George Wesley Baker was born on Oct. 5, 1855 or in December 1857 in Madison County, OH, the son of John Wesley and Elizabeth (Houser) Baker. When George was four years old, his father died, and his mother married again, to William Baker Dillow, in 1863.
Sometime prior to 1881, George and his parents and step- and half-siblings migrated westward to Central Illinois. They settled in the town of Weldon near Clinton, DeWitt County.
The 1900 census shows George residing in Weldon with his 39-year-old wife Maggie A. Baker (1861- ? ) and their children Myrtle Baker, Hazel Baker and Chester L. Baker. They had been married for 18 years, and were the parents of three children. George's occupation was noted as poultry dealer. Maggie's birthplace was shown as Illinois.
George himself shows up on the 1910 census as a boarder in the boarding house of Lena Parks on Walnut Street in Heber Springs, Cleburne County, AR. He was marked as having been married for 29 years, and was working as a house carpenter.
Seen at left, well known Heber Springs landmarks of the era -- the Cleburne County Bank and Griffin Drug Co., all in the same building.
Circa 1917, when George's mother died, her newspaper obituary reported that he was living in Heber Springs. The federal census for 1920 shows him living alone in Cleburne County, at age 64, marked as widowed and employed as a laborer in a planing mill.
By 1928, when his step-father died, George was named as making his home in Higden, Cleburne County, near Greers Ferry Lake. The 1930 census shows him living alone, as a 75-year-old widower, on Higden's Main Street. He made a living that year as a merchant in a grocery store.
George suffered from heart disease and died suddenly of its effects on May 15, 1933. He was laid to rest in a cemetery in Heber Springs. The informant on his death certificate was his young half-brother
It is unknown whether George may also have had a daughter Mary "Mamie" Baker born in 1897 in Tennessee. Mary was taken to Illinois, where she was raised in the household of her grandmother Baker-Dillow as shown in the 1900 census. That census shows the girl's mother to have been born in Ireland. In 1910, when the federal census was taken, 12-year-old Mary and her grandmother were living together, in in Kings River, Carroll County, AR, next to David Alfred Dillow. His former wife's name in the certificate is given as "Mary A. Baker."
More will be reported here when learned.
Copyright © 2007-2008, 2010 Mark A. Miner