Search billions of records on


The subject of this sketch, James W. Baldwin, is one of the pioneer settlers of Doniphan county, Kansas, and is now a retired farmer living in Troy. By birth he is an Englishman, commencing his life in the village of Lutchmoreth, Hartfordshire, fifteen miles from the streets of London, April 25, 1828, his parents being James and Martha Baldwin, both natives of that country. His father's death occurred also in that country.

James W. spent his early boyhood days at his native place until he was nine years old and at that early age went to sea. He spent twelve years at sea, a part of the time on merchant vessels and a part of the time on a man-of-war, the United States brig Perry. During this period he visited various places and was in numerous ports of the United States. On leaving the water he took up his abode in West Virginia, where he entered the employ of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company as a watchman at the tunnel known as Glover Gap, and was thus occupied for five years. In 1856 he moved to Doniphan county, Kansas, and selected a location in Center township, northeast of Troy, where he pre-empted one hundred and sixty acres of land, to the improvement and cultivation of which he devoted his energies. Subsequently he sold eighty acres of this tract, but he still owns the other eighty and besides has a comfortable home in Troy. He conducted his farming operations successfully until 1898, when he retired from active life and moved to Troy.

In the dark days of the civil war Mr. Baldwin proved his devotion to the country of his adoption by enlisting his services in defense of the "stars and stripes" and fighting to maintain their honor. It was in 1861, as a member of Company F, Tenth Kansas Volunteer Infantry, that he entered the army, under the command of Colonel Weir, and served faithfully for three years, taking part in nearly all the actions in which his regiment was engaged. He was prostrated at the battle of Drywood, September, 1861, and was sent to the hospital, whence he was given a thirty-days furlough, at the end of which time he rejoined his regiment. After three years service he was honorably discharged. While he escaped wounds and prison, the exposure and hardship of army life wrecked his health and it was some time after his return home before he recovered.

Mr. Baldwin has been twice married. His first wife, whose maiden name was Malissa Ann Brookover, died in 1862. By her he had one son, James Baldwin, who is now engaged in farming in Doniphan county. In 1863 Mr. Baldwin married Miss Matilda Field, a daughter of William and Sarah (Tucker) Field. Mrs. Baldwin was born in Scioto county, Ohio, December 17, 1824, removed with her parents to Iowa in 1854 and to Kansas in 1859, their settlement being in Doniphan county, where her father died in 1861, at the age of sixty years. He was a native of Virginia and his wife of Pennsylvania. By his present wife Mr. Baldwin has two sons: William, a carpenter living in Troy, and Artie S., who has charge of the farming operations at the home place. Mr. Baldwin is a member of Kennedy Post, No. 292, G. A. R., and politically is a Republican.