|Birth: ||Mar. 17, 1861|
|Death: ||Jun. 17, 1953|
Abner Baker married Ella E. Berkebile, April 1886. She is the daughter of Lavan J. Berkebile and Mary Farner.
Abner is the son of Samuel and Lydia Baker. When 15 years of age he moved with his parents to a farm a few miles east of Swanton, Ohio.
He had a common school education, and when he was 23 years old he went to Akron, Ohio, and worked as a machinist in the Empire Reaper Works about three years. From there he went to Erie, PA and worked on year in the Erie City Iron Works. From there he went to Detroit, MI, where he worked in the Frontier Iron Works about three months.
At this time he returned to Lucas County and started a repair shop on his father's farm in the country. He conducted a prosperous business there for a few years, and in 1895 he opened a similar shop in Swanton.
He conducted the Swanton Business as a repair shop until 1901, when it was incorporated under the name of the A.D. Baker Company and they engaged in the manufacture of steam traction engines. Mr. Baker had already built five traction engines as a personal business enterprise before he organized the stock company.
In April 1886, Mr. Baker married Ella Berkebile, and in 1891 a son, Louis R. Baker was born who was the mechanical engineer of the company.
Abner was a widower many years before his death on June 17, 1953.
The A.D. Baker Company enjoyed many years of prosperity under the able management of Abner and Louis Baker. In one of their most prosperous years they built a fine modern brick home about 40 rods south of the factory, or just across the New York Central double track railroad.
Mr. Baker's daughter-in-law warned him many times to be careful as he generally took the short cut to the factory by crossing the railroad. He crossed these tracks thousands of times and never was caught, even when he was 90 years of age.
Abner was quite active in his advanced years, going to the factory nearly every day.
Mr. Baker's oldest employee-Chauncey Berkebile, was a machinist at the factory for 56 years, and was employed until the factory was dissolved in 1953. He was a brother-in-law of Abner.
Mr. Baker invented the radial reverse gear that bears his name, and all good authorities on valve gears say it is the best reverse gear ever put on a steam traction engine or a locomotive. Mr. Baker's exhaustive tests have proven there is great economy in hooking up the reverse quadrant.
Mr. Baker's high pressure steam tractor with automatic stoker and water regulator was an interesting and economical steam tractor. His first engine for his steam tractor was a double simple. He next used the cross-compound type, but did not like the indicator cards from it, so finally used the tandem compound type with piston valves and center-crank and superheated steam. Had he been able to completely separate the cylinder oil from the condensed exhaust steam, this engine would have been a great success.
We bow our heads to a great man who has gone to his reward.
A standard history of Fulton County, Ohio; an authentic narrative...., Volume 2 by Frank H. Reighard
Abner IX Baker, The native heat of Abner D. Baker, of Swanton is in Knox County. He was born there in March 1861 and some of his ancestors were early settlers there. He is a son of Samuel and Lydia (DeHaven) Baker, the father from Morrison's Cove, Pennsylvania, and the mother from Richland County, Ohio. The grandfather, Andrew Baker, came in an early day to Knox County. The DeHaven ancestry, Joseph and Catharine (Free) DeHaven, were early settlers in Richland County. It was in Richland County that Samuel Baker married Lydia DeHaven, and they located in Knox County.
Samuel Baker was born in 1833 and his wife in 1842. He was a miller by trade, and they later lived in Lucas County. Their children are: Abner D. Baker, of Swanton, who related the family history, and Mary, wife of Charles Kelsey, of Lucas County.
Abner D. Baker had a common school education, and when he was twenty-three years old he went to Akron, Ohio and worked as a machinist in a machine shop. From there he went to Erie, Pennsylvania, and worked one year in the Erie City Iron Works, later going to Detroit, where he worked in the Frontier Iron Works three months. At this time he returned to Lucas County and started a repair shop on his father's farm in the country. He conducted a prosperous business there for many years, and in 1895 he opened a similar shop in Swanton.
He conducted the Swanton business as a repair shop until 1901, when it was incorporated under the name of the A.D. Baker Company, and he engaged in th manufacture of traction engines. He had already built five engines as a personal business enterprise before he organized the stock company. The A.D. Baker Company now conducts an extensive business at Swanton, with all the departments of a modern machine shop and factory. The average number of men on the pay roll is one hundred, with eight men employed in the office.
The A.D. Baker Company has had satisfactory business expansion under the management of John Chrisman, president; A.D. Baker, Vice President; Charles Chrisman, treasurer, and F.E. Pilliod, secretary. There are nine stockholders in the board of directors. The A.D. Baker Company is a valuable adjunct to the business interests of Swanton and Community.
In April, 1886, A.D. Baker married Ella Berkebile. She was a Lucas County woman, a daughter of Levan and Mary (Farmer) Berkebile, the father a Pennsylvanian, who came to Lucas County. They have one son. Louis R. Baker, who is the mechanical engineer of the company. He married Ethel West, of Ontario, Canada. They have one daughter, Lillis. The Bakers vote the republican ticket.
The Baker locomotive valve gear was patented by A.D. Baker, August 20, 1912, and together with F.E. Pilliod he began the manufacture of it. A stock company was later formed in Swanton, called the Pilliod Company, and Mr. Baker is a stockholder in it. He is also a stockholder in the Swanton Milling and Elevator Company. Mr. Baker is an active man in the Swanton business community.
Samuel Baker (1833 - 1921)
Lydia Dehaven Baker (1844 - 1933)
Minerva Ella Berkebile Baker (1865 - 1933)
Louis Ralph Baker (1891 - 1961)*
Abner Dehaven Baker (1861 - 1953)
Mary Ann Baker Kelsey (1864 - 1941)*
Note: Additional Info e-mailed 4-24-2010 from Warren Coon
Maintained by: BPHTOL
Originally Created by: gabbybug
Record added: Aug 21, 2003
Find A Grave Memorial# 7784622