Andrew Jackson Baker
PARENTS: George W. Baker and Margaret Reager
OCCUPATION: Andrew Jackson Baker was admitted to the bar in 1855 and entered practice at Winterset, Madison County, Iowa.
BIOGRAPHY: Andrew Jackson Baker was a veteran of the Civil War, Attorney General of both Missouri and Iowa and author of a book on Constitutional Law. Two of his daughters published books. He wrote a five page letter to his children in the early 1900s telling of his family. He tells of the immigrant John Baker and Elizabeth Sullivan and of his descent from them. His mother was Margaret Reager who was born about 1799 and died in 1873 in St. Louis at the home of Andrew Jackson Baker.
(Furnished by Anne Rast)
"Recollections and sketches of notable lawyers and public men of early Iowa belonging to the first and second generations, with anecdotes and incidents illustrative of the times," by Edward Holcomb Stiles, 1836-, Published: Des Moines, Homestead Pub., 1916.
Andrew J. Baker was one of the early lawyers of Appanoose County, who became distinguished. He was born in Marshall County, Virginia, in 1832. The family subsequently, in 1883, removed to Butler County, Ohio, and in 1848, to Burlington, Iowa.
His early education was acquired in the common schools, and at Furman's Academy in Butler County, and after he came to Iowa in Howe's Academy, now the Wesleyan University at Mt. Pleasant. He was a member of the first class formed in that institution. He taught school for two or three years, and then commenced the study of law under and in the office of C.B. Darwin, a distinguished lawyer of Burlington, was admitted to the bar in 1855, and entered the practice at Winterset, Iowa. He there became the law partner of H. J. B. Cummings, afterward a member of Congress from that district, and continued the practice until the commencement of the Civil War.
[At the time of the Civil War] he organized a part of Company E, of the Seventeenth Iowa Infantry and became its First Lieutenant, serving and participating in its different battles until he was obliged to resign on account of disability in 1863. His record as a soldier is an excellent one, distinguished by exalted courage.
At the close of his military service, he removed to and entered upon the practice at Lancaster, Schuyler County, Mo. Prior to the war he was a Democrat in politics, but on the occurrence of that event, he joined the Republicans. In 1868 he was chosen as one of the Presidential electors on the Republican ticket, and in the same year was elected to the Legislature of Missouri, and was recognized as one of its ablest members. He took a leading part in submitting an amendment to the Constitution, repealing what was known as the "iron clad" oath. He was classed as a liberal Republican, and was opposed to the disfranchising amendment to the Constitution.
In 1869 he was elected Attorney-General of the State of Missouri on the ticket headed by B. Gratz Brown, the liberal Republican candidate for Governor. This gave him the title of General, which stuck to him throughout his life. He discharged the duties of that office to the end of the term with signal ability.
In 1875 he removed to Centerville, Iowa, and entered the practice, in partnership with Francis M. Drake, who subsequently became Governor of the State, under the firm name of Baker & Drake. In 1884 he was elected Attorney General of Iowa, and at the end of that term was re-elected. He performed the duties of that high office in a manner highly honorable to himself, and satisfactory to the people.
From the time of his election as Attorney General of the State, he became a resident of Des Moines, forming a partnership with Judge Charles A. Bishop and Alvin A. Haskins.
In 1892 he returned to and resumed the practice at Centerville, in partnership with his son, Clarence A. Baker, where he died in 1911.
He was not only a learned lawyer, but a legal writer of note. He was the author of the "Injunction and Abatement Laws in Iowa," and of "Bakers's Annotated Constitution of the United States."
I became acquainted with him soon after he came to Centerville, which was in my judicial district. His career was a successful one; as beneficial to the commonwealth, as it was honorable to himself. He was rather stout and not above the medium in height, as I recollect him. His integrity was unquestioned and his character without a blemish. He was a man of kindly ways and accommodation disposition.
(Furnished by Anne Rast)
RECOLLECTIONS: Andrew, in a letter he wrote, stated that his mother Margaret's brother, Leonard, married Mary Uhlen Baker, half sister of George Baker.
RESEARCHER: Anne Rast of Longview, TX, a great granddaughter of Andrew Jackson Baker was interested in genealogy and family history. She shared her information about the Baker family with others.
RESIDENCES: St. Louis, MO in 1873
OBITUARY: In Memoriam Andrew Jackson Baker
Companion Lieut. Andrew J. Baker was born on a farm near the town of Bakersville, [Marshall Co.,] then the State of Virginia, now West Virginia, on June 6th, 1832, and died at Centerville, [Appanoose Co.,] Iowa, on April 23rd, 1911. He was the son of George and Margaret Reager Baker, who, in 1848 migrated to Burlington by wagon, the subject of this article being at that time about sixteen years of age.
Mr. Baker studied law and in 1856 was admitted to the bar at Chariton.
At the outbreak of the Civil War he enlisted at Mt. Pleasant in Company "E" of the 17th Iowa Infantry and was mustered into the United States service on the 5th of April, 1862, at Keokuk, Iowa, as First Lieutenant of the company. He served in that regiment in its many campaigns, participated in the hard fought Battle of Luka, but in January 1863 he was forced to resign on account of ill health.
He settled at Lancaster, Mo., after the war and was elected Representative from Schuyler county to the Missouri Legislature, and in 1868 was a Grant elector. In 1869 he was elected Attorney General of Missouri and served in that office
for two years.
In 1875, Mr. Baker and his family came to Centerville, Iowa. From January 1883 to January 1889 he served as Attorney General of the State and after the termination of his services as Attorney General, he formed a partnership with Col. E.C. Haynes in the law business and in recent years he has been in partnership with his son, Clarence A. Baker, under the firm name of Baker & Baker.
Mr. Baker is survived by his wife [Sophia Jane Parker, whom he married, 19 Aug 1858 at Winterset, Madison Co., IA] and eight children.
Companion Baker in private life was a faithful and honorable citizen as he had been a sterling soldier. He was industrious, intelligent and capable. He was an unobtrusive man. He had warm personal friends and no enemies. He was a man of exemplary habits and good morals. Companion Baker's memory will ever be respected and his passing away is a great loss to his fellow citizens of southern Iowa and his own city of Centerville where he had lived so many years.
S. H. Harper
C. W. Vermillion
(Source: Papers of his daughter Ethel Louise Baker - furnished by Anne Rast)
7 February 2016