Thomas S. Baker, J.P., a well known citizen of Girard, Illinois who has been engaged in life insurance business at this point for the past 16 years, representing the Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York, was born in Maury County, Tennessee, April 24, 1841. He is one of a family of 10 children born to his parents, Richard B. and Nancy J. (Blair) Baker, who were both natives of Tennessee. In 1847 they came to Macoupin County, and lived in the vicinity of Medora until 1858, when they removed to Carlinville. Richard B. Baker has been engaged in mercantile pursuits and in farming.
Thomas S. Baker was six years old when he accompanied his parents to Macoupin County. He secured his education in the local schools and at Blackburn University at Carlinville, where he was graduated in 1860. As a painter and decorator, he became well known, his taste and skill making his work far above the average, but after 20 years of application to this business, he found his health failing and was obliged to abandon a calling for which he had decided talent. Since then he has devoted his attention to the life insurance business, being the representative of the old and reliable company above mentioned.
In 1861, immediately after the outbreak of the Civil War, he presented himself for army service, but was rejected by the examiner on account of want of robust health. While not being able to serve his country on the field, he used his influence at home and then, as now, has always been a good and public spirited citizen. He is now serving his fourth term as a justice of the peace, a position for which he is eminently qualified. His official acts have given general satisfaction and his integrity has never been brought in question. He has been a valued resident of Girard since 1882.
Mr. Baker has been twice married. In 1862 he married Mary Hughes, and five children were born to them, the four survivors being: Frank F., a business man of East St. Louis; Mary Baker of St. Louis, Missouri and Anna and Frances, who live at home. Mrs. Baker died in 1879. In 1889, Mr. Baker married Mary Venable, who is a member of an old Ohio family. Her parents settled in Illinois some 30 years ago.