THOMAS H. BAKER
THOMAS H. BAKER, one of the prominent pioneer farmers of Carmel township came to Eaton county when a young man and resided on the present homestead for more than half a century, while it was his aim to exhibit those sterling attributes of character which ever beget object confidence and esteem. The old Buckeye state figured as the birthplace of Mr. Baker, since he was born in Richland County, Ohio, April 15, 1830, being a son of Jacob S. and Violet (Harris) Baker, the former of whom was born in Pennsylvania and the latter in Maryland. After their marriage they removed to Ohio, becoming early settlers of Richland county, where Mr. Baker engaged in farming, later removing to Wood county, that state, where both he and his wife passed the remainder of their lives. they became the parents of twelve children, of whom only two are living. Thomas H. Baker was reared in the invigorating and beneficent life of the farm and received such educational advantages as were afforded in the common schools of the locality and period. He remained in Ohio until he had attained to the age of twenty-two years, when he came to Eaton County, Michigan, and settled on the farm on which he lived until his death. He purchased here forty acres of land, the same being covered with the native timber and entirely without improvements, while no roads had as yet been constructed in this section. He made a clearing in the midst of the forest and put up a little log house and log stable, thus beginning to grapple with the wilderness in true pioneer style. Within the first winter he shot ten deer, and on one occasion he saw twenty deer in one drove. From modest beginnings he rose to better conditions in and keeping pace with the march of improvement and eventually developing one of the valuable farms of a section notable for the high character of its agricultural domain, until his homestead comprised one hundred and twenty acres, practically all being under cultivation, while substantial and well equipped buildings bear evidence of thrift and prosperity. Mr. Baker had the distinction of being one of the oldest pioneer citizens of Eaton County. He was taken ill November 10, 1905, and ten days later (November 20) he passed away. His widow, who survives him, still lives on the old homestead. He was a stanch advocate of the principles and policies for which the Democratic party stands sponsor, and he served a number of years as highway commissioner and school director. In the year 1851 Mr. Baker was united in marriage to Miss Julia Ann Lutman, who was born in Pennsylvania and who was a resident of Ohio at the time of their marriage. Following is a brief record concerning their seven children: Henry F., who was born December 15, 1852, resides in the city of Charlotte; Levi Allen born January 8, 1855; he resides in Helena, Sandusky county, Ohio; Wesley A., born March 19, 1857; is a successful farmer of Kalamo township; Francis D., born September 1, 1859, resides in Carmel township; Charles E., born July 20, 1862, was a farmer of Carmel township, but has moved to Thompson, Ohio, where he intends to make his home in future; Rosa Estella, born August 11, 1868, is the wife of Emory J. Ryan, of Carmel township; Adam W., born December 1, 1873, remains on the home farm. All of the children are married.