DANIEL S. BAKER
Daniel S. Baker is among the “Argonauts” of 1849 who started for California in search of the “golden fleece,” making the long journey around Cape Horn. Prior to the Mexican War California yet belonged to Mexico, and the customs and habits of that country were followed out in this section of the country. The land had not yet been dominated by the American spirit to any extent, but when gold was discovered there came to the Pacific coast from all sections of the country men of resolute purpose, of strong determination and of unfailing industry and the state entered upon a new era of development and improvement, which work has been carried on unceasingly up to the present time. Daniel S. Baker was among those who sought the Golden state in the hope of benefitting his financial condition, and for more than fifty years he has been identified with the interests of Nevada City.
He is a native of the far-off state of Maine, his birth having occurred there in Lincoln County on the 29th of April, 1822. His father, John Baker, was also a native of Maine and was a representative of one of the old families of the Pine Tree state, of English lineage. He learned the carpenter’s trade and followed that occupation as a means of livelihood. He wedded Harriet Sherman, also a member of an old and influential Maine family, and they became the parents of four children, of whom Daniel S. was the youngest. He was left an orphan at an early age, after which he went to make his home with his maternal grandmother. Early in life he went to sea, and during the winter season, when navigation was practically closed, he pursued his education in the public schools. He followed that occupation for eighteen years. At the age of twenty-seven he made a trip around Cape Horn to California from Bath, Maine, landing in San Francisco in 1849. Leaving the ship at that point he made his way at once to Nevada County, where for six years he engaged in mining. Later he turned his attention to merchandising, and for more than twenty-five years he has been engaged in the transfer business as the head of the Nevada City Transfer Company. Fifteen horses are used in the service and at times five men are employed. The company receives a very liberal patronage, its business being large and profitable. Mr. Baker has always been connected with mining interests during his residence in California and his income is thereby materially increased.
In 1862 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Baker to Miss Asenith Cunningham, of Maine, who came to California in 1860 and was married in Sacramento. They now have four living children: Lottie M., the wife of George Johnson, a businessman of Nevada City; Emma B., the wife of George K. Danforth, who is living in Nevada County; Nellie and Edward J. They have lost two sons, Sherman B. and Bradford. Socially Mr. Baker is connected with the Knights of Pythias, being also connected with the uniformed rank. He has passed all the official chairs in the order and is an exemplary member of the society. He is also a member of the Rathbone Sisters. His political support is given to the Republican Party and for more than ten years he has served as a member of the city council. His uncompromising integrity of character, his fearlessness in the discharge of his duty and his appreciation of the responsibility that rests upon him were such as to make him the most acceptable incumbent for that office, and his worth then, as now, was widely acknowledged.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.