Biography of William B. Baldwin
North Central Ohio Biographies

William Benson Baldwin. As editor of the Medina County Gazette, Mr. Baldwin is recognized as one of the outstanding newspaper men of North Central Ohio. He was born at Akron, Ohio, Feb. 20, 1869, the son of James N. and Augusta (Eldred) Baldwin.

James Baldwin was born at Medina, Feb. 22, 1839, the son of Rev. Benson C. Baldwin, who was a minister of the Presbyterian Church, and founder of the First Presbyterian Church at Akron, Ohio. Later, Reverend Baldwin was stationed at Medina, where his son, James N., was born. After the death of her husband, Mrs. Benson C. Baldwin returned with her children to Summit County, Ohio, where James engaged in the milling business for a number of years. He married Miss Augusta Eldred, the daughter of Akin and Lydia (Hamilton) Eldred. Akin Eldred was the captain of one of the first boats operated on the old Ohio Canal and was a picturesque figure of the early days of navigation. To James N. and Augusta (Eldred) Baldwin were born two children: William Benson, the subject of this sketch; and Harriet B., the widow of John Durham, who died in 1897, and she lives at Pasadena, Calif.

William Benson Baldwin received his education in the public schools of Akron, Ohio, from which he was graduated in 1886. He received the degree of Bachelor of Arts from Buchtel College, now the University of Akron, in 1891, and for many years was a member of the Board of Trustees of that institution. He resigned as trustee in 1915, at which time he removed to Medina.

As a boy of 15 years, Mr. Baldwin manifested an unusual interest in newspaper work and was the publisher of a paper called the "Amateur Press." He also became president of the Buckeye Amateur Press Association, a state organization, and was corresponding secretary and official editor of the National Amateur Press Association. He began his professional career as a cub reporter on the Akron Daily Beacon, now the Beacon Journal, and during his college career was the founder of the "Buchtelite," a college publication, which has since developed from a monthly publication to a weekly paper. In 1910 Mr. Baldwin left the Akron Beacon Journal as editor in chief, and at that time was appointed postmaster of the city of Akron by President Taft, which office he successfully filled until December, 1914. He then became a member of the tax assessing board of Summit County by appointment of Governor Cox. In 1915 he organized a corporation which purchased the Medina County Gazette, which is numbered among the oldest and best known newspapers of Ohio, having enjoyed a steady publication since 1832.

On July 15, 1903, Mr. Baldwin was united in marriage with Miss Leonora A. Martin, the daughter of J. W. and Caroline Martin of Medina. Mr. Martin died in 1928 and is buried in Spring Grove Cemetery. Mrs. Baldwin, before her marriage and for several years thereafter, was widely known as an accomplished vocalist and has been active in connection with church music in New York City, Cleveland, and Akron. To Mr. and Mrs. Baldwin have been born the following children: Helen, educated in Lake Erie College at Painesville and the University of Akron, now associated in newspaper work with her father in Medina; Martin H., born Oct. 30, 1906, who attended Ohio State university, was for some time a member of the advertising staff of the Akron Beacon Journal and now also associated with his father on the Gazette; Neal S., born Jan. 19, 1910, attends Case School of Applied Science, Cleveland; and James E., born Oct. 13, 1912, attends Trinity College, Hartford, Conn. The three sons are all graduates of Howe School, at Howe, Ind.

Mr. Baldwin has always been a Republican. He has been a member of the Republican State Central Committee of the 14th Congressional District of Ohio. All members of the Baldwin family hold membership in the Church of Our Saviour (Episcopal), of Akron, Ohio, Mr. Baldwin being junior warden of the church. Mr. Baldwin has been active in Masonic circles since he was 25 years of age, and is Past Master of Adoniram Lodge, F. & A. M., No. 517; Past High Priest of Washington Chapter, R. A. M., No. 25; Past Thrice Illustrious Master of Akron Council, R. & S. M., No. 80; Past Commander of Akron Commandery, K. T., No. 25; Past President of the Akron Masonic Club; and has served through all the chairs of the Grand Commandery of Ohio Knights Templar, being Grand Commander in 1918 and for six years Grand Prelate of the Grand Commandery. He also belongs to the Valley of Lake Erie Consistory of Cleveland and was honored with the 33rd degree in 1928. He is now Most Wise Master of Ariel Chapter of Rose Croix, and is also a member of the Tadmore Shrine of Akron and the Red Cross of Constantine.

Mr. Baldwin is a member of the Knights of Pythias, of the Sons of the American Revolution, and Sons of Veterans, of which he served for one year as captain of the Akron Camp.

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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