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Adam J. Baker, who is serving his second term in the Ontario parliament for the riding of Russell, is of Holland descent, grandson of William Baker, a United Empire Loyalist, and son of William Baker, junior, formerly a merchant at Osnabruck, county of Stormont, where our subject was born September 22, 1821. His mother was Ann Eve Waldorff. He received such a preliminary education as the country schools furnished fifty years ago, adding to it by his own exertions, after going into business. When ten years old he lost his father; his older brother, John W. Baker, continued the mercantile business, and Adam became a clerk for him.
In 1843, he commenced business for himself in the village of Metcalfe, township of Osgoode, county of Russell, and traded there for thirty years, being engaged also, much of the time, in the manufacture of lumber and pearl ash, making 200 or 300 barrels of the latter a year, and being eminently successful in most of his ventures.
Mr. Baker retired from the mercantile and manufacturing business four or five years ago, but for twenty years has been engaged in farming, and continues that occupation.
Mr. Baker has always been a hard working, painstaking man, and a prudent manager, and his industry has been liberally rewarded.
He has held a great variety of officeswas postmaster of Metcalfe twenty years; has been a justice of the peace fur a quarter of a century; has been in the township and county council; holds a Captain’s commission in the sedentary militia, and is a commissioner for taking affidavits, doing a good deal of business in the latter line.
In 1875, the Conservative party of Russell elected Mr. Baker to the provincial legislature. He was unseated June 4th of that year, on petition; was re-elected on the 12th of August following, and was returned in 1879, and he makes a good common sense worker in that body. He favors a well digested prohibitory liquor law.
In 1849, Mr. Baker married Miss Janet McDonnell, of Russell, and she has had seven children, losing one of them.