IAGenWeb Project

Audubon County


1915 Bios Index


J. Henry Baker, one of the old residents of Audubon township, and, one of the early settlers of Audubon county, where he has long been engaged in farming, was born on August 25, 1850, in Missouri, the son of Henry and Mary A. Baker, natives of Westfall, Germany. His parents were married in Germany and after coming to the United States about 1848, settled in the state of Missouri. About 1851, when J. Henry Baker was a years [sic year] old, [they] bought forty acres of land in section 4, Audubon township. They [??] Illinois, and still later to Hancock county, Illinois. In 1869 they came to Audubon county, arriving here November 8, of that year. The father and the son, J. Henry, the subject of this sketch, who at that time was nineteen years old, bought forty acres of land in section 4, Audubon township. They built a house, fourteen by sixteen feet, of rough lumber and consisting of two rooms. This house was situated across the creek, northwest of Mr. Baker's present home. Here the family lived until the parents died and after their death, Mr. Baker built his present home. When he purchased the land, it was raw prairie and the nearest neighbor was three miles away. During all these years Mr. Baker has made many improvements on this farm. He is engaged in general farming and stock raising and keeps only the very best quality of live stock. He milks about six head of cows. He has added to his land and now has one hundred and twenty acres. Mr. Baker's father lived to be ninety-five years old and is well remembered by the citizens of this township for his many sterling qualities.

J. Henry Baker was married at the age of twenty-seven, March 1, 1877, in Quincy, Adams county, Illinois, to Mary K. Vanholt, who was born in Adams county, Illinois, March 1, 1860, and who, after rearing a family of three sons, passed away on January 4, 1915. During her life she was a devoted wife and a loving mother and did much in behalf of her husband's success. Mrs. Baker's parents were Henry and Louise (Clark) Vanholt, who were born in Germany, and who came to the United States in 1859. The three children born to Mr. and Mrs. J. Henry Baker are: John W., born on January 20, 1879; Charles A., July 4, 1883, and Louis A., December 13, 1893. John W. and Louis A. live with Mr. Baker on the home place. Charles A. is farming for himself.

Mr. Baker is a Republican in politics, but has never held office, except that of road supervisor, an office which he filled for four years. The Baker family are members of the Christian church. Mr. Baker and his wife were charter members of the Audubon township church. Mrs. Baker was an earnest Christian and, during her entire life, took an active part in the work of the church.

An honorable citizen of Audubon township, J. Henry Baker has many friends in this section of Audubon county. He is a man of genial manners and affable by nature. Mr. Baker has a comfortable income from the farm and enjoys the satisfaction of knowing that his career as a farmer has been successful. He is a man of most sterling character, upright and honorable in all the relations of life.


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Transcribed from History of Audubon County, Iowa Its People, Industries and Institutions With Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens and Genealogical Records of Many of the Old Families, by H. F. Andrews, editor, Indianapolis: B. F. Bowen & Company, 1915, pp. 800-801.