My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890.  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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BRINTON BAKER. Among the men known throughout the county as old settlers, few, if any, now living, can claim a longer residence here than Major Baker, of Xenia. He came to the county in 1812 and has therefore been a citizen of it seventy-eight years. For sixty-one years he has owned a saddlery shop, which is still conducted by the family, the present firm name being B. Baker & Son. Maj. Baker has held some official positions and only his dislike of public responsibilities prevented his more extended public life. Honorable in his business relations, genial in his social life, kindly in his home, and upright in his character, he has enjoyed the esteem of his fellow, men and is looked upon as an honor to the city in which he has so long resided.

Maj. Baker was born in Chester County, Pa., July 5, 1807, his father having been a native of the same county. Thomas Baker married Sarah Woodward, and some years after their marriage they removed to this State. Driving to Brownsville, Pa., they took a flatboat to Cincinnati, coming hence by team, arriving in March, 1812. Buying a tract of land in what is now Clark and Greene Counties, Mr. Baker continued his former occupation of tilling the soil; he also built a sawmill a mile west of the falls of the Little Miami, that was one of the first erected in Greene County. He sawed the lumber for his dwelling and for the first schoolhouse that was built in the neighborhood. He was actively interested in school work and in the efforts of the settlers to have good advantages for their children. He was one of the large land-owners of the section and a prominent man of the period. For quite a long time he served as Township Trustee. His death took place in 1817, when he was sixty-two years old, and his widow survived until 1820. The parental family comprised nine sons and three daughters, all natives of the Keystone State. George, Joshua, Nayl, Thomas, William and Richard are now dead; as also are Lydia, wife of Thomas Suplee; Rachel, wife of Samuel Jones; and Phoebe, who married Simon Kenton.

The subject of this sketch was attending school in Xenia, at the time of his father’s death but continued his studies there but a short time afterward. He then staid on the farm with his mother and brothers until he was eighteen years old, when he came back to the city and apprenticed himself to Samuel Gano to learn the trade of a harness- maker. His apprenticeship lasted until he was twenty-one years old, and he remained in the employ of his former master a short time afterward. He then bought out a saddlery shop and embarking in that business, has followed it from that day.

For many years Maj. Baker was a member of the City Council, but he declined all other city offices. He held the offices of County Treasurer and Township Treasurer; and was Director of the Infirmary for fifteen years, or until his resignation. In politics he was first a Whig and then a Republican, the whole family standing by that party. He belongs to Xenia Lodge No. 52, R. A. M., in which he was initiated in 1854; and to the Odd Fellows fraternity, which he joined in 1845. He is a birthright Quaker, but having married outside of the fold, is not looked upon as a true Friend.

A well-constructed brick residence of tasteful design, situated at No. 35, Detroit Street, is the home of Mr. Baker and his estimable wife, to whom he was united October 4, 1831. Mrs. Baker was in her girlhood, Miss Eliza Hivling. She was born in Washington County, Md., October 3, 1806, her parents also having been natives of the same State. John Hivling and his wife, Sarah Ankeney, came to Xenia when their daughter, of whom we speak, was a child of two years, settling on what is now Trebein’s Mills. The father bought and operated the mills there and during the War of 1812 also kept a tavern on the corner of Main and Detroit Streets. He afterward bought a large tract of land, removed into the city, into the corporate limits of which the farm extended, and devoted himself to agricultural pursuits. He had sold goods for many years and was quite a prominent pioneer and one of the early sheriffs of the county. His demise occurred in Xenia, November 5, 1860. Mrs. Baker spent her girlhood in the city that has been the scene of her long and happy married life, her housekeeping having been begun the December after her marriage, on the ground that is now occupied by her pleasant dwelling.

Although Maj. and Mrs. Baker are parents of six children, but one is left to gladden their hearts by his presence and manly worth. That dread scourge, scarlet fever, removed from them Sarah, John A., Joshua, Eliza Jane, and an infant. Abram H., after completing his education, learned the trade and details of his father’s business, and for some time has been a member of the firm and interested in the continuation of the work which his father carried on alone so many years. He married Miss Sallie Miller, a worthy young woman who has borne him three children — Mary E., Ankeney and Rachel. The title of Major, by which our subject is familiarly known, is derived from his connection with the militia, in which he held that office.

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This family biography is one of the many biographies included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890. 

View additional Greene County, Ohio family biographies here: Greene County, Ohio Biographies

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