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Jacob Baxter, who has represented Haldimand in the Provincial Legislature since the Dominion was formed, is a son of Jacob and Susan (Hershey) Baxter, both natives of Canada, and was born in the Township of Bertie, County of Welland, June 6, 1832. He is a grandson of John Baxter, who emigrated from Ireland near the close of the 18th century, settled in Bertie, and was a captain in the war of 1812-14, being in the battle of Fort Erie, and other engagements. The wounded at Fort Erie were taken to the barn of Captain Baxter, four miles away, to have their wounds dressed.
Jacob Baxter, senior, was a former Reeve of the Township of Bertie, a man of considerable local influence, and a leader in agricultural matters, establishing the first agricultural society in that township, and dying in 1855.
Our subject was educated in common and select schools, and by private tuition; studied his profession at the Toronto School of Medicine; became a licentiate of the Provincial Medical Board in 1853; the following winter attended a course of lectures in the Medical Department of the University of New York, and in 1866, a course at the Bellevue Hospital Medical College, same city, receiving the degree of M.D. from both institutions.
Dr. Baxter has been in practice in Cayuga for a quarter of a century, and enjoys a high reputation for skill, both as a physician and Surgeon, is surgeon to the County Jail, and is also Surgeon to the 37th Battalion Haldimand Rifles. He holds likewise the office of Justice of the Peace.
At the formation of the union already mentioned in 1867, Dr. Baxter was elected the first representative to the Local Parliament from Haldimand, and has served his constituents so faithfully, that they still keep him there, he being re-elected for the fourth term in June, 1879. He had charge of the Bill which became a law, amending and consolidating the Acts relating to the practice of medicine and surgery in the Province; and rendered much assistance in securing the charter for the Canada Southern and Great Western Air Line Railways. He secured the passage of several local and other Bills.
Dr. Baxter has been a life long Reformer, and for eighteen or twenty years has been President of the Haldimand Reform Association, being a man of great influence in the party.
He holds his religious connection with the Episcopal Church; is a man of excellent principles and correct habits, and is held in warm esteem, especially by people who know him best.
January 24, 1866, Rose, daughter of Robert V. Griffith, who was Clerk of the Crown for Haldimand many years, was married to Dr. Baxter, and they have three children, Robert Jacob, Susan Ellen, and Edwy Sutherland.
Dr. Baxter has a partner in practice, a younger brother, Dr. Benjamin Baxter, a licentiate of the Ontario Medical Board, a graduate of the Buffalo Medical College, a gentleman of excellent standing in the profession, and has held the office of Reeve of the village.