ZACK. H. and JAMES S. BAKER
From the 1887 History
of Vernon County, Missouri, p. 820-822:
Zack. H. and James S. Baker
The names which head this sketch, those
of brothers, represent a family so well known in the early history of
Vernon county, that it would be an omission greatly to be regretted did
not an outline, at least, of their career be noted in the present
volume. Some members of the family became located here in a pioneer day.
Morris C. Baker, the father of Zach. and James S. Baker, was born in
Ashe county, N. C., and there was reared to manhood, attending in youth
to the details of farm labor. When a young man he married Miss Matilda
Stamper, after which they removed to Tennessee, living there until 1849.
Following this Mr. B. made his home in Arkansas one year, coming thence
to Lawrence county, Mo., and in 1854 to Vernon county, and settling in
the eastern part of the county; but in 1856 he moved his family from
that locality to section 31, of Drywood township, later going across the
line into Barton county. This continued to be his home until his death
in 1878 -- an event sincerely mourned by many who had known him during
life. Baker's Grove, in that county, bears his name. Besides his widow,
who still survives, Mr. Baker left a family of seven children, five of
whom are living: Sarah, Mrs. Long; Zach., James S., Lamenda, now Mrs.
Dougherty, and Andy J. He was a man of sterling integrity and honor and
commanded unbounded respect from all who were favored with his
acquaintance. For many years he was postmaster at Baker's Grove and in
1857 took the contract for carrying the mail from Carthage to Little
Osage, receiving for this service $450 annually, the round trip being
made once a week. During the years 1858-59-60 the mail was carried on
horseback by the two boys, Zach. and James, but at the outbreak of the
war the route was abandoned.
Zach. H. Baker, was born in Tennessee March 10, 1839,
and accompanied his father on all the removals made by that person
before coming here. He was reared a farmer and has followed that calling
principally during life with industry and energy, until he owns 700
acres of land -- a tract now rented, he having removed to Sheldon in
1885, where he is at present conducting a livery stable. In 1864 he
married Miss Nancy Gillmore, of Osage county, Mo., and they have five
children: Amanda, Andrew, Eva, William and Morris. Previous to the days
of railroads in this section Mr. B. frequently drove cattle to Jefferson
City, from which point shipments were made. He has seen many changes
throughout this vicinity since his first settlement here. He is a member
of Sheldon Lodge No. 371, A. F. and A. M.
James S. Baker has had an experience in some points not
unlike that of his brother. His birth occurred in Tennessee November 25,
1845, and as stated he moved with the family to this county in 1854.
Though brought up to a knowledge of agricultural life he was occupied
for three years in carrying the mail, as before mentioned, but after the
war embarked extensively in farming and trading in stock. His farm now
embraces 240 acres. In 1881 Mr. Baker moved to Sheldon, being among the
first business men to open out in the town, the store which he started
and afterwards conducted for some time being a hardware establishment.
For the past eighteen months he has been in the lumber trade, and is
recognized as one of Sheldon's most successful men in a business point
of view, as well as reliable in every transaction. He carries a full
stock of all kinds of building material, and is enjoying a thriving
patronage, as he well deserves. In 1871 Mrs. Mische Taylor, nee Hill,
became his wife, she being a native of Pettis county, Mo. Their two
children are Almeda and Benton. Mrs. Baker has two children by a former
marriage: William and Ida, the wife of F. B. Shelton. Mr. B. is a member
of the Masonic fraternity.