Biography of Henry Baker

Henry Baker is one of the leading and most successful English-American farmers and stock raisers of Brighton Township, where he owns a very beautiful farm of one hundred and sixty acres, all of which is highly improved, and where he has a beautiful residence that is conspicuous for its completeness of finish and detail. There are also fine barns and outbuildings, which have been erected by himself, for this has been his home since 1860. he has besides some good land in Bunker Hill Township. Mr. Baker’s advent to this county was made in 1856. He lived for one year in Chesterfield Township and three years in Woodburn, and then came into Brighton Township and purchased the place where he now resides. he came from England to this country in 1855.

Mr. Baker was born in Somersetshire, England, at South Petthering, May 27, 1839. He comes of good English family of pure stock. His father was Joseph Baker, a native of Somersetshire, and our subject’s grandparents were natives of the same shire, being farmers, and there spending all their lives. His grandfather died when a very old man, upwards of four-score years. our subject’s grandmother was in her maiden days Miss Mary Pittman, a daughter of William Pittman, an English farmer, who lived and died in his native shire. He was a carpenter by trade, and having been four times married outlived all his wives.

Mrs. Baker, mother of our subject, survived her husband Joseph Baker, and died a very old lady. our subject is the youngest of the family born to his parents and one of three to emigrate to this country. His brother John is now in Texas and a sister, who is Mrs. Job Keirl, lives in Bunker Hill Township. The original of our sketch grew up in his native shire, and there received a good English education, after which he learned the baker’s trade and worked at it until he came to this country, being eighteen years of age when he made the momentous decision to leave his home. He left Liverpool on a steamer, and landing at New York City, came thence to Illinois and immediately proceeded to Chesterfield Township, Macoupin County.

In 1875 Mr. Baker returned to his old home in England and there enjoyed a delightful visit of six months’ duration with the friends and relatives of his childhood. His marriage took place in Macoupin County and his bride was Mrs. Emma Lockyer, nee Barnstable. She was born in Somersetshire, England, about 1826. Her parents lived and died in their native land, where our subject’s wife was first married to Richard Lockgar, after which they at once came to the United States and located in Woodburn, this county, and there was born one child, a daughter, who is now Mrs. William heal, of whom a fuller sketch may be found in her biography in another portion of this RECORD. Mr. Lockyer died in the prime of life, and some time after the death of her first husband she was untied to our subject, and she was to him a dutiful and loving wife. Her decease occurred at their home in this township January 27, 1835. She was well and favorably known here, and those who knew her the best were assured of her nobility of character. Mr. and Mrs. Baker were the parents of one son, William J.

William J. Baker took to wife Miss Minnie Wayman, of this county. They now live in Chesterfield Township, and are there prominent agriculturists. Mr. Baker is a prominent member of the Congregational Church of Woodburn, this State, as was his wife during her lifetime. Our subject has been one of the Trustees for many years. A Republican in politics, the original of our sketch is not in any sense an office-seeker.

Source: Chapman bros. Portrait and biographical record of Macoupin county, Illinois. Chicago: Biographical publishing company, 1891.

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