Berkeley County, West Virginia Biography of Newton Diehl BAKER


         Newton Diehl BAKER was born at Martinsburg, Berkeley County, West Virginia, December 3, 1871, son of Dr. Newton Diehl and Mary (Dukehart) Baker. He graduated from Martinsburg High School and then attended the Episcopal High School of Virginia in Alexandria. In 1892, he graduated from John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, returned there for one year of post-graduate work and then attended Washington and Lee University in Washington, D.C., where he completed two years work in one year. Returning to Martinsburg, he practiced law until about January 1, 1896, when he went to Washington D.C. to be a private secretary to William L. Wilson, Postmaster General of the second Cleveland administration.

         Newton D. Baker returned to West Virginia and was a law partner in the Martinsburg firm of Flick, Westenhaver & Baker until January 1899 when he moved to Cleveland, Ohio. In 1893, Newton Baker became the Director of the Law of the city of Cleveland and held that office until elected Mayor of that city January 1, 1912.

         President Wilson offered Newton Baker a seat in his Cabinet as Secretary of Interior, but because Mr. Baker had just been elected the mayor of Cleveland, he did not accept the President’s invitation. In 1916, President Wilson appointed Baker Secretary of War “without any previous consultation with him of the subject or without his knowing he had any such intentions.”

         The following was extracted from Who’s Who in America: B.A. Johns Hopkins, 1892; LL.B. Washington and Lee University, 1894; married Elizabeth Leopold of Pottstown, Pennsylvania July 5, 1902; 1896-97, Private Secretary to Postmaster-General Wilson; began practicing law in Martinsburg, West Virginia, 1897; City Solicitor of Cleveland, Ohio, 1902-12; Mayor of Cleveland, term 1912-14 and 1914-16, and served until March 4, 1921; Member of law firm of Baker, Hostetler & Sidlo.

    Submitted by Marilyn Gouge and extracted from Submitted by Marilyn Gouge and extracted from History of Berkeley County, West Virginia, 1928.

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