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Unkempt, rough and tough looking members of the gang, or lynch mob, or vigilantes, or posse riders, or cow herders. They had minimal or no dialog, not much screen time, and were generally not listed in the film credits. Some would show up as a face in the crowd, portraying townspeople, barflys, deputies, wagon drivers, ranch hands, etc. We tend to recognize some of their faces, but have no clue as to their real names.

(Courtesy of Wes Baker)

In this scene from RIDERS OF THE DESERT (Sono Art-World Wide, 1932), Silver Tip Baker has the stage and team runnin' full speed while Bob Steele has the drop on him.

Floyd "Silver Tip" Baker

Full name: Floyd Magill Baker

1886 - 1943

Special thanks to Wes Baker for the photos and information on his Mother and Father, Mabel and Floyd "Silver Tip" Baker.

Floyd 'Silver Tip' Baker was born April 18, 1886 in San Antonio, Texas to Weston F. Baker and Nellie A. Garvin Baker. He was another of the background performers in the B-western, and his moniker was derived because of his long, gray/white moustache. He was among the talented few that could handle a team of horses and drive a stagecoach at full speed.

The spelling of Floyd Baker's nickname has several variations - "Silver Tip" or "Silvertip" or "SilverTip". I asked Wes Baker about the correct spelling ... and he said "Silver Tip" (that's Silver space Tip).

Floyd's initial movie roles began in the 1920s. Prior to that, he (and wife Mabel) performed with the Miller Bros. 101 Ranch show and the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show.

Les Adams has Baker identified in about 100 sound films, with his last appearance occurring in a 1944 release. Of those film appearances, most are westerns and five are chapterplays.

According to the death certificate, Floyd Silvertip Baker passed away on March 15, 1943 at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital, Los Angeles, and cause of death was pancreatic cancer.

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Silver Tip Baker - note that the IMDb does include a couple films a year or two after Baker's death:

A website on the Miller Bros. 101 Ranch includes mention of both Silver Tip and Mabel circa 1925-1926. But it was no longer working when I checked in 2021. The Internet Archive Wayback machine has the site:

More on Floyd Baker was available at Family Search (free), (subscription), death certificate, California Death Index, and newspapers.

There are family trees for Baker on and some have his middle name as "Magill", while others have "Michael". Baker used the middle name of Magill when he signed his World War I and World War II draft registrations, and that's probably correct.

  • 1890 census is unavailable - it was lost in a 1921 fire (and water damage) at the Commerce Building in Washington, D.C.
  • 1900 census summary and census takers worksheet - living in Eddy, New Mexico Territory were 56 year old Weston F. Baker (born North Carolina; occupation "Butcher"), his 31 year old wife Nellie A. (born Illinois), 14 year old son Floyd M. (born 1886 in Texas), 12 year old daughter Hettie R. (born Texas), and 4 year old son Eli W. (born New Mexico):
  • World War I draft registration - 40 year old Floyd Magill Baker was born April 18, 1878, but no birth state mentioned. He and wife Frances lived in Bovina, Lincoln County, Colorado. He's a "Stockman" working for Bert Weaver in Bovina, Colorado:
  • 1940 census summary and census takers worksheet - 55 year old Floyd M. Baker (born Texas; occupation "Actor - Motion Picture Studio"), his 44 year old wife Mabel C. (born Kansas), and 9 year old son Wesley F. (born Kansas) were renting in Los Angeles. In 1939, Baker worked 15 weeks and earned $1000.00:
  • had his World War II draft registration - 56 year old Floyd Magill Baker was born April 18, 1886 in San Antonio, Texas. Home was 7644 Fulton Street, Van Nuys, California. Employer was "Central Casting Bureau". And his contact was western movie actor and stage driver Bud McClure.
  • Death certificate: Floyd Silvertip Baker was born April 18, 1886 in San Antonio, Texas. Parents were Weston Baker and Nellie Garvin. Death certificate informant was his wife Mabel, and they lived at 7644 Fulton Avenue, Los Angeles. He passed away on March 15, 1943 at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital, Los Angeles, and cause of death was pancreatic cancer. Funeral director was Pierce Bros., Hollywood, and burial at Valhalla Cemetery.
  • California Death Index for Floyd Silvertip Baker. He was born April 18, 1886 in Texas; mother's maiden name of Garvin; and he passed away March 15, 1943 in the Los Angeles area:
  • Pierce Bros. Hollywood funeral and burial worksheet - Floyd and wife Mabel were still living at 7644 Fulton Street, Van Nuys, California. His parents were Weston Baker and Nellie Garvin:
  • Find A Grave has a photo of the marker for Floyd 'Silvertip' Baker who is interred at Valhalla Memorial Park, North Hollywood, Los Angeles County, California:
  • Death notices for Floyd Silver Tip Baker:
    March 18, 1943 Los Angeles Times:
    March 23, 1943 Van Nuys, California News and Valley Green Sheet:

