Biography of Ransom C. Baker
North Central Ohio Biographies

Ransom C. Baker was born in a log cabin near New Castle, Coshocton County, Ohio, on March 24, 1894. When he was seven years of age his parents moved to a farm near Walhonding, Ohio, where they remained one year. From here they removed to Danville, Ohio. Mr. Baker graduated from the Danville Buckeye City High School in 1912. Following a summer term at Wooster College, he taught the intermediate grades of his home town for one year. In the fall of 1913 he enrolled in the Ohio State University and was graduated in the spring of 1916 with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. After a post graduate course at Ohio Northern University, Mr. Baker taught history and English in the Rudolph, Wood County, High School. The fall of 1917 found him engaged as principal of the Brimfield, Portage County, High School. The war was gathering momentum and on Oct. 3, 1917, Mr. Baker enlisted as a private in Company B, 324th Mg. Bn., 166th Brigade, 83rd Div., and was sent to Camp Sherman. In November he was promoted to corporal and in April, 1918, he became a sergeant. While at Camp Sherman he became an instructor in chemical warfare and served his company as Gas N. C. O. until the division went to France.

In May, 1918, the 83rd Division left Camp Sherman and after spending two weeks in Camp Merritt, N. J., embarked June 12th at Hoboken, N. J. The 324th Mg. Bn. sailed on the British ship, Corsican, arriving in Liverpool, England, on the 23rd of June. On the 29th Sergeant Baker crossed the English Channel on the "Caeserea" and disembarked at Cherbourg, France, June 30th. After attending the Second Corps Military School at Chatilon Sur Seine, Sergeant Baker was placed on detached service and served as an instructor in machine gun and chemical warfare. His duties carried him over a considerable portion of France, including Le Mans, Tours, Orleans, Chartres, Troyes, Paris and the Marne Valley. In November, Sergeant Baker passed the examinations for a lieutenancy in the chemical warfare service but the commission was withheld because of the armistice.

Sailing from Brest, France, on the English boat, "Adriatic," a skeleton of the original machine gun battalion arrived at Camp Mills, N. Y., from thence they came back to Camp Sherman and were mustered out of the service on Feb. 15, 1919. March 1st of the same year Mr. Baker became assistant cashier of the Danville Bank, where he remained one year. March 1, 1920, he entered The Knox County Savings Bank, Mt. Vernon, as assistant cashier. In 1927 he became cashier.

Mr. Baker is past commander of Dan C. Stone, Jr., Post of the American Legion at Mt. Vernon. He is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Masonic Lodge, Methodist Episcopal Church, Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, secretary treasurer of the Knox County Memorial Building, trustee and a director of the Y. M. C. A. Retaining his interest in military affairs, Mr. Baker holds the rank of captain in the Officers Reserve Corps.

Knox and Coshocton County stock constitute the heritage of Mr. Baker. His great grandfather, John Baker, served in a Knox County company during the War of 1812 and his grandfather, Simon Baker, enrolled in Mt. Vernon for the Mexican War in 1846. His father, Simon Baker, was born in Butler Township, Knox County, in 1862. In early life he was a farmer and later operated a hotel and livery business in Danyule until the time of his death. He died at Martinsburg, Ohio, in 1906. His widow resides in Mt. Vernon with her son. She is the daughter of Ransom Neldon, a native of Coshocton County. Three sons were born to Simon and Jennie (Neldon) Baker: Russell, who resides in New York City; Dwight, who died in infancy; and R. C. Baker, the subject of this sketch.

June 30, 1925, Mr. Baker married Miss Gladys Hadley, who for a number of years taught mathematics in the local high school. She is the daughter of Fred G. and Eyrie (Winegarden) Hadley, of Mt. Vernon. Mrs. Baker is a graduate of The Ohio Wesleyan University. She is active in the College Women's Club and the Methodist Episcopal Church.

The officers of The Knox County Savings Bank are: B. D. Herron, president; H. S. Workman, vice president; R. C. Baker, cashier. The directors are: B. D. Herron, H. S. Workman, C. G. Conley, R. M. Lamb, J. W. Rudin, and George Israel.

Samuel H. Israel was the founder of The Knox County Savings Bank in 1873 and served as its cashier from that date until 1909. He was president from 1909 until 1918. Jared Sperry was its first president, 1873 until 1886. From 1886 until 1904 General G. A. Jones served as president. The interim of 1904 to 1909 shows no president as the cashier absorbed the duties of president. James Israel served as president from 1918 until 1922, from which date B. D. Herron assumed the office. Mr. Herron had previously served as cashier from 1909.

In 1905 the deposits of The Knox County Savings Bank had increased to half a million dollars. On June 30, 1930, the bank statement showed total resources of $1,906,360.56; with a capital stock of $150,000 and surplus and undivided profits of $116,000.

History of North Central Ohio
Embracing Richland, Ashland, Wayne,
Medina, Lorin, Huron and Knox Counties
BY: William A. Duff
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis 1931

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