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Alfred E. Baker, president and treasurer of the P. C. Murphy Trunk Company (established 1860, incorporated 1893), was born at Jefferson City, Missouri, December 10, 1865, a son of Dr. John and Amelia (Steels) Baker of Rugby, England. After attending public and private schools he started his career in the business world in the office of the LaGrange Iron Company of Stewart county, Tennessee, where his brother, Thomas C. Baker, was manager and E. C. Sterling, of St. Louis, president. The holdings of the company comprised forty thousand acres of ore and timber land, and was one of the large charcoal, pig-iron producing companies of this country at that time. There he continued until 1888 and in the latter year came to St. Louis to take a position in the office of the Hydraulic Press Brick Company, E. C. Sterling being also president of the latter company. About this time the mining fever was at its height, and he became connected with the Granite Mountain Mining Company of Granite, Montana, a well known mining company with general offices in St. Louis, L. M. Rumsey of St. Louis being president of the company. Mr. Baker resided at Granite, Montana, until 1893, when the mines were closed indefinitely, due to the low price of silver. During the same period he was associated with the L. J. Baker Company, which conducted a general merchandise business in Rumsey and Anaconda, Montana, and was associated with this company until 1900. Since 1893, however, he has resided in St. Louis and in November of that year he became one of the incorporators of the P. C. Murphy Trunk Company, and treasurer of the company, which took over the manufacturing business established by the well known trunk manufacturer, P. C. Murphy.
In the year 1915 Mr. Baker was elected to the presidency and is now the chief executive officer, while at the same time he remains in charge of the finances of the company as treasurer. The company manufactures trunks and traveling goods and specializes in the manufacture of wardrobe trunks, which have a national reputation. The company has developed a large business and its goods are shipped to all parts of the country and exported to Canada, England, Latin America and Cuba.
Mr. Baker was married in St. Louis in June, 1893, to Mary E. Murphy, daughter of P. C. Murphy. Their children are Jules Alfred, Hugh Edward, John Joseph, Thomas Charles and Mary Catherine. Jules A., who is now associated with the selling department of the Franklin Lamp Company, married Miss Blanch Cochrane and is living in St. Louis. Hugh Edward served in the World war as corporal in the Three Hundred and Fourteenth Ammunition Motor Corps of the Eighty-Ninth Division. He was in the Argonne offensive and carried ammunition to the front during the fighting. After the armistice he served with the army of occupation in Germany, after which he received his discharge. He is now in the employ of the P. C. Murphy Trunk Company. Another son, John Joseph, was also in the army during the World war, stationed in a training camp in St. Louis, but his further service was terminated by the signing of the armistice. He is now a salesman with the P. C. Murphy Trunk Company. The son, Thomas C., is in the credit department of the P. C. Murphy Trunk Company and the daughter, Mary, is attending the Visitation Academy and will graduate in June, 1921.
Mr. Baker is a member of the United States Chamber of Commerce, St. Louis Chamber of Commerce, St. Louis Association of Credit Men and other civic organizations and a number of city clubs. He served a number of years on the executive committee of the Sales Managers Association, which later became the Sales Managers Bureau of the Chamber of Commerce and has been interested in the many activities put forth by that organization for the city’s benefit and upbuilding. Mr. Baker is a member of St. Rose Catholic church of this city and in his political views supports the democratic party.