Family Stories

The Baker Family of Steuben County, Indiana

The mention of Loudoun County, Virginia, caught my eye – I don’t know that any Bakers are related to my Captain John Linton, but it is possible this may be of interest to you!

from The History of Steuben County, Indiana

Christopher Baker was born in Loudoun County, Va., April 18, 1836, a son of Samuel and Sarah Baker. He remained with his parents, coming with them to Steuben County, in 1850, till twenty-one years of age and then commenced improving the land he now owns and occupies on section 25, Otsego Township. His farm contains 115 acres, and he also owns forty acres on section 35.  He was married Aug. 28, 1859, to Rosamond A. Walkins, a native of the State of New York, born Jan. 13, 1839, a daughter of one of Richland Township’s early settlers. To them were born three children, but one of whom is living—Adelia. Samuel M. died in his third year, and Frank J. in infancy. Mrs. Baker died Feb. 13, 1876. May 24, 1877, Mr. Baker married Amy Fox, who was born in Morrow County, Ohio, April 5, 1849, a daughter of George and Emeline Fox, natives of New Jersey, who settled in Richland Township in 1852. Mr. and Mrs. Baker have had two children; but one is living—Leora E. The eldest, Leno C, died aged four months. In politics Mr. Baker is a Republican. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and among the most prominent citizens of the county.

Jacob Baker, son of Samuel and Sarah Baker, was born in Wayne County, Ohio, Dec. 12, 1837, and when thirteen years of age, in 1850, came to Steuben County, Ind., with his parents, they locating in Otsego Township.  He remained with his parents till manhood, receiving a good common-school education.  He was reared a farmer, an avocation he has followed successfully for himself since attaining his majority.  After his marriage he settled on the farm he now owns on section 24, Otsego Township, where he has 120 acres of choice land, all well improved, with a fine residence and good farm buildings.  He has always taken an interest in the public affairs of the county, and has assisted both by his means and time in furthering all enterprises of benefit to the community.  He was married Oct. 23, 1859, to Lydia Aldrich, a native of De Kalb County, born Oct. 19, 1843, daughter of David and Mary Aldrich.  To them have been born three children.  The first two died in infancy; Phebe Elizabeth was born Jan. 14, 1864.  Mr. and Mrs. Baker are active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  In politics he cast his first and last vote for the Republican principles.

John S. Baker was born in Loudoun County, Va., Jan. 27, 1831, and came to Steuben County with his parents in 1850.  His education was received in the common schools.  He has made agriculture the work of his life, and in the winters of 1854 and 1855 taught school, the first term at Richland Center and the last at No. 6, this township.  He was married March 4, 1855, to Selinda E. Keyes, a native of Knox County, Ohio, born May 1, 1837, daughter of Tolman and Mary Keyes.  Three children were born to them—Samuel E. died in infancy; Sarah E., wife of G. W. Goudy; William H. died in infancy.  Mrs. Baker died June 11, 1863.  Dec. 20, 1863, Mr. Baker married Catherine B. Sanxter, a native of England, born March 3, 1846, daughter of Christopher and Rebecca Sanxter.  To them have been born three children – Charles E., Mary P. and Cora R.  Mr. and Mrs. Baker are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and for the past twenty years he has been an official member; for the past eight years Recording Steward. In politics Mr. Baker is a prominent member of the Democratic Party in Steuben County and has several times been the party’s candidate for township and county offices.  He has twice been a candidate for County Commissioner.  Mr. and Mrs. Baker are among the most respected and influential citizens of Steuben County.

 Nathaniel Baker son of Samuel and Sarah Baker, was born in Wayne County, Ohio, Sept. 18, 1842, and was eight years of age when his parents moved to Steuben County.  He remained with his parents till twenty-six years of age, working on the farm and attending in his youth the public schools, completing his education at the Orland Academy.  When twenty years of age he decided to enter the ministry and from that time he studied to prepare himself for his work.  When twenty-seven years of age he entered the Northern Indiana Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church and gave his time wholly to the work of the ministry till 1882.  In this time he traveled over 24,000 miles, driving one horse over 18,000 miles.  He averaged over three lectures and sermons a week, or about 2,000 in all.  His health failing in 1882 he gave up the active work of the ministry and has since then devoted his attention to agricultural pursuits. Reared a farmer, he is conversant with all the details of country life and is making a success of the vocation.  He resides on section 24, Otsego Township, where he owns eighty acres of choice land, mostly under cultivation.  He is a good citizen, taking an active interest in all enterprises of public benefit.  In politics he votes the Republican ticket at National elections and the Prohibition ticket at local elections.  He was married Nov. 8, 1881, to Elma Armstrong, who was born in Wyandotte County, Ohio, May 28, 1858, daughter of W. K. and Martha C. Armstrong, now of Tipton County, Ind. To them has been born one child—Ernest Clyde.

Samuel Baker and his family settled in this township in the spring of 1850.  He had considerable means and bought 640 acres of land which soon began to yield bountiful harvests as a reward for the labor bestowed upon it.  Some years prior to his death he gave to John, Jacob, Nathaniel, Samuel, Jr., Thomas and Elizabeth each eighty acres and to Christopher seventy-five acres, still retaining a home for himself.  He was born in Franklin County, Pa., June 19, 1801.  His parents, John and Sarah (Stoner) Baker, were natives of the same State but in 1820 moved to Loudoun County, Va., where he was married Nov. 5, 1829, to Sarah Shriver, who was born in that county March 1, 1802.  All that a wife should be she was the rest of his life to him.  A willing toiler in converting the wilderness to a state of productiveness; a helper in all good work; kind and indulgent as a parent, carefully training her children and fitting them for the duties of life, she has her reward in the love and esteem now extended to her by children and friends and the consciousness of having spent her life in usefulness and doing what she could to make her husband’s home a happy one.  In 1836 Mr. Baker, in company with his parents moved to Wayne County, Ohio, where his father died in 1847 and his mother in 1854.  He remained in Wayne County till his removal to this township.  Ten children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Baker—John W., Elizabeth, Sarah, Christopher, Jacob, Thomas, Margaret, Nathaniel, Samuel, Jr., and Daniel.  Sarah, Margaret and Daniel are deceased.  Of the others all save Elizabeth, who lives on the homestead with her mother, are married and comfortably situated.  Samuel Baker passed to the better life April 11, 1884, and his funeral services were conducted by Rev. J. C. Ambrose.  His death cast a gloom over the entire community and the large attendance at his funeral showed the esteem and confidence m which he was held.  He was for over half a century a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and in all things was a faithful servant of his heavenly Master.

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