LEVI HENRY BAKER
LEVI HENRY BAKER. In this era of change and transition, when the facilities for transportation have become so complete as to encourage and even develop roving dispositions on the part of people, it seems little short of remarkable that Mr. Baker should have remained an occupant of the same farm for more than fifty years. When he came to Colusa county in 1853 he pre-empted one hundred and sixty acres in Spring valley, ten miles west of the present site of Williams, and here he has busily passed the intervening years, quietly and contentedly discharging his duties as citizen and farmer, viewing the handiwork of fate from the standpoint of a philosopher, and viewing the struggle between capital and labor from the standpoint of a socialist.
About one hundred years have passed away since a German family immigrated to the United States and settled in the primeval forests of Indiana. During their voyage across the ocean a son was born to them. This son, Isaac Baker, became a farmer of Indiana, but died in early manhood, when his only child, Levi Henry, was but one month old. The wife and mother, Elizabeth Cottingham, was born in 1814 in Indiana, whither her father had migrated from New York. After the death of Mr. Baker she was united in marriage with John Hutton, one of the earliest settlers of Coles county, Ill., and they lived for many years on a farm in that county. The death of Mrs. Hutton occurred in Illinois when she was eighty-six years of age.
Near New Albany, Ind., Levi Henry Baker was born November 3, 1834, and from there at six years of age he accompanied his mother to Coles county, Ill., settling on a farm near Charleston. Early in life he became inured to the work of a farm and learned its details with accuracy and thoroughness. Leaving home at fifteen years he joined a company bound for California with ox teams and two wagons. Among the members of the expedition was the late Judge James A. Hutton of Yolo county. The trip lasted from March until September 1, 1850, and was made without accident or loss of any kind. After an experience of eighteen months in the mines Mr. Baker spent a short time with Judge Hutton and then in 1853 came to his present location in Spring valley, where soon he acquired important interests in cattle and horses, but subsequently made a specialty of raising sheep. Through all the years of his residence on the farm he has engaged in raising grain, for which purpose and for pasturage for his stock he operates about fifteen hundred acres, four hundred of which are grain lands. The sheep industry has been supplanted by the cattle business, and at this writing he and his son have about one hundred and fifty head of cattle on the ranch.
The marriage of Mr. Baker in Spring valley united him with Miss Louisa E. Britton, a native of Iowa. The family came to California as early as 1852 and settled among the very earliest pioneers of Spring valley, but eventually her father, M. A. Britton, removed to Santa Rosa, where his last days were passed. The four children of Mr. and Mrs. Baker are as follows: Roy Britton, now in San Francisco; Harry Livingston, who relieves his father of much of the responsibility connected with the management of the home ranch; Nana Eugenia and Stella Lois, who reside with their parents on the old homestead. In fraternal relations Mr. Baker holds membership with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. At one time he advocated Republican principles in politics, but the stirring events in our national history during recent years and the growth of monopolics and trusts, with their unfortunate effects upon the laboring classes, have caused him to adopt socialistic principles.
Transcribed by Doralisa Palomares.
Source: “History of the State of California and Biographical Record of the Sacramento Valley, California” by J. M. Guinn. Page 601. Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago 1906.
© 2017 Doralisa Palomares.