Posted By: County Coordinator
Date: 3/10/2009 at 22:18:33
Moses Baker, who for eighteen years has filled the office of justice of the peace and is known as one of the leading and highly respected citizens of Jackson township, was born in Schuylkill county, Pennsylvania, on November 25, 1829, and is descended from good old Revolutionary stock. His paternal grandfather was born in Germany and had been here but a short time when hostilities were begun resulting in the achievement of American independence. He joined the army and aided in the cause of liberty. His son, William Baker, the father of our subject, was born in Berks county, Pennsylvania, and in early life engaged in working in the coal mines, but later turned his attention to farming. In the state of his nativity he married Christina Benzinger, who was born in Schuylkill county, Pennsylvania. In 1834 he removed to Wayne county, Ohio, where he purchased land, thereon spending his remaining days, his death occurring when he was about eighty-three years of age. His wife passed away when about the same age. Mr Baker was a very industrious, enterprising man and a good citizen. He gave his political support to the Democratic party and while not a member of any church he rather endorsed the teachings and principles of the Methodist Episcopal church. In his family were sixteen children, nine sons and seven daughters, all of whom reached years of maturity with eh exception of one who died at the age of eleven years. Fourteen of the family are still living.
Moses Baker, whose name introduces this record, was reared to manhood in Wayne county, Ohio, whither he went with his parents during his boyhood days. There he pursued his education in the subscription schools, for there were no common schools at that time. The first schoolhouse in which he was a student was a log structure with a puncheon floor, while benches were made of slabs placed upon wooden pins. The heating was furnished by an immense fireplace and the methods of instruction were very primitive. His training at farm work, however, was not limited, for he assisted his father in the arduous task of developing a new farm in the midst of the forest. Not only one but four farms were cleared in this way, and Mr Baker remained with his parents upon the old homestead until he was twenty-two years of age, when he hired out to work as a farm hand for eleven dollars per month. He was thus employed for eight months during which time he saved his earnings and afterward made his first purchase of land, but in the meantime he had rented a farm for nine years before buying. In his twenty-fourth year he was united in marriage to Rebecca Feazel, who was born in Ohio and died about nine years afte3r her marriage, leaving no children. Subsequently he wedded Lurinda J Dunmire. In 1866 they came to Boone county, Iowa and lived in the city of Boone for about eighteen months. Mr Baker then purchased forty acres of land north of the courthouse, on which was considerable timber. He paid one hundred and eight dollars for this property, for which he sold five hundred dollars worth of cord-wood. He also made other sales which were profitable, and then sold his farm for eight hundred dollars. In January 1867, he purchased his present farm, upon which he took up his abode in 1872. This was all raw land and he at once began making improvements. He could only see a few houses scattered here and there over the prairie at the time of his arrival, but he has lived to witness remarkable changes in the county as settlers have arrived and reclaimed the wild land for purposes of civilization. He still operates the home farm and in other localities he has owned other farms.
After locating in Boone Mr Baker was called upon to mourn the loss of his second wife, who died leaving two sons and two daughters, Grant, who is now engaged in the practice of law in Boone, Ernest, who is also an attorney practicing in Baberton, Ohio, alma C, the wife of James Dull, of Medina county, Ohio, and Cora A, the wife of Albert Smalley, of Boone county, Iowa. For his third wife Mr Baker chose Sarah A Shields, who was born in Tama county, Iowa, and unto this marriage were born four sons and three daughters, as follows: Samuel W, William H, Roscoe S, Russell B, Ada L, Aita M and Minnie L. of this number Samuel W married Miss Dove Miller, of Wayne county, Ohio, and he has engaged in teaching school for two terms and has also followed carpentering to some extent. Mr Baker has led a very busy, useful and active life and has succeeded in gaining a comfortable competence. He filled the office of justice of the peace for sixteen consecutive years and after an interval was again elected, serving another term of two years, making eighteen years in all. He then positively declined to fill the position longer. He proved a most capable officer, his decisions being just and impartial. He has likewise filled other local positions, and has always been a stanch Republican in politics since the organization of the party. In his religious views he is a Methodist, belonging to the church in Boone . Mr Baker has now passed the seventieth milestone on life’s journey, but is still an active factor in agricultural circles and is accounted one of the progressive and representative farmers of his adopted county.
1902 Boone County History Book
Boone Biographies maintained by Jan Bony.
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