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Below is a family biography included in The History of Miller County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Hon. James Baker. Among the farmers of Cole County, Mo., who have become prominent in their calling may be mentioned Mr. Baker, who was born on “Blue Grass” soil in 1844. His father, James Baker, was a farmer of Kentucky, and came to Missouri in 1860, settling in Jefferson City, where he resided until his death in 1871. His wife, whose maiden name was Matilda Berry, was a daughter of one of the earliest settlers of Cole County. James Baker is the eldest of six children, three of whom are living, and was an attendant of the schools of Kentucky until thirteen years of age, but only attended school a short time after coming to Missouri. In 1865 he concluded to seek his fortune farther west and went up the Missouri River to Leavenworth, Kan., where he was engaged by a freighting company to drive a team to Salt Lake City, but at Fort Halleck they encountered so much snow that the expedition was blockaded until spring. They had endured so many hardships that Mr. Baker left the train at this place and went east in Colorado to the Cachelapoudre River, where he preempted a claim and was engaged in farming for one year. In the latter part of 1866 he entered the United States service as a teamster and remained in the government employ till December, 1868, participating on the 22nd of that month and year in the Fort Kearney massacre, where every soldier was killed and only the teamsters escaped. December 26 he started for home, making the journey in a short time on the new railroad which had been built, and in February of the following year engaged in teaching school in Cole County, purchasing the same year a farm of 120 acres in Saline Township, Miller Co. He has followed both occupations quite successfully up to the present time, and in the meantime has made many improvements on his property, rendering it one of the pleasantest homes in the county. He is well posted on the political affairs of the day, and has aided in many ways the success of the Republican party. In 1879 he was elected county school commissioner, serving two years, and in 1886 received the nomination of the Republican party and was elected to the State Legislature, being re-elected in 1888 by a largely increased majority. During his service he was the author of several local bills that were highly beneficial to his constituents. He belongs to the I. O. O. F., Mt. Pleasant Lodge, and is also a member of the Agricultural Wheel. In November, 1869, he was united in marriage to Miss Isabel Sullens, a native of Miller County, and a daughter of John Sullens, one of the early settlers of the county, now residing near Spring Garden. Mr. and Mrs. Baker are members of the Christian Church, and their union has been blessed in the birth of five children: Minnie, a school teacher, who is now attending school at Spring Garden; Oscar and Mertie; Nettie died October 15, 1875, and Delia April 13, 1881.

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This family biography is one of 120 biographies included in The History of Miller County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Miller County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Miller County, Missouri family biographies here: Miller County, Missouri Biographies

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