her resignation because of her health. The board today presented a token of appreciation to her for the work she has done.

W. M. Cowhig, president, was re-elected, as ere Mrs. J. R. Purcer, vice-president, and Mrs. George  M. Hoole, secretary, Mrs. Weill was elected treasurer to replace R. G. Bittle.

Additional members elected to the board were Mrs. Francis Martin, Mrs. C. H. Grover, Marian Davis, C. O. Kuester, Mrs. Schofield, Mrs. Brown, R. G. Bittle and Mrs. R. G. Claiborne.

Mrs. Ranson, the new executive secretary, is a native of Cleveland County. She is a graduate of Mount Amoena Seminary and of Elizabeth College in Charlotte. She received her master’s degree from Columbia University, where she studied psychology, mental hygiene and psychiatry. At the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill she has taken courses in social work. She has also had wide case work experience.

A treasurer’s report submitted at the meeting today showed a small deficit for the year ending Sept. 30.

The secretary reported that in spite of the cut in the allotment from the Community Chest, the society’s work has been fairly well done, although several retrenchments were necessary.


The Charlotte News (Charlotte, NC), 15 Oct 1947, p. 8.

Wide Range of Services
Travelers Aid Gets Many Calls For Help
(This is another in a series of articles describing the various agencies of the Community Chest. The chest’s annual campaign for funds begins Oct. 23).

As Mrs. Bryte Ranson looked up from her anything-can-happen desk at Travelers Aid one day recently, she saw a strange procession of boxes, big and little, pouring through her office door.

Since years of contact with mental cases, drunks, runaways, and lost children have given Mrs. Ranson a philosophic outlook on life, she just sat there and waited to see what developed.

Finally, at the end of the boxes, appeared a lady and two children, voluble but a little hard to understand. Possibly this was because they were speaking in Greek, a language unfamiliar to Mrs. Ranson.

Used to having strange people dumped in her lap, Mrs. Ranson suggested an interpreter. No, that wasn’t what the lady wanted. “Taxi,” she said. “Taxi.” Eventually, without an interpreter but with recourse to the sign language, Mrs. Ranson discovered that she had come from the Florida coast; that she was on her way to a Western North Carolina city to visit a sister, and that the sister has promised to meet her in Charlotte.

The lady knew a few words of English and the children knew a little more. With the help of all three, Mrs. Ranson found that she had neglected to tell her sister what day she was coming, and that the sister lived nine miles from the city and had no telephone.

At this point Mrs. Ranson, instead of throwing up her hands, took to her telephone. First she called  the police in the city; they’d never heard of the family but yes, they did know of a Greek cafe. The cafe owner knew the family and gave her the address. Another call to the police turned a filling station on that road that might deliver a message. The filling station operator would indeed, and soo he called back with a reply: The sister would be on her way immediately.

In the meantime the bewildered traveler, sure that her sister lived nearby, kept insisting “taxi.” The children, seven and eight years old, began to cry. The boxes which held all their possessions were scattered all over the floor.

Finally the confusion calmed down a little. The children began to climb over the sofas and the boxes were piled in the corner. When the sister arrived, the family was washed and dressed in clean clothes, fed and refreshed. The sister explained that they had come over from Greece at the beginning of the war; that the husband had retured to fight in the Greek Army and was not yet released that the family had been living in a Greek community where they could get along without English. They departed together, and everybody was happy.

How had she know to come to the Travelers Aid office? Why, the lady in the other station had told her: Look for lamp like this one, if your sister doesn’t meet you.

Many others find light on their problems where the Travelers Aid lamp burns. Old ladies shunted about between one child and another…sick people who must be moved by wheel chair or stretcher…children traveling alone…men looking for jobs…stranded girls, who “don’t know the war’s over”… ex-service men who were stationed here during the war, or who were here for maneuvers, and would “like to live in Charlotte”…runaway boys…blind or crippled travelers…any who need special care or help. “One type we see often,” Mrs. Ranson said, “is the man who just has to be back tomorrow to sign up for his unemployment compensation, no matter how fare ‘back’ is.”

The Travelers Aid is one of 22 Red Feather service of your Community Chest. A nationwide service, it has two branches here – one at Southern Station and one at the Bus Terminal. A protection for the community, it keeps traffic moving and takes care of newcomers and travelers at the city’s gateways. Last year 25,982 persons were helped by Travelers Aid in Charlotte.


The Charlotte News (Charlotte, NC), 11 Mar 1949, p. 17.

Mrs. Ranson’s Rites Saturday

Funeral service for Mrs. Bryte Baker Ranson, widow of Robert E. Ranson of 1624 Biltmore Drive, who died last night in a local hospital after an illness of six weeks, will be conducted tomorrow afternoon at 3 o’clock at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. The Rev. Walter Freed, pastor, will officiate; and interment will be in Elwood Cemetery.

Serving as pallbearers will be Query Ranson, Paul Ranson, Boyce Lee Ranson, William Ranson, Charles Wilson, J. D. Gault, and Tommy Baker.

Mrs. Ranson was a daughter of the late M. J. and Dora Shell Baker of Fallston. She spent her girlhood in Kings Mountain ans was a graduate of the old Elizabeth College of Charlotte. For a number of years she was principal at Ray Street School in High Point. At the time of her death she was executive secretary of the local chapter of the Travelers’ Aid Society, where she has worked for about ten years.

She is survived by two daughters, Mrs. W. B. Abernathy of Chapel Hill, Mrs. Robert Hall of New York City; three brothers, Dr. Morris Baker and Dr. Banks Baker, both of Camden, N. J. and Blaine Baker of Fallston; three sisters, Mrs. L. O. Armstrong of Raleigh, Mrs. B. B. Miller of Mount Ulla, Mrs. Walter Thornton of Lynchburg, Va.; and two grandchildren, Bordon Abernathy and Bryte Baker Abernathy, both of Chapel Hill.

The body will remain at Douglas & Sing Funeral Home until 11 o’clock tomorrow morning when it will be taken to the home to remain until time for the service.

Both offices of the Travelers’ Aid will be closed during the hour of the service.