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 Joel Clarke Baker

Joel Clarke Baker

Danby, Rutland County, Vermont, USA
Death 1904 (aged 65-66)
Rutland County, Vermont, USA
Burial Rutland, Rutland County, Vermont, USA
Memorial ID 47305556 · View Source
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Son of Edia Baker and Saleucia A. Davenport.

Husband of Olive Adeline "Addie" Howe.

Biography courtesy of Diana Brace:

"Joel Clarke Baker, of Rutland, Vermont was prominent as a lawyer and large affairs for more than a third of a century of his life. He was born in Danby, Vermont, son of Edia and Selucia (Davenport) Baker. He was of Scotch ancestry and had inherited a goodly share of the sterling character and sturdy independence of his Scottish progenitors.

"Stephen Baker, his grandfather, was born in Rhode Island, and came to Danby, Vermont, where he followed the occupation of farming, residing there for fifty years, up to the time of his death. He was a member of the Society of Friends (Quakers), and a leader of the society at that time. He married Susannah Mathewson, and they became the parents of ten children.

"Edia Baker, fourth child of Stephen and Susannah (Mathewson) Baker, was born in Rhode Island, April 21, 1814, and was between eight and ten years of age when his parents removed to Danby, Vermont, where he resided until his death. He was a carpenter, builder and joiner formerly, and later became a farmer. In politics he was a Whig and afterwards became a Republican and he held various town offices. He married Selucia Davenport, who died in 1864, at the age of forty-seven years, and his death occurred in 1866, at the age of fifty-two years. They were the parents of two sons, Joel Clarke Baker, born April 16, 1838; and George R., born June 6, 1844, at Danby, Vermont where he died when twenty-four years of age.

"Joel Clarke Baker, received his education in the public schools of Danby and Wallingford, and in 1858 began the study of Latin and Greek under Philip H. Emerson, continuing under his instruction for two years. In 1859 he commenced the study of law in the office of Spencer Green, of Danby, and he subsequently continued his studies in the office of David E. Nicholson, of Wallingford, with whom he remained until 1862, when he was admitted to the bar of Rutland County.

"The Civil War, however, turned Mr. Baker aside from his profession just as he had completed his preparation for practice. In the year of his admission to the bar (1862) he enlisted as a private in Company B, Ninth Regiment, Vermont Volunteers, and was mustered into the service as sergeant. He was afterwards promoted successfully to the grades of first sergeant, second and first lieutenant, and captain. His military record is an eloquent attestation to his patriotism and soldierly spirit. At the surrender of Harper's Ferry he was sent as a paroled prisoner, eighth in his regiment, to Camp Douglas at Chicago, where he remained on parole until January 9, 1863, meanwhile serving as guard over five or six hundred rebel prisoners. After his exchange he returned to the front, where he participated in many battles and skirmishes, and he was with the Army of the James in the engagement at Chapin's Farm and Fair Oaks and in the capture of Richmond. He was among the first to enter that city, and he pulled down with his own hands the rebel flag that he found flying over the home of Jefferson Davis, which he took away with him. This he carefully preserved as a valuable memento, until he lent it to the Rutland High School for purposes of exhibition, but the building burned down and the historic relic was destroyed in the flames. During a portion of his service in North Carolina, Captain Baker frequently served as judge advocate on court martial's.

"After his return from the army at the close of the war, Captain Baker practiced his profession in Wallingford until 1868, when he removed to Rutland. At this time, he was the oldest lawyer in Rutland. He held the honor of being among the most prominent and successful of the practitioners at the bar of both Rutland County and the judicial district, while his practice was also extended to the supreme court of the state, and to the federal circuit and district courts of New York as well as Vermont, and to the supreme court of the United States. During his professional career he had been concerned with much of the important legislation in or concerned with his portion of the state. One of the most notable of his cases was an action brought against several members of a labor union, for boycotting, intimidation of workers and general influence with the company while it was trying to conduct its business. After a stoutly contested legal battle, Captain Baker succeeded in obtaining a verdict for his client, with an award of damages in the sum of two thousand five hundred dollars, the first rendered by any court in that section in a cause of such character and presenting such conditions.

"Captain Baker, throughout his life had been actively concerned in various leading commercial and financial enterprises. From 1869 to 1873 he was the editor of the Rutland Herald, and was subsequently a director in the Clement National Bank, the Howe Scale Company and E. P. Chase Manufacturing Corporation, and he had large real estate interests in the city of Rutland. He had occupied many official positions in which he had been highly useful to the community and the County, at various times serving at superintendent of schools, grand juror, register of probate, deputy county clerk, auditor and city attorney. He was elected to the State Senate in 1886, and in that body he was chairman of the committee on the judiciary and a member of the committees of railways and the insane.

"He was an active member of numerous military bodies — the Vermont Commanders of the military Order of the Loyal Legion, of which he had been commander, Roberts Post No. 14 G. A. R., of which he had been commander, and he had served upon the staff of State and National Masonic Fraternity; he was junior warden and senior warden of Chipman Lodge No. 52, and he was a charter member of Center Lodge No. 34, Free and Accepted Masons, in which he served as junior warden; and was associated with chapter No. 17 R. A. M. Davenport Council No. 12 in which he was the recorder; and Killington Commanders No. 5 K. T., of Order of Elks, in which body he was trustee; and of the Royal Arcanum. He was an Episcopalian in religion, and a Republican in politics.

"Captain Baker married, October 8, 1866, Miss Ada O. Howe, daughter of Luther P. and Mary A. (Rounds) Howe, of Mount Tabor, and one daughter Mabel Baker, was the fruit of their union."

[Source: Ullery, Jacob G. Men of Vermont: An Illustrated Biographical History of Vermonters and Sons of Vermont. Brattleboro: Transcript Publishing Company, 1894.]

Family Members






  • Created by: Janet Muff
  • Added: 30 Jan 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 47305556
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Joel Clarke Baker (Apr 1838–1904), Find A Grave Memorial no. 47305556, citing Evergreen Cemetery, Rutland, Rutland County, Vermont, USA ; Maintained by Janet Muff (contributor 46951416) .