Biography of Frank De Forrest Baker
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Frank De Forrest Baker, a well-known farmer and lumber dealer of Plainfield, belongs to a family that came of English yeomanry stock, and has been known for centuries in England for industry, sturdiness, and reliability. The name denotes the occupation of the founder of the family. In the fifteenth century the Bakers possessed considerable property in the north of England, and were known as being thrifty, industrious, and very tenacious of their rights. In 1650 there were many of the name at Aylesbury, County of Bucks, who became followers of George Fox, the Quaker, and with him suffered imprisonment by order of Cromwell. Mr. Baker directly traces his ancestry to Jeffry Baker. Jeffry’s son Joseph, who was born June 18, 1655, came to America and settled in Connecticut. Joseph’s son, Joseph, Jr., born April 13, 1678, was twice married, first to Hannah Pomeroy, who had by him two sons, Joseph and Samuel. His second marriage was made with Abigail Bissell, who bore him nine children; namely, John, Hannah, Jacob, Abigail, Ebenezer, Daniel, Heman, Titus, and Abigail (second). In the third generation down was Heman, born April 27, 1719, who married Lois Gilbert, November 24, 1747. They had nine children-Heman, Anna, Deborah, John, Oliver, Abigail, Lois, Delight, and Lydia.
Oliver Baker, in the fourth generation, who was born at Tolland, Conn., October 5, 1755, and received a medical education, purchased a farm in Plainfield, on which he settled, and was thereafter engaged in the practice of his profession until his death on October 3, 1811. He was great-grandfather of Mr. Frank De Forrest Baker. Of his family of eleven sons some became physicians. Dimmick, born March 18, 1793, took up farming, and remained on the old homestead until his death. He married Hannah Colby, and had a family of five children-Elias, Hannah A., Edward D., Dr. Cyrus Baker, and Helen F. Hannah, after teaching successfully for some time, married Morrill Cutting, a prosperous farmer of Newport, now deceased. Edward D., born April 21, 1827, read law at Enfield, N.H., with the Hon. N. W. Westgate, now of Haverhill, N.H., and later entered the law office of the Hon. H. A. Bellows, late Chief Justice of New Hampshire. He was admitted to the bar of Sullivan County in July, 1851, and opened an office at Cornish Flat, where he practised until October, 1855, when he removed to Claremont. He married Elizabeth Ticknor on November 12, 1851. Cyrus, who graduated in medicine at New York, was an army surgeon during the Civil War. He first married Martha J. Preston, who bore him one child, Alice Baker. His second wife, whose maiden name is Anna Erskins, has been the mother of four children, one of whom is living. Helen F. married Sheppard H. Cutting, a prosperous farmer of Newport, N.H., and has had three children.
Elias Baker, the father of the subject of this sketch, was born at Plainfield. After completing his education, he began his working life as a farmer, managing his father’s farms, and later being associated with his father on the homestead farm, where he lived until his death. He was a man of superior intelligence and an apt student. It was his own ambition and the desire of his family to obtain a college education and prepare for a professional career, but circumstances prevented this. He married Amelia Blanchard, and had a family of three children-Elsie A., Frank D., and Charles D. Elsie, born June 16, 1848, was educated at Kimball Union Academy, and taught school very successfully until her marriage with Dr. J. H. Martin, of Lebanon, N.H. Charles D., who is a hotel man in Arizona and owns considerable property, married Margaret Desmond.
Frank De Forrest Baker was born in Plainfield, April 8, 1851. After receiving his education at the well-known Kimball Union Academy, he assisted his grandfather until the death of the latter. He then engaged in farming and lumbering, and in raising cattle for the market. At one time he conducted a livery stable. He is active and energetic. Industrious and thrifty, he has acquired quite a competency. He married Sarah Moulton Scales, who was born June 10, 1855, daughter of Henry M. and Ann J. Scales, of Meriden. Mrs. Baker’s grandfather, the Rev. Jacob Scales, was settled in Plainfield for many years. She has had four children: Cleon F., born February 27, 1873, now at Hartland, Vt.; Fred H., born June 29, 1874, who died in April, 1878; Julia M., born October 31, 1879, who died in January, 1894; and Edward M., born March 21, 1881, now attending Kimball Union Academy.
Mr. Baker is a member of the local grange. He attends the Congregational church, and is a liberal supporter of all its benevolences. He has never aspired for political honors, thinking his family and his business have needed his time and attention.