An American Family History


James Baker


1850's Family
from Godey's Lady's Book

The first Europeans settled in the Northwest Territory in 1788. Migrants came from New York and New England. Ohio was admitted to the Union as the 17th state on March 1, 1803.

The first U.S. railroad opened in the 1830s. In 1869 the first transcontinental railway was completed.

James Baker and his twin, Susannah Baker Ryman, were born on July 4 1819 in German Township, Clark County, Ohio. Their parents were Philip Baker and Mary Elizabeth Kessler.

James married Sarah Sample on February 12, 1846. Sarah was born on August 3, 1821 in Boone County, Illinois and was the daughter of John Sample and Sarah (Sally, Sallie) Pruitt. John and Sally are buried in Sample Cemetery with James' sister, Elizabeth Baker Branstiter.

Their children included:
Sarah E. Baker Boyce (1847, married William I. Boyce),
Mary Ellen Baker Boyd (1850, married Thomas Benton Boyd), Margaret Ann Baker Ledford (October 22, 1852, married William C. Ledford),
Eliza Jane Baker Allen (1854-1898, married Benjamin Franklin Allen), and
James Martin Baker (1858, married Mary Elizabeth Blair).

In February, 2013, Alan Hunt wrote

Jim Baker, my ancestor was the hustler in the family and accumulated a section of land starting with nothing, plus a lot more. Various of his Ohio family came down to check out his estate like ... Elizabeth (and family) who died in 1856 and [was] buried in thee family cemetery of Jim Baker's inlaws, John Sample, Sr. Jim and married Sarah "Sally" Sample on February 12 1846 in Morgan County, Illinois. As mentioned, Jim Baker was one of the wealthiest men in Morgan County as well as his father-in-law.

Aunt Susan had been here to visit also and celebrated her 75th birthday near Jacksonville, Illinois in 1894. Was told the Ohio Baker were all amazed at how much their brother, Jim, had accumulated and all wanted to come down here to visit and see for themselves. Several of his brothers and sisters came fro Ohio to visit he and his family...

The family appeared in the 1880 census in Jacksonville, Morgan County. The family consisted of James age 61 who was a farmer, Sarah age 47, Mary E. age 25, Liza J. age 23, and James M. age 22.

James died on October 3, 1903 and Sally died on September 14, 1914in Jacksonville, Morgan County, Illinois. They are buried together in Jacksonville East Cemetery, Morgan County, Illinois.


Clark County, Ohio was formed March 1, 1817, from Champaign, Madison and Greene Counties. The first settlement was in 1796. The inhabitants of German Township were German Lutherans who came from Virginia.

The Public Land Survey System is used to survey and spatially identify land parcels in the United States.
  • Range is the distance east or west from a referenced principal meridian in units of six miles.
  • A Section is approximately a one-square-mile block of land. There are 36 sections in a township.
  • A Township is a parcel of land of 36 square miles or a measure of the distance north or south from a referenced baseline in units of six miles.
  • Children of Philip Baker
    and Mary Elizabeth Kessler
  • Elizabeth Baker Branstiter
  • George B. Baker
  • Mary M. Baker Rockel
  • Sarah A. Baker Hunt Bilger
  • William Baker
  • James Baker
  • Susannah Baker Ryman
  • Jacob Baker
  • Daniel Baker
  • Jefferson Baker
  • Buildings in Clark County, Ohio ranged from simple log cabins to sophisticated Italianate and Gothic Revival structures.

    The Miami Valley is in southwest Ohio. It includes parts of Montgomery, Greene, Preble, Clark, Miami, Darke, Champaign, Shelby, Logan, Butler, and Warren counties.

    Illinois became a state in 1818. A large influx of American settlers came in the 1810s by the Ohio River.




    from History of Morgan County, Illinois

    James Baker, farmer and stock raiser, Sec. 7, township 15-9, P.O. Jacksonville; was born in Clark County, Ohio, in 1819; came to this county and precinct in 1842, with no money, and worked on a farm four years, for from eight to twelve dollars per month, when he bought his home farm of 306 acres, and improved it himself, to which he has added until now. He owns 600 acres, and can be classed as one of the most successful farmers in this county, which is the result of his own industry and perseverance;

    married Sarah Sample, Feb. 12, 1846; she was born in Boone County, Illinois, Aug. 3, 1821; have five children, all living: Sarah E., Mary Ellen, Margaret Ann, Eliza Jane, and James M.


    Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman, 1774 1845) was a pioneer nurseryman who introduced apple trees to large parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and West Virginia.

    from History of Cass County, Illinois edited by William Henry Perrin

    Field Sample, Virginia House, Beardstown; was born near Jacksonville, Morgan Co., Ill., March 26, 1828, where he lived on a farm till 1879. At twenty-one years of age he began farming on his own account, which occupation he followed till 1879, when he rented his land and came to Beardstown. In addition to farming, he had followed brick-making for eleven years. In 1879, he and his brother, F. M. Sample, bought the furniture and fixtures of the Virginia House, which they ran under the firm name of Sample Bros., till May, 1882, when F. M. retired, leaving Field sole proprietor. Mr. Sample was twice elected Coroner of Morgan County, Ill., and also served as Deputy Sheriff of that county. In 1857, in Morgan County, Ill.,

    he married Mary, daughter of David Ribelin, a farmer of that county. They have had six children, four of whom are living.

    John Sample, the father of our subject, was born in Warren County, Ky., about 1797, and when fourteen years old, came to Bond County, Ill., with his parents, who settled there. He served in the War of 1812. In Bond County, Ill., about the year 1816, he married Sarah Prewitt, a native of Kentucky, and in 1824 he settled on a farm near Jacksonville, where he resided the remainder of his life; he died in 1869, aged seventy-two years. He served as County Commissioner of Morgan County for three years; he was a Democrat. Field is the seventh child of a family of nine sons and four daughters, of which six sons and two daughters are living.

    In the War of 1812 (1812-1815) the United States declared war on England because of trade restrictions, impressment, and British support for Indian attacks. They signed the Treaty of Ghent on December 24, 1814 after reaching a stalemate.

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    ©Roberta Tuller 2020
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