Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
BAKER, GEORGE C. , one of Sangamon County's representative men and a leading agriculturist of his county, is carrying on operations on a 705 acres tract of land which is located on Section 17, Township 13, Range 4 West, Pawnee Township, and is known as the Old Pawnee Indian Camp Grounds. Mr. Baker was born on the farm on which he now lives and where he has spent all his life, February 4, 1860, a son of Michael and Fannie (Hinkle) Baker. Mr. Baker's grandfather on the paternal side was a native of Bavaria, Germany, whence he came to the United States, and died in Sangamon County, Ill. His grandfather on the maternal side as one of Sangamon County's earliest settlers, a native of Virginia and a soldier during the Black Hawk War. Michael Baker was born in Germany and was six years old when he accompanied his parents to the United States. They first settled in St. Louis, Mo., but a few years later removed to Springfield, Ill., locating on what was known as the old Leland farm. Shortly afterwards, however, they came to the present home of George C. Baker, and the father Michael Baker was engaged in farming until 1890 at which time he retired and went to Springfield, and he and his wife now reside at the corner of Fourth and Allen Streets in that city. Mr. Baker was married in February, 1859, Fannie Hinkle, and to them there were born two children: George C. and John W., the latter of whom died when one year old, in 1862.
George C. Baker started his education in the public schools of Pawnee, Ill., and during the years 1880 and 1881 attended business college at Jacksonville, Ill. He has lived at home all his life and worked for his father until his marriage, at which time he took charge of the farm, his father retiring. His land is in a excellent state of cultivation, yielding large crops, and Mr. Baker operates it scientifically having studied much along these lines, as he is a firm believer in new methods. The farm was once the camping grounds of the Pawnee Indian tribe and even now arrow heads and other interesting relics are often found during the plowing season.
Mr. Baker is a member of the Anti-Horse Thief Association, the Modern Woodmen of America and the Loyal Americans. With his family he attends the Methodist Church. In political matters he has always voted for the man rather than for the party, but, other things being equal, favors the Prohibitionists. He has always been ready and willing to give of his means or time to help forward any movement which he believes will be of assistance in building up or advancing his community in any way, and has been willing to serve his township in the office of School Director.
On August 24, 1881, Mr. Baker was married at Divernon, Ill., by the Rev. Knowles, to Alice Dodds who was born at Divernon, February 14, 1860, a daughter of Ewing F. and Paulina K. (Fletcher) Dodds. Mr. Dodds was born in Sangamon County, Ill, and after a long life spent in agricultural pursuits, died in October, 1880. His widow, who was born in 1837, is now residing with Mr. Baker. Mrs. Baker's grandparents were natives of Kentucky and it is a matter of record that her grandmother rode horseback from Kentucky to Illinois when a little girl.
To Mr. and Mrs. Baker there have been born four children, of whom three died in infancy. The surviving child is Chester D., who was born on the home farm August 6, 1887, and who, since completing his educations training, has been working for his father. He is unmarried. The Baker and Dodds families are old and prominent in Sangamon County, and members of both are held in the highest esteem throughout that section.