Biography - Joseph Baker

JOSEPH M. BAKER. The learned professions have many disciples who aspire to honor and dignity in their chosen fields, and all, with greater or less reason, expect their efforts to be crowned with success. He of whom we have the pleasure of attempting a short biographical sketch, is one of the many to woo the fickle goddess of fortune before the Bench and Bar. Nor does he aspire without cause, for nature has gifted him generously with those qualities that make themselves felt in the legal profession. He has much of the mesmeric power that, in pleading a case, can make Judge and jury see the case from his own standpoint.
Mr. Baker is a product of the Prairie State, born in Grisham Township, Montgomery County, October 5, 1866, and is the son of Rev. William P. and Margaret J. (McLean) Baker, both natives of the Sucker State, the father born in Macon, and the mother in Montgomery County. The grandfather of our subject, William D. Baker, was born in the old North State and was a farmer by occupation. He inherited much of the thrift, enterprise and courage of his Scotch ancestors. His wife, who is the daughter of a Revolutionary soldier, is still living and is ninety-two years of age. Our subject's maternal grandfather, Joseph Me Lean, was born in North Carolina and was a prominent man for his time and day.
Rev. William P. Baker, father of our subject, became a prominent minister in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. He and his wife are now residing at Hillsboro, and are prominently identified with all worthy enterprises. They are much esteemed citizens and Mr. Baker takes a deep interest in his noble calling. Mr. Baker is now living with his second wife. To his first union were born two children, a son and daughter: William C., deceased; and Ora D., the wife of G. H. Donnell, of the State of Washington. The second union also resulted in the birth of a son and daughter: our subject and Mary J., the latter at home.
The original of this notice, the eldest child by the second marriage, improved his chances in the district schools until fifteen years of age, when he entered Hillsboro Academy, and graduated from that institution in 1885. After this he commenced the study of law, but at the same time began teaching school and followed this profession for three years. He studied law in the office of Hon. J. M. Truitt, and remained with him for two years. In 1889, he was admitted to the Bar before the Supreme Court of the State and has practiced his profession in Hillsboro since. Although among the younger members of the Bar, he is not only a lawyer of ability, but is also painstaking and industrious in preparing his cases and guarding the interests of his clients with great care.
As a lawyer, he combines ability and a thorough training in legal principles with industry and close application, and enjoys general esteem as a scholarly young man, a valuable counsellor and a useful and influential citizen. He is public-spirited and enterprising, giving his hearty support to all worthy movements, and is a worthy member of the Presbyterian Church. In his political affiliations he is a stanch Republican.

Extracted 10 Jan 2017 by Norma Hass from 1892 Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery and Bond Counties, Illinois, pages 292-295.

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