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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WILLIAM G. BAKER. The community of Jamestown. Greene County, is made up of a large portion of substantial and intelligent people, well-to-do and many of them among the first settlers. Mr. Baker may be properly mentioned in this connection as one, who by his own energy and industry has acquired a competence and is now retired from the active labors of life, giving his attention mostly to the care of his extended business interests. He is a Director of the People’s Bank and is a man who has occupied many positions of trust and responsibility.

Mr. Baker came to Jamestown in 1831, when the present flourishing city was a hamlet of ten houses. He was a saddler and harness-maker by trade and established the first shop for this business ever started in the place. This was opened in the month August, 1832, and was conducted for many years successfully. In the meantime Mr. Baker associated himself in partnership with Thomas Johnson and they established a tannery which they conducted jointly for four years and then Mr. Baker purchasing the interest of his partner, operated it for six years on his own account.

At the expiration of this time Mr. Baker in 1848, having turned his saddlery business over to a brother, purchased a stock of goods and was thereafter engaged in general merchandising for eight years. Then selling out he commenced dealing in live stock and was engaged in this for ten years. Then becoming interested in the Farmers and Trader’s Bank he invested in several shares therein, and became a Director. He subsequently transferred his interest in that institution to the People’s Bank with which he has since been connected.

A native of the Blue Grass State Mr. Baker was born on the 28th of May, 1812, near the town of Millersburg. When a child of two years his parents moved to Fleming County, Ky., near Poplar Plains, There William G. was reared to manhood, acquiring a limited education in the common school. He commenced learning the saddlery trade at an early age, serving an apprenticeship of four years. Then coming to Greene County, this State, he set up his first shop at Jamestown. He possessed very limited means and walked all the way across the country - over one hundred and twenty miles - carrying his tools and clothing and landing in Jamestown with a cash capital of sixty-two and one half cents. It is hardly neccessary to state that he labored industriously, lived economically, and saved his earnings, or he could scarcely have arrived at the position which he now occupies.

In due time, having found himself upon solid ground, with the prospect of being able to support a family, Mr. Baker was joined in wedlock May 12, 1836, with Miss Thirza A. Larkin, the wedding taking place at the bride’s home in Ross Township, Greene County. Mrs. Baker was born in that township, February 11, 1817, and is a daughter of David and Nancy (Harper) Larkin, who were natives respectively of Pennsylvania and Maryland. Her mother’s family was of the same branch that settled in Virginia and after whom was named Harper’s Ferry. Mr. Larkin was a farmer by occupation and came to Ohio at an early date, settling first near the present site of Chillicothe. Later he removed to Greene County and thence to Clark County, where he spent the remainder of his life. Both parents lived to an advanced age, the mother dying at the age of eighty-five and the father when ninety-four years old.

Mrs. Baker was given a common-school education and trained by a careful mother in all the useful household duties. She remained under the parental roof until becoming the mistress of her own home. Of the union of our subject there has been born a family of six children, but Mr. and Mrs. Baker have experienced sore bereavement in the loss of all their children but one. The only survivor is a daughter — Mettaline — who is the wife of Morris Sharp, a banker of Washington Court House, this State.

The parents of our subject were William and Mary (Wyans) Baker, the father a native of Virginia and the mother of Pennsylvania. The Baker family is of English ancestry while the Wyans trace their ancestry to Wales. William Baker left his native State when a youth of sixteen years, going to Kentucky where he met and married Miss Wyans, who had probably been taken to the Blue Grass State by her parents when a very young child. It was, however, thought by some that she was born there. In 1828 William Baker and his wife, after the birth of most of their family, left Kentucky and settled in Jamestown, this State, where they spent the closing years of their lives. Grandfather Baker passed away May 27, 1838, at the age of fifty six years. His wife survived him for the long period of thirty-two years, remaining a widow and departing hence in October, 1870, at the advanced age of eighty-five and one-half years. William Baker was known far and wide as a hard-working, honest man, a good citizen, and a stanch member of the old Whig party. Grandmother Baker was a woman of many estimable qualities and a Methodist in religious belief.

Mr. Baker, our subject, was in the early days a Whig, but after the abandonment of the old party, cordially wheeled into the Republican ranks. He has held the various minor offices of his township and has always been looked upon by his neighbors as a man whose word was as good as his bond. He is a regular attendant of the Methodist Episcopal Church of which his wife is a consistent member and to which they contribute a liberal support.

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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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