Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
George C. Baker has devoted his entire life to farming and stock-raising and is today operating over seven hundred acres of valuable land of Sangamon county, the property lying just outside the corporation limits of Pawnee on section 17, Pawnee township. He was born in Sangamon count upon this farm February 4, 1860. Michael Baker, his father, was a native of Germany, born in 1832, and when a little lad of six summers he was brought to America by his father, John Baker, who crossed the Atlantic in 1838, landing at New Orleans. He then proceeded up the Mississippi river to St. Louis, where he spent about two years, and on the expiration of that period took up his abode near Springfield in Sangamon county, Illinois, on what I snow the old Leland farm. Afterward he came to the farm no occupied by his son George, entering a portion of the land and buying other tracts. He paid for his property by working at a salary of four dollars per month. Pioneer conditions existed here and many hardships and trials had to be borne by the family as they were establishing their home in a new district. Michael Baker was married in this county to Fannie Hinkle, a daughter of Jacob Hinkle, one of the first settlers of this part of the sate. Mr. Baker continued to reside on the old family homestead for a number of years and placed thereon excellent modern improvements. His work eventually brought to him very gratifying success and in 1888 he removed to Springfield, where he is now living retired in the enjoyment of the fruits of his former toil. His life record proved conclusively that prosperity might be obtained through persistent and earnest labor, and his example should serve as a source of encouragement and emulation to others.
George C. Baker is his father's only son and heir. He was reared in Sangamon county, and began his education in the district schools. He afterward attended the Jacksonville Business College and he received practical training in farm work under the direction of his father, whom he assisted in the work of field and meadow. After he had attained his majority he took charge of the old homestead, relieving his father of many business cares and responsibilities. From time to time he has purchased more land and he and his wife also inherited some property, and he now operates a valuable and extensive farm comprising over seven hundred acres. This is largely a model property, being equipped with all modern improvements.
On the 24th of August, 1881, Mr. Baker was united in marriage to Miss Alice Dodds, who was born in Divernon township, Sangamon county, a daughter of Ewing Dodds, also of this county. Her father died in October, 1880, but his widow is now living in Springfield. Mr. and Mrs. Baker now have one son, Chester Dodds Baker, and they lost three daughters in infancy. They are prominent and influential members of the Methodist Episcopal church, of Pawnee, of which Mr. Baker is now serving as a trustee and also as a member of the official board. He was chairman of the building committee at the time of the erection of the new church edifice and was one of the most liberal contributors to its support. Politically he is a Prohibitionist, but was formerly a Democrat. His influence is ever on the side of right, progress, reform and improvement and he does all in his power to uphold the political and moral status of his community. His wife shares with him in all good work and is a member of a number of the auxiliary
societies of the church. His life has been characterized by industry and perseverance, and while he has received some assistance from his father, he yet owns his success primarily to his own enterprise and labor.