months along the Platte, opening up
the roads between the Missouri River and Denver, which
was obstructed by the Indians, doing good service and
only being discharged on account of physical
disability that was the result of exposure to which he
had been subjected during his military service.
Leaving the army, he returned to his squatter's claim,
that lay to the east of the Pendleton farm in Otoe
Precinct. and once more went to work for himself.
Subsequently he traded his farm for his present home
of 160 acres.
On the 23d of April, 1868, our
subject was united in wedlock with Miss Elizabeth
Stevens, a native of Howard County, Ind., where she
was born Feb. 7, 1843. She came to this State with her
uncle, and made her home with David Watkins and
family. They have become the parents of four children,
viz.: Minnie A.; Emma, who died when eleven months
old; Urseba and Spencer. Minnie is a resident of
Nemaha, and is married to Mr. Grant Gates. The other
two are at home.
Mr. Pratt is a believer in the
Universalist doctrine, while his wife is a member of
the Christian Church. They are much esteemed members
of society; the political principles of Mr. Pratt are
those that govern the Republican party, of which he
has for many years been a stout defender and ardent
F. BAKER. In this biographical sketch is presented an
outline of the history of one of the prominent
citizens of Belmont Precinct, one who stands in the
front ranks of the successful farmers and
stock-raisers of the county. His home farm lies on
section 16 and is 320 acres in extent. His entire
landed estate comprises 800 acres: 160 acres lying on
section 9, 160 on section 17, and 160 on section 18.
This land Mr. Baker has redeemed acre by acre from the
wild waste of prairie presented to his eye during the
period of his pioneership, and he has accomplished his
Herculean task only by the exercise of the most
incessant industry. After bringing his land to a
thorough state of cultivation he turned his attention
to the feeding and raising of stock, making a
specialty of Short-horn cattle and Poland-China swine.
The land is splendidly improved and beautified by
groves and orchards of the present proprietor's own
planting. The barn and all the other outbuildings are
among the best in the county. The dwelling is
pleasantly situated, and constitutes a home bright and
comfortable in the extreme.
Mr. Baker was born in Shelby County,
Ind., on the 24th of January, 1844. His father, John
L. Baker, a native of Covington, Ky., was born in
1803. While quite a young man he crossed the river
into Hamilton County, Ohio, and was employed afterward
with an older brother, running a flatboat between
Cincinnati and New Orleans for a number of years.
Later he migrated to Shelby County, Ind., and finally
settled upon a tract of land in Sangamon County, Ill.,
in a region which was then but a wild border
The mother of our subject was born
in Shelby County, Ind., in the year 1803, and was the
daughter of Ephraim Biggs, named after her mother,
Rachel. Her parents were pioneers of Indiana, her
grandfather having settled there long before it was
actually opened for settlement. She became the mother
of eight children, of whom our subject was the third.
The latter, Reuben F., upon reaching manhood, was
married, Sept. 13, 1856, to Miss Mary E., daughter of
John and Mary K. (Patterson) Mahard, natives of
Maryland. She was born in Maryland and educated in the
city of Baltimore. With her parents she afterward
lived in Cincinnati, Springfield and in Old Berlin,
Ill. Mrs. Mahard is still living; making her home with
her children in Missouri.
There have been given to Mr. and
Mrs. Baker nine children, of whom seven are living,
namely: John M., George L., Horatio S., Mary A., James
P., Othello C. and Arminda. John, the eldest son,
became the husband of Elizabeth Nicholson, and lives
in Republic County, Kan.; they have two children, who
bear the names Bertha and Roy. George was married to
Ida Wright, of Osawatomie, Kan.; they reside in
Belmont Precinct, and are the parents of three
children -- Reuben, Franklin and Grover. Mary A. is
the wife of John Duncan, of Delaware Precinct, and
they have one child, a daughter, Mary Lenora.
Mr. Baker settled on his present