Zack. H. and James S. Baker, Vernon Co, MO USGenWeb Project



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From the 1887 History of Vernon County, Missouri, p. 820-822:

Zack. H. and James S. Baker


   The names which head this sketch, those of brothers, represent a family so well known in the early history of Vernon county, that it would be an omission greatly to be regretted did not an outline, at least, of their career be noted in the present volume. Some members of the family became located here in a pioneer day. Morris C. Baker, the father of Zach. and James S. Baker, was born in Ashe county, N. C., and there was reared to manhood, attending in youth to the details of farm labor. When a young man he married Miss Matilda Stamper, after which they removed to Tennessee, living there until 1849. Following this Mr. B. made his home in Arkansas one year, coming thence to Lawrence county, Mo., and in 1854 to Vernon county, and settling in the eastern part of the county; but in 1856 he moved his family from that locality to section 31, of Drywood township, later going across the line into Barton county. This continued to be his home until his death in 1878 -- an event sincerely mourned by many who had known him during life. Baker's Grove, in that county, bears his name. Besides his widow, who still survives, Mr. Baker left a family of seven children, five of whom are living: Sarah, Mrs. Long; Zach., James S., Lamenda, now Mrs. Dougherty, and Andy J. He was a man of sterling integrity and honor and commanded unbounded respect from all who were favored with his acquaintance. For many years he was postmaster at Baker's Grove and in 1857 took the contract for carrying the mail from Carthage to Little Osage, receiving for this service $450 annually, the round trip being made once a week. During the years 1858-59-60 the mail was carried on horseback by the two boys, Zach. and James, but at the outbreak of the war the route was abandoned.
     Zach. H. Baker, was born in Tennessee March 10, 1839, and accompanied his father on all the removals made by that person before coming here. He was reared a farmer and has followed that calling principally during life with industry and energy, until he owns 700 acres of land -- a tract now rented, he having removed to Sheldon in 1885, where he is at present conducting a livery stable. In 1864 he married Miss Nancy Gillmore, of Osage county, Mo., and they have five children: Amanda, Andrew, Eva, William and Morris. Previous to the days of railroads in this section Mr. B. frequently drove cattle to Jefferson City, from which point shipments were made. He has seen many changes throughout this vicinity since his first settlement here. He is a member of Sheldon Lodge No. 371, A. F. and A. M.
     James S. Baker has had an experience in some points not unlike that of his brother. His birth occurred in Tennessee November 25, 1845, and as stated he moved with the family to this county in 1854. Though brought up to a knowledge of agricultural life he was occupied for three years in carrying the mail, as before mentioned, but after the war embarked extensively in farming and trading in stock. His farm now embraces 240 acres. In 1881 Mr. Baker moved to Sheldon, being among the first business men to open out in the town, the store which he started and afterwards conducted for some time being a hardware establishment. For the past eighteen months he has been in the lumber trade, and is recognized as one of Sheldon's most successful men in a business point of view, as well as reliable in every transaction. He carries a full stock of all kinds of building material, and is enjoying a thriving patronage, as he well deserves. In 1871 Mrs. Mische Taylor, nee Hill, became his wife, she being a native of Pettis county, Mo. Their two children are Almeda and Benton. Mrs. Baker has two children by a former marriage: William and Ida, the wife of F. B. Shelton. Mr. B. is a member of the Masonic fraternity.


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