J. W. Baker, a prosperous merchant of Farmerstown, is a son of George Baker, a native of Somerset County, Penn., who came to Holmes County when a young man and engaged in farming in German Township. He married Miss Sarah, a daughter of William Shaffer, a native of Pennsylvania, and a settler of German Township. Five of their children are still living: Daniel, residing in Columbus, Ohio; J. W.; Elizabeth, in Beach City, Ohio; Eva, in Tuscarawas County, Ohio; Mary, wife of Reuben Gonter, in New Comerstown, Tuscarawas Co., Ohio.
J. W. Baker was born in German Township, December 17, 1852, and was educated at Mount Union and Smithville Academies. In 1873 he went to Canton, Ohio, where he was first employed in a malleable iron works. In 1875 he came to Farmerstown, where he engaged in general mercantile business as clerk. In 1882 he purchased the store and stock from his former employer, and has since carried on an extensive business in dry goods, groceries, hardware, all kinds of farming implements, etc. He is an active supporter of the Democratic party, and served as township clerk from 1877 to 1882, when he was elected treasurer of the township, an office he still holds; was also appointed postmaster in 1882, and has since filled that office. In 1881 he was united in marriage with Miss Melinda, daughter of George Luke, of German Township, and they have a family of three children: Maggie, William Lloyd and Roy.
Biographical Record of Holmes County, 1889