Biographical and Genealogical History of Morris County New Jersey. Illustrated. Vol. I., Lewis Publishing Company, New York and Chicago, 1899.
Among the families of prominence whose connection with the business and public life of Morris county has proved a most important factor in its substantial development is the one from which our subject springs. The name of BAKER stands conspicuously forth on the pages of history, and to the honorable record our subject has added new luster by his own well spent life. He is numbered among the capitalists of Dover, to which position he has attained largely through his own efforts, by reason of close application, earnest purpose, diligence and straightforward dealing.
Born on the old BAKER homestead in Rockaway township, August 13, 1858, Mr. BAKER is the third son of William H and Clarissa (DELL) BAKER. The place of his birth was his playground in youth and in his parents' home he remained throughout the period of his minority. He attended the district schools of Dover and later entered Rutgers College, of New Brunswick, where he continued his studies three years. On the completion of his education he entered the store of his brother, William H BAKER, one of the leading merchants of Dover, for whom he clerked for a year. He then turned his attention to the real-estate business, in which he is largely interested. He has a large amount of property, and has platted and disposed of a considerable amount that lies within the corporation limits of Dover. To an extent which few realize, the growth and up-building of a locality depend upon the real-estate dealer. It is he who, by his judicious sales to persons of reliability, largely shapes the course of improvement, and peoples a neighborhood with desirable residents. The manner in which he lays out a district largely determines its beautiful or marred appearance, and all his efforts bring about general thrift that provides for the future prosperity of the neighborhood. All these considerations have influenced Mr. BAKER in his real-estate business and have made him a valued factor in the up-building of the city.
In 1881 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. BAKER and Miss Carrie L. DODGE, a daughter of Amos and Ellen (JOHNSTON) DODGE, of New York, She was born in New York, November 25, 1859, and died August 17, 1897. She was educated in the schools of her native city, received special instruction in both vocal and instrumental music and had especially fine attainments as an elocutionist. These gifts were frequently sought by her church to aid in their entertainment, and she was never happier than when she was doing something to help on the cause of the church to which she belonged, the Calvary Baptist of New York city. In her home she was a loving and devoted wife and mother, a gracious hostess and a kind friend. Her children are Robert C., Ellene D., Harold W and Marion C. all still with their father, and in their loss the family have the sympathy of the entire community. Her memory will always remain hallowed, growing more tender and fragrant as the years go by.
Mr. BAKER served four years as a member of the common council of Dover and used his prerogative as an officer to advance the best interests of the city along educational, moral, social and material lines. He was an earnest, intelligent, untiring worker, and the public good, not partisan policy dominated his course. His honesty and integrity in business have ever been unquestioned, while time has proved the soundness and wisdom of most of measures he has advocated.
Transcribed by Ida King
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