James C. Baker, who is giving practically his undivided attention to his duties as mayor of Marengo, was born
in Muscatine county, Iowa, on the t7th of May, 1854, a son of Philip Baker, who was born in Muskingum county, Ohio,
June 8, 1822. The father was a farmer and followed that occupation until his demise, which occurred on the 2d of
October, 1895. His wife, who before her marriage was Catherine E. Fridley, was born in Augusta county, Virginia,
September 22, 1822, and survived her husband for a decade, dying in 1905. They were the parents of six children,
of whom our subject is the only survivor.
James C. Baker was a student in the common schools of Muscatine county and there acquired a serviceable education.
He engaged in farming until 1888, when the family left the homestead and removed to Scott county, where he engaged
in the feed and mill business for a short time. In May, 1901, he came to Marengo and for four years conducted a
shoe store. Upon selling that he assumed the management of the gas plant and gave his time to his duties in that
connection until he was elected justice of the peace. He served in that office until August, 1914, when he resigned
as he had been appointed mayor of Marengo. He has sought to conduct the affairs of the municipality with the same
regard for efficiency and businesslike methods that he displayed in the management of his interests as merchant
or as manager of the gas company. He has also made a careful study of conditions and needs and has already been
able to initiate several reforms that have proved of value to the city.
Mr. Baker was married on the r4th of October, 1885, to Miss Agnes R. Steinhilber, who was born in Davenport, a
daughter of Ezekiel and Wilhelniina (Mast) Steinhilber, natives of Germany, the former born in 1819 and the latter
in 1822. Both have departed this life. Mrs. Baker is one of six living children, as follows: Louisa, the widow
of Robert Krause and a resident of Davenport; Virginia, who is the widow of Gus Holme and makes her home in Marengo;
Matilda, of Detroit, Michigan, who is the widow of Otto Kircher; Mrs. Baker; Charles, who is living in California;
and Harry E., a resident of New York city. Mr. and Mrs. Baker have a daughter, Katharine, a graduate of the Marengo
high school with the class of 1906. She completed a course in the State University of Iowa in 1910 and then taught
for a time, after which she again became a student there, taking a course in domestic science. She graduated in
1914, having completed in one year and a summer term, the work comprising the regular four years' course. She is
now teaching domestic science and history in the high school at Brodhead, Wisconsin.
Mr. Baker is a stanch democrat and has done much to secure the success of his party in Iowa county. Fraternally
he is identified with the Knights of Pythias. Although he has held the office of mayor less than a year he has
demonstrated fully his fitness for the position and has the cooperation of his fellow citizens in his efforts to
advance the civic interests of Marengo.
History of Iowa County, Iowa
And its People
By: James C. Dinwiddie
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Iowa County, IA
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