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Baker, Jr., Ezra

Born: 1795-XX-XX Massachusetts

Flourished: Rochester, Illinois (Wabash Co.)

A native of Massachusetts and later resident of Philadelphia, Dr. Ezra Baker Jr. and his family arrived in Illinois in 1820. They settled at Gards Point, Wabash County, where Baker was the postmaster. Baker became a prominent physician, landowner, and businessman in Wabash County. In 1838, Baker bought the land on which he would lay out the town of Rochester. In 1839, he laid out the town, and commenced construction of the Rochester Grist Mill. Once completed, Baker's grist mill became the largest in the county. In 1840, Baker established a general store, where he engaged in pork-packing and grain buying. He also operated a sawmill, and in 1845 put up a carding machine. In 1850, he listed his occupation as physician and owned real estate valued at $40,000. Baker later over-extended himself, losing his businesses. Succumbing to alcoholism, he moved back to Philadelphia and died in a poorhouse.

Combined History of Edwards, Lawrence and Wabash Counties, Illinois (Philadelphia: J. L. McDonough, 1883), 334-35; History of Wabash County, Illinois, New and Updated Edition (Evansville, IN: Unigraphic, 1977), 56, 78, 80, 93, 116; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Wabash County IL, 412.