|Cherokee County Biographies
John H. BakerJOHN
H. BAKER, one of the most enterprising men it has been the fortune of
Grand Meadow Township to claim as a citizen, died in Los Angeles,
California in the Sisters' Hospital, December 16, 1888. He
born in the State of Pennsylvania, October 4, 1850. His
were also natives of Pennsylvania, but removed to Iowa when he was one
year old and when he was eight years old both had died, leaving him and
one sister, Emma, now Mrs. Jenkins and two half sisters, Mrs. Lizzie
Brooks and Mrs. Alice Pixler. After his mother's death he lived with an
uncle, Henry Fry, in Clayton County, until he was fifteen years old,
when he began to work on a farm by the month. During the
he attended the common school, and in the season worked with a
threshing machine. Mr. Baker was married June 10, 1871 to
Armilda Spickelmier, a daughter of Jesse and Sarah (Veach) Spickelmier.
She was born in Indiana, July 28, 1851 and was left an orphan
the age of seven years; from that time until she was fourteen years old
she made her home with an uncle, Asa Veach, in Clayton County, Iowa and
then was obliged to depend upon her efforts for a living.
employed in the family of Mr. Baker's uncle she met him there.
is not strange that two people whose lives had been so alike should
have been attracted to each other; both left orphans in early
childhood, both brought up by an uncle until barely able to earn a
living and then thrown upon their young resources and both struggling
bravely on until better days came to gladden their hearts.
five years after their marriage they rented land in Clayton County and
in the fall of 1876 they came to Cherokee County and purchased 160
acres, erecting a little shanty, in which they lived until better
quarters could be procured. Their first years in Cherokee
were by no means encouraging, but they persevered and by diligence and
industry came out conquerors. They had paid $ 100 on their
when they located and from time to time they were enabled to make
investments until they owned the east half of section 3 and the west
half of section 2; the farm still contains this amount of land and the
improvements are of the best kind; the dwelling was erected at a cost
of $2,000 and a substantial barn at a cost of $1,800. Mr.
devoted the greater part of his time to the raising of livestock, and
was very successful in this industry. He was prominently
identified with the Republican party and represented his township in
many of its public offices; he was elected county supervisor, and was
serving his first term when he died. Mr. and Mrs. Baker had
children born to them: Henry, Willie, Ernest, Almeda (who died at age
of eleven months), Gretie, Emma, Ella, Estella, and Roy, who died at
the age of six months. Mr. Baker was ill for about one year
before his death. By the advice of his physician he went to
California and had been there only one week when the relentless hand of
death was upon him. His wife hastened to his side, but the
journey is long and she did not reach him until he had been dead two
days. She brought his remains back to the well-beloved home
the sorrow stricken children, and laid him to rest in the Tilden
Cemetery. He was a man of strong features and fine physique
character which did not detract from his fine physical appearance.
He was a member of the Masonic Lodge at Marcus for five
Burning Bush Chapter, No. 90, R.A.M., and of Crusade Commandery, No.
39, K.T. He also belongs to the A.O.U.W. He carried a life
insurance of $6,000, all of which was promptly paid to his widow. He
left a will, disposing of his property, so that the matter was settled
in a most satisfactory way. In the death of John H. Baker the
community lost a most loyal, zealous citizen, and his family a true and
tried father and husband.
Source: Biographical History of
Cherokee County, IA, W. W. Dunbar & Co Publishers,
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