(Courtesy of Wes Baker)

Floyd 'Silver Tip' Baker.

(Courtesy of Wes Baker)

Above is Mabel Welker Baker, saddle bronc and trick rider who worked for the Miller Bros. 101 Ranch Wild West Show. Mabel was born in Kansas in 1896 and married Silver Tip when she was in her late teens. Wes Baker mentioned that his Mother also worked as a double in riding scenes in films.

(Courtesy of Wes Baker)

In the above photo, Silver Tip and Mabel are publicizing the film UNDER TWO FLAGS at the "Kinema" theater, and based on their ages, this has to be from the silent days. There were several silent versions of UNDER TWO FLAGS: a 1915 version from Biograph, a 1916 Fox film starring Theda Bara, and Universal released their version in 1922. The livery stable sign on the above left shows an address of 839 E. 4th Street and telephone numbers of PICO 3620 and PICO 3126. The Foster and Kleiser sign on the right includes "7th at Broadway".

Thanks to Richard Van Dusen for providing more info on the location in the above photo. Richard writes:

The address 7th and Broadway is the State theatre in Los Angeles, California. It opened around 1921. You can look it up in the Los Angeles conservancy web site or by looking at theatres on Broadway in Los Angeles. It has entrances on both Broadway and 7th street. I went by the former stable ... the building appears to be a warehouse ... 839 does not exist ... 843 is the nearest building to it, but it sits back from the street with a parking lot in front and is sort of attached to a building that could have been where the stable was. The building with the sign in the window is now a garage. The Pico phone exchange is almost certainly a Los Angeles prefix. Governor Pio Pico was a well known citzen of Los Angeles for years and the Pico House is a very prominent landmark less than a mile from where the stables were.

(Courtesy of Wes Baker)

One of Baker's earliest film appearances was the serial IN THE DAYS OF BUFFALO BILL (Universal, 1922). Baker is on the far right as General Dodge. In the crop / blowup, Duke Lee (left with long hair, mustache, and chin whiskers) is Buffalo Bill and that's Art Acord (hatless and wearing a buckskin jacket). The heroine with Acord is probably Ruth Royce.

(Courtesy of Wes Baker)

Above left is Silver Tip Baker and Louise Carver with their hands up. Exiting the coach is heroine Gertrude / Gertie Messenger, and Bob Steele is on the far right. Scene from Steele's RIDERS OF THE DESERT (Sono Art-World Wide, 1932). Gertude had a brief marriage to ace stuntman Dave Sharpe.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above is Silver Tip Baker handlin' the stagecoach reins in a crop from the title lobby card (below) from YOUNG BLOOD (Monogram, 1932) which starred Bob Steele.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

(Courtesy of Wes Baker)

Above is a far shot and a crop/closeup. Driving the stage is Silver Tip Baker. On the ground from L-to-R are: Eleanor Stewart, Tom Keene, Lorraine Randall, Charles K. French, and stage guard Victor Adamson/Denver Dixon. Scene from the Keene starrer WHERE TRAILS DIVIDE (Monogram, 1937).

(Courtesy of John F. White)

Above from L-to-R are: unidentified person, Dan White, Silver Tip Baker, and Iron Eyes Cody.  The back of the photo is stamped 1939. Unsure if they are taking a break during the making of a film ... or working at some Circus/Wild West Show.

(Courtesy of Wes Baker)

Silver Tip Baker is on the far right standing, and kneeling on the far right is Ralph 'Buck' Bucko. And No! - that's not Tim McCoy standing on the far left. Other faces are unidentified. Photo probably from one of the annual gatherings of the Chuck Wagon Trailers (western movie "old timers").

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