Mrs. Hannah  Elizabeth  Baker

          A lady of beautiful character and sterling worth,  Mrs. Hannah Elizabeth Baker  is well and favorably known in Shelbyville, and the high esteem in which she is held by her neighbors