BAKER, Henry L.
Past and Present of the City of Rockford and Winnebago County, IL, C. A. Church. Chicago: Clarke Publishing Company, 1905, pp 375-6
Henry L. BAKER, deceased, was numbered among the early settlers of Winnebago County [IL], becoming a resident of this section of the state in 1838, at which time his father's family settled in Owen Township. He was born in Upper Canada on 12 Aug 1827, and was a son of Dr. Daniel and Nancy (REED) BAKER. The father was born in the state of NY, and the mother in Boston [Suffolk County], MA, and after their marriage they removed to Upper Canada, where Mr. BAKER engaged in farming until 1838. He then went with his family to Winnebago County, settling on a farm in Owen Township, on what was known as the old Dr. BAKER place. He was a physician, having studied medicine in the east in his early life, and became one of the first practititioners of this county. He practiced here in Owen Township, and also engaged in farming throughout the remainder of his days. He died on the old homestead farm on 15 Jun 1868. His widow afterward removed to Rockford, and spent her last days in the home of her son, Henry, passing away 19 Jan 1874.
Henry L. BAKER was only ten years old when brought by his father to this county, and in his youth he attended the district schools near the home farm. He was ambitious to learn, and was always at the head of his class. When not busy with his books he assisted his father in the work on the farm until the latter's death, after which he purchased the home property from the other heirs. He continued to reside upon the farm until his health failed, and he was an enterprising, practical and prosperous agriculturalist. At length he retired to private life, removing to the city of Rockford 07 Mar 1873. He was in hopes that his health might be benefited by his rest, but he grew gradually worse and passed away on 11 Sep 1873.
Mr. BAKER was married in IA to Miss Cassandra COTTRELL, a native of McLean County, IL, born on 11 Mar 1837. Her parents were William and Margaret (ELLINGTON) COTTRELL. Her father was a native of OH, and her mother of KY, and throughout his entire life he followed farming. He removed from his native state to IL, and afterward to IA, finally settling on a farm in KS, where both he and [p 376] his wife died. Mr. and Mrs. BAKER were the parents of four children: Daniel W., who wedded Mary S. GORHAM, and is a carpenter, residing at No. 1209 Parmelee Street in Rockford; Alice is the wife of William JENKS, a famer residing near Rockford; Marietta is the wife of E. C. BEASLEY, of WI; and William H. married Georgia COUNTRYMAN, and they reside with her mother in Rockford, Mr. COUNTRYMAN being in the employ of HART & PAGE. They have three children: Clyde, Glenn and Marguerite.
Mr. BAKER was interested and active in community affairs, and his fellow townsmen, recognizing his worth and ability, called him to public office. He served in several township positions in Owen Township, and was a stanch republican in politics. He belonged to the Masonic fraternity in Rockford, and he and his family attended the Methodist Episcopal church. He was a man reliable in business, and his energy, close application and strong purpose enabled him to become a prosperous farmer, and one whose success was well merited. His death was deeply regretted by many friends, and most of all by his family, for he was a devoted husband and father. Since her husband's death Mrs. BAKER has sold the farm, which comprised 158 acres of land, and purchased her prsent home in Rockford at No. 1440 Blaisdell Street, where she resides with the family of her daughter. She expects to make Rockford her permanent home, and she is well and favorably known here.
Submitted by Cathy Kubly.