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BAXTER, J. Walter


Posted By: Nettie Mae (email)
Date: 6/16/2018 at 22:33:11

J. Walter Baxter, a well-known engineer on the Chicago & Northwestern Railway who has made his home in Clinton since 1859, was born in Geneva, New York, on the 15th of January, 1853, and is a son of John and Roseanna (Fairfax) Baxter. The father died when our subject was only two years old and the mother subsequently married William Simpson and removed to Fulton, Illinois. Later she came to Clinton, Iowa, where she died, 1878. By her second marriage she had one daughter, Ida A., now the wife of William B. Tufford, editor of the Clinton Age. There were several children born of the first union, but our subject is the only one now living. One son, George Baxter, was a soldier of the Civil war and was wounded in the battle of Shiloh. The family is of English origin.

Mr. Baxter, of this review, acquired his early education in the schools of Fulton and Clinton. On leaving home at the age of eighteen years he went to Chicago, where he was employed in a manufacturing plant for a time, and while there he became acquainted with Miss Elizabeth Hibbard, who became his wife in 1874. She was born in Williamsburg, New York, in 1853, and is of Scotch ancestry. Her father, William B. Hibbard, was born in New Hampshire, in 1820, and after living- in New York for some time removed to Indiana. He received a good education and was well vresed [sic] on all subjects. He held responsible positions in various banks, and was employed as an accountant by several prominent firms in Chicago, where he made his home for some years. His death occurred in August, 1899. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Elizabeth Chamberlain, and was a native of Vermont, died in Chicago in 1871. They were the parents of three children, of whom two are still living, namely: Elizabeth C, wife of our subject; and Mary E., wife of Horace Childs of Maiden, Massachusetts. Frances married Charles Hoffman, a music dealer of Clinton, Iowa, and died here in August, 1895.

Mrs. Baxter was principally reared and educated in Chicago. By her marriage to our subject she has become the mother of four children: William W., who was drowned in the Mississippi river at the age of eleven years; Rose M., who died in childhood; Maud I., who died at the age of three years; and Frank H., who was born August 29, 1882, and was graduated at the public schools of Clinton. He also took a course in the Clinton Business College and fitted himself for an electrician. For a time he held a clerical position, but is now engaged in piloting passenger engines at the depot in Clinton.

In 1876 Mr. Baxter returned to Clinton and three years later went upon the road as brakeman, but owing to an injury he received he commenced firing, and served the company in that capacity for a number of years. In 1886 he was promoted to engineer, and as such has since been in the freight and passenger service of the Chicago & Northwestern Railway. He owns a well improved place in Clinton, purchased by him in 1890.

Mr. Baxter is a prominent member of several civic societies, belonging to Lafayette Lodge, K. of P.; Lincoln Lodge, No. 139, I. O. O. F.; Robin Hood Camp, M. W. A. : and the Tribe of Ben Hur. He was also one of the organizers of the Knights of the Maccabees at Clinton and is a member of Clinton Division, No. 125, B. of L. E., while his wife holds membership in the Grand International Auxiliary of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, and a member of Rebekah Lodge, I. O. O. F., in which she is past noble grand and has been a delegate to the grand lodge three years. Both Mr. and Mrs. Baxter are quite prominent socially, and are held in the highest regard by all who know them.

Source: The 1901 Biographical Record of Clinton Co., Iowa, Illustrated published: Chicago : S. J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1901.


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