J. L. BAKER.
A well cultivated farm in Columbus City township pays tribute to the industry of J. L. Baker, who for over thirty
years has been actively connected with the development of this section of the county. He was born in Kentucky March
to, 1851, a son of William and Matilda (Gullette) Baker, both of whom were natives of Georgia. The father was a
farmer and believing that conditions were more favorable in the north than in the slave states where he was reared,
he came with his family to Louisa county, Iowa, in 1853 and lived only a year after arriving in this county. There
were five children in the family of Mr. and Mrs. Baker, the subject of this review being the youngest. The others
are: who is the wife of W. P. Marsden, of Columbus City; Thomas A., who is now living in Oklahoma; Louisa C., the
widow of W. K. Moore, of Columbus Junction; and Dulcina L., who is the widow of J. Fleindel, of Los Angeles, California.
Mrs. Baker was twice married, her second husband being W. W. Paschall. By her second marriage she became the mother
of one son. D. R. Paschall, who is now living in Des Moines.
J. L. Baker was brought to Louisa county by his parents in his infancy and possessed limited advantages of education
in the district schools, being obliged to go to work on a farm at the age of eleven years. However, he has always
possessed good powers of observation and as he has kept well informed as to the world's events, he has largely
overcome the unavoidable lack of early school training. When he was about twenty years of age he went to Colorado
and later to Kansas, spending two years in the Sunflower state as a cowboy. Desiring to see more of the world he
visited New Orleans and remained there for three years. At the end of this time, having decided to settle down
in life, he returned to Louisa county and rented sixty acres of land. In 1878 he bought eighty acres in Columbus
City township and has cleared away the timber and made many improvements, thus greatly adding to the value of the
place. He is a general farmer and also raises shorthorn cattle for the market, his labors yielding a substantial
On the 29th of November, 1878, Mr. Baker was married to Miss Ella Barrington, a daughter of Abraham and Catharine
(McCoy) Barrington, and they have five children: Frank G., who is now a traveling man and resides at Columbus Junction;
Ralph E., who is a graduate of the engineering department of Iowa State College at Ames and is now living in Chicago;
Lyle T., of Louisa county; and Julia Alice and William Harland, both of whom are at home.
In politics Mr. Baker is an earnest supporter of the republican party and his religious belief is indicated by
membership in the Methodist church. Having as a boy been thrown upon his own resources, he early acquired a knowledge
of the world and by practical application of the lessons he learned in his youth he developed a steadfast and persevering
character. He owes his success to his own efforts seconded by the encouragement of a faithful wife who has been
to him at all times an inspiration and to her children a true and devoted mother. They have a pleasant and attractive
home and are well known and held in high regard by the entire community.
History of Louisa County, Iowa
From Its Earliest Settlement to 1912
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Decatur County, IA
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