California Genealogy and History Archives
Identification with the ranching interests of Sonoma county, extending back to the time when he came here a boy of twelve years, has given to Mr. Baker a thorough knowledge of this part of the state, as well as a loyal devotion to its welfare and a keen appreciation of its material resources. The ranch which he occupies and operates stands near Duncans Mills and comprises five hundred acres, a portion of which is still in timber containing about five thousand cords of wood. Twenty acres are in meadow, a large tract in pasture and in addition one and one-half acres have been planted to fruit trees suited to the soil and climate. In the near future other trees doubtless will be set out, for the horticulture is proving its special adaptability to local conditions, and the ranchmen are eager to grasp the opportunity for material results thus presented to them. On the stock ranch may be seen the usual equipment of machinery, horses, cattle and hogs, as well as facilities for managing a small dairy business. It is well wooded with redwood, pine and oak, and is located at the foot of Mount Ross, about four miles above Duncans Mills. The first one hundred and sixty acres of the ranch he entered as government land.
The Baker family has been represented in Illinois for about one hundred years. J. C. and Jane (Hendrickson) Baker were natives of Illinois, born respectively in 1819 and 1826. The former, a flour miller and farmer in Marion county, that state, in 1862 brought his family to California by way of the Isthmus of Panama and settled in Sonoma county. For a time he ran the Washoe house, and later settled on government land above Duncans Mills, where he and his wife died. They became the parents of nine children, namely: George W., James M., Monroe, Albert, Matilda (Mrs Albert Canfield), Shrilda (Mrs. Robert Powell), Martha (Mrs. Lincoln Edwards), Sarah (Mrs. Joseph Powel) and Mary. Mrs. Canfield has two sons, Edward and William. Mrs. Robert Powell has eight children, namely: Charles, William, Herbert, Robert, George, Ernest, Sallie and Maude. Of these William married Amelia Scott and has one son, Percy. George is married and has four children.
Albert Baker was born May 29, 1856, and was therefore about six years of age when the family removed to California. The only schooling he obtained was in Sonoma county; his advantages were limited, as in those days the population in the county was widely scattered, the schools were few and the methods of instruction crude. In spite of the handicaps he become a man of wide information, this being due largely to his habits of careful observation and thoughtful reading. On April 29, 1885, he was united in marriage with Miss Anna Kelogg, who was born at Healdsburg, Cal., in 1865, and by whom he has one son, Albert Stewart, who assists his father on the farm. Mrs. Baker and her sisters, Emma, Ella and Clara are the daughters of Warren Kelogg, who was born in Missouri. The sisters have all entered homes of their own and are honored members of the society of their several communities. Clara, Mrs. Allen Morris, is the mother of four children. Emma, Mrs. Ralph Smith, has no children, while Ella married William Graham and has one son, Malcolm.
Such movements as conduce to the material
advancement of Sonoma county receive the co-operative assistance of Mr.
Baker, who is loyally devoted to the growth of the county where for so
many years he has made his home and where now he is earning an honorable
livelihood through the raising of stock and the tilling of the soil.
Like his father, who was an industrious farmer, he has made agriculture
his lifework and has put all of his energy and sagacity into developing
his ranch so that each year it may become more productive and valuable.
His inclinations do not lie in the direction of politics and he takes no
part in the public affairs of the county, but quietly pursues the even
tenor of his way on his large farm and industriously labors with thrift
and energy so that he may surround his family with the comforts than
enhance the happiness of life.
Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011