Jackson Baker, a capitalist and one of the wealthiest as well as most successful farmers of Monroe Township, is a native of Pickaway County, descended from its early pioneer stock, and is potent in advancing its interests. He was born February 21, 1830, into the pioneer home of Daniel and Mary (Davis) Baker, the former a native of Sussex County, Del., born in 1800, and the latter a native of Ross County, a daughter of one of its earliest settlers.


The paternal grandfather of our subject, Pernal H. Baker, was a farmer and a miller by occupation, and a native of Sussex County, Del. He came to this county in 1820, journeying across mountains and a wild country generally with a team. He settled in Williamsport, this county, and established himself as a miller, being the pioneer of that industry in this part of the State. He built a gristmill on Deer Creek, the first one erected on the banks of that stream, and he operated it some years. He then bought a quarter-section of land in Perry Township, and erected the first gristmill there on Deer Creek, which is now known as Crownover's Mill, and he had that under his management many years. He also partly developed his farm, and died in the comfortable home that he had built thereon at a good old age, leaving behind him a golden record as one of our most useful pioneers. He was a Whig in politics and in religion was of the Methodist faith, a church-member. He and his wife, Sarah Baker, reared three boys and three girls. The mother lived to be over a hundred and four yeais old, and was also a devoted Methodist.


The father of our subject had not attained his majority when he accompanied the family to the new home in the wilderness of this county. He was married a few years later, and in the course of time became a prosperous farmer, working hard to reclaim his homestead of one hundred and eighty acres, and placing the most of it under cultivation. His farm was just over the line in Fayette County, and there he died at the age of fifty-two years, in the midst of a busy career. He was a worthy member of the Christian Church, interesting himself earnestly in its welfare, and his wife, who died at the age of fifty years, was likewise a member of that church, being quite strict in her religious views. He was a Democrat, sound and true, in politics. The following are the seven children reared by himself and his wife: Sarah, Mrs. Cutright; Elizabeth, Mrs. Nye; Mary, Mrs. Kemp; Jackson; Hester A., Mrs. Chaffin (deceased); Lucinda, Mrs. Chaffin; and J. Counts. The maternal grandfather of our subject was Jesse Davis, a native of Delaware. He was one of the early pioneers of Ross County, where he developed a farm of about fifty acres, and there died at the age of seventy-five years, having been the father of five children.


The subject of this biographical record passed his early life as most other farmers' boys, and was educated in the primitive log schoolhouse of pioneer days, which was heated by a rude fireplace; had a clapboard roof, held down by logs, and was furnished with slab benches, a board against the side of the room serving as a writing-desk for the scholars. He was young when his experience of farm work began, and at the age of twenty-one he commenced to work out at twenty-five cents a day. He subsequently obtained possession of a piece of land, comprising sixty-five acres, lying partly in this county and partly in Fayette County, and after his marriage he took up his residence thereon. A few years later, he sold it, and after renting land for a year in Fayette County, bought his present farm in Monroe Township in 1856. This consists of four hundred and seventeen acres of fine farming land, nearly all under cultivation and in a high state of improvement. The buildings are of a good class, a large frame residence, built in 1878, and a barn, put up in 1868, adorning the place, beside other necessary outbuildings. Mr. Baker devotes his farm to mixed farming, raising grain and stock. He raises and fattens many cattle each year, but he has made much of his money by raising hogs. He has nearly abandoned that of late years, however, on account of the cholera. He derives a part of his income from loaning money and is one of our most extensive capitalists. He rightly attributes his success to close attention to business and to judicious management of his affairs. He has been School Director, but he never aspires to office, preferring the pleasures and comforts of his own cheerful fireside to the cares and vexations incidental to public life. He is a Democrat in his political views, and stands firmly by his party.


Mr. Baker was wedded in 1853 to Miss Elizabeth A. Fisher, who was born in Fayette County September 15, 1835. She is a woman of great worth, and for over twenty-five years she has been a conscientious and upright member of the Methodist Church. Her marriage with our subject has been a true union and has been fruitful ot eight children, of whom these five are living: Oren, Rosette A. (Mrs. McCafferty), John W., Lawson S. and Edward. The names of those deceased are Austin J., Charles U. and Alva.

 

From PORTRAIT & BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF FAYETTE, PICKAWAY AND MADISON COUNTIES, OHIO - Chapman Bros. [Chicago, 1892]