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Past and Present of Livingston County
Volume 2. Biographies
by Major A. J. Roof. 1913
Mrs. Mary A. Baker is the owner of a valuable fanning property of seven hundred and twenty-five acres on section 5, Cream Ridge township. She is a representative of one of the oldest families in this section of the state, her father, Jackson Peren, having been one of the first pioneers in Livingston county. He was a veteran of the Civil war, serving in the Confederate army, and before that conflict and after the close of hostilities centered his attention upon general farming, dying in 1889, at the age of seventy-three. He was survived by his wife until 1899 and both are buried in the May cemetery.
Mrs. Baker grew up on her father's farm in Livingston county and acquired her education in the district schools. She was only sixteen years of age when, on February 28, 1864, she gave her hand in marriage to Isaac I. Baker, a native of Illinois, who had lived in Livingston county since his childhood. Isaac Baker was at that time only eighteen years of age and the young couple began their married life with practically no resources, renting a farm which Mr. Baker improved and developed in the evenings, after spending the day working in the employ of others. He later purchased forty acres of land on section 5, Cream Ridge township, to which he gradually added as his ability, energy and ambition gained him success, becoming eventually the owner of one thousand acres of the finest farming land in Livingston county. He carefully tilled the fields, raising such crops as were best adapted to the soil and climate, and as the years passed he brought his land to a high state of cultivation and became one of the prosperous farmers of the community. He later sold some of his holdings in Livingston county, reducing his farm to seven hundred and twenty-five acres, a tract upon which many modern improvements which stand as a monument to his thrift and labor. Mr. Baker also owned one thousand acres in Kansas and this tract is now in the possession of his widow, who rents it out. Mr. and Mrs. Baker adopted two children: Charles Adams, a son of J. R. and Mary Adams, who is assisting Mrs. Baker in the management of the farm; and Sarah J., who married Elmer Wilson, of Peoria, Kansas.
Mr. Baker was a man of straightforward principles and upright life and he enjoyed the respect and good-will of all with whom he came in contact. He was honesty itself in all his business dealings and was never known to take advantage of another in a business transaction. To his family he was a devoted husband and father and his loss was the occasion of deep and widespread regret when, on the 3d of March, 1912, he passed away, being at that time sixty-six years of age. He was on the township board for a number of years but never desired political preferment, wishing to give his undivided attention to his private affairs, in which, with the able assistance of his wife, he met with great success. Mrs. Baker is now in possession of the homestead, comprising seven hundred and twenty five acres, and manages the farm wisely, using excellent ability in its control. She has many friends in the community in which she has so long made her home and deserves great credit for the able manner in which she conducts her business interests.