JOHN W. BAKER---For more than sixty years the Baker family has been identified with the agricultural progress of Ogle County, and has contributed especially to the material development of Maryland Township, among whose prosperous farmers John W. BAKER is now numbered. Upon his farm of 160 acres near Adeline, he has erected substantial buildings and made valuable improvements, and the entire property bears mute but eloquent testimony to his keen supervision and intelligent management. After having cultivated the land for years, in 1906 he rented the tillable portion, in order that his own labors might be lightened thereby. Meanwhile he gives his attention to raising stock of good grades and makes a specialty of Shetland ponies. In addition to his home place he owns eighteen acres of timber in the township, besides 640 acres of wild land in Greeley County, Kansas, ten miles from Tribune, which he is holding as an investment. On the death of his father he inherited one-half section of wild land in Sioux County, Iowa, near the village of Ireton. Under his personal supervision this tract has been transformed into a fertile farm, and he still visits Iowa each year in order to keep in touch with the activities on his farm there. In the fall of 1907 Mr. BAKER built a house and barn on his Iowa property, and in the spring of 1908 a granary and crib combined. A lifelong resident of his present locality, Mr. BAKER was born in the village of Adeline, one mile south of his present farm, August 1, 1852, a son of David J. BAKER and Leah (WELTY) BAKER, both natives of Boonsboro, Washington County, Maryland. The paternal grandfather, Enos BAKER, died during infancy of David J. BAKER, who, in 1838, at the age of seventeen years, came to Illinois with a married sister, settling in Freeport. During the first years of his residence in this State he worked in machine shops at Mt. Morris and Oregon, and also followed the Carpenter's trade for a time. In 1846 he married Miss WELTY, who was born about 1826 and at the age of thirteen years was orphaned by the death of her father John WELTY. Later she came to Illinois with a married sister, Mrs. William C. BAKER, and on the 10th of March, 1846, she bought the 160 acres of land now owned by her son John. The house on the farm was erected by her husband, who also bought and improved the DOVENBERGER farm of 150 acres. Three children comprised their family. The only daughter, Sophia C., was born June 12, 1849, and became the wife of George E. COOLEY, settling at the old homestead and remaining there until her death, Mrs. Herbert GARMAN, with her husband, has occupied the old brick mansion erected by David BAKER in 1863, and which still ranks among the most substantial houses of the township. The elder of the two sons of David BAKER is John W., born August 1, 1852. The younger of the sons, Charles D., was born May 5, 1868, and at the age of seventeen years went to Toledo, Iowa, where he attended school. For some time he was engaged in the drug trade in that village, but eventually he removed to South Dakota and became a wholesale hardware dealer at Sioux Falls. During 1874 David BAKER built a new farmhouse, to which he removed and in which his death occurred November 13, 1887. His widow passed away December 23, 1896, at the age of seventy-one years. Nothing of special importance marked the youthful years of John W. BAKER, who alternated attendance at school with work on the home farm. September 25, 1879, he was united in marriage with Mary Ann GARWIG, daughter of Jacob and Margaret GARWIG, farmers nesr Adeline, where she was born, reared and educated. Jacob GARWIG was a native of Baden, Germany, where he was born September 15, 1830, came to Ogle County, Illinois in 1854, and died at Adeline, January 15, 1900. Mrs. Garwig, also born in Germany, April 24, 1830, came to Nauvoo, Ill., in 1846; in 1849 married Gottleib RUMMEL, who died Nov. 20, 1854, and in 1858 married as her second husband, Mr. GARWIG, with whom she resided in Maryland Township, Ogle County, until her death, April 29, 1888. By her first marriage she had three children---- George, Elizabeth Annie, and Gottleib. By her second marriage she had two children--- Mary A., and John W., the subject of this sketch. Since his marriage Mr. Baker has lived on the same farm, it being the tract purchased by his mother many years ago. The home is brightened by the presence of his only daughter, Eva M., who has enjoyed good educational advantages and has a host of warm personal friends in the community. Politically, Mr. BAKER votes with the Republican party. For some years he has been a director in the Leaf River Farmer's Mutual Insurance Company, and has accomplished much toward promoting the success of this concern.
1909 Encyclopedia of Illinois and the History of Ogle County, Volume 2, Munsell Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill.
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