| May/June 1956

Alvordton, Ohio

ABNER D. BAKER, SON of Samuel and Lydia Baker was born March 17, 1861 near Fredericktown, Knox County, Ohio. 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 went to Akron, Ohio, and worked as a machinist in the Empire Reaper Works about three years. From there he went to Erie, Pennsylvania, and worked one year in the Erie City Iron Works. From there he went to Detroit, Michigan, 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.