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Baker, William O.


Posted By: Earl Hoffman (email)
Date: 7/22/2012 at 12:56:13


One of the influential citizens and farmers of Viola township, this county, and the owner of two hundred acres of land in that township, is William O. Baker, a man of excellent endowment and upright character, who has been a valuable factor in the agricultural and civic affairs of Viola township for many years. Since casting his lot with the people of Audubon county in 1874, Mr. Baker has benefited not only himself, but the community in general. His record shows him to be one of the prominent and successful farmers of Audubon county, and he is, in every respect, worthy of representation in this volume.

William O. Baker was born in England on February 19, 1848, the son of Robert and Eliza (Owen) Baker, who immigrated from England in 1850 and located near Davenport, Scott county, Iowa, where they lived for twenty years and were successful farmers. They came to Audubon county in 1870 and lived in Melville township for four years, after which they moved to Viola township. Robert Baker died on the farm there on June 18, 1905, his wife having preceded him to the grave but a bare month before, her death having occurred on May 13 of the same year, Robert Baker having been eighty-nine years old at the time of his death and his wife eighty-three. They were the parents of the following children: William, the subject of this sketch; Mrs. Mary Jane Huffmann [Hoffmann] (deceased), who lived in Viola township; Mrs. Annie Abel, of Omaha, Nebraska; John Thomas, of Spirit Lake; James K., who lives near Audubon; Mrs. Josephine Oliver, of Melville township, and Mrs. Nellie Smith, of Dodd [Dodge] City, Kansas.

William 0. Baker lived with his parents until their death and cared for them, having previously purchased from them the farm which he now owns. He has, for many years, been an extensive breeder of Shorthorn and Hereford cattle, dividing his time between these two breeds and farming. Of late he has been buying and selling cattle, and handles hundreds of head annually. Mr. Baker owns altogether two hundred and eighty acres of land, one hundred and sixty acres of which is located in section 18 and one hundred and twenty acres in section 17, and has lived on this farm since the spring, of 1874. He first came to Audubon county with his parents in 1870, at which time his nearest neighbor in Melville township was E. J. Fruman, who lived four miles away. Mr. Baker is one of the oldest settlers in Viola township. He purchased his land in 1879 at eighteen dollars an acre from F. E. Dennet and Carl Dennet, previously having rented land for five years. The highway near his farm is lined on both sides with great trees which he planted. The home is attractive and well built and the farm is well fenced.

Though Mr. Baker is a Democrat, he is somewhat independent in his voting, being inclined, for it is a question between measures and parties, to support men of high principles rather than political party emblems. He attends the Eaton Valley United Brethren church. Mr. Baker has never married.

From "History of Audubon County, Iowa," ed. by Henry F. Andrews. B. F. Bowen, 1915
Transcribed by Earl W. Hoffman (2007)


Audubon Biographies maintained by Cheryl Siebrass.
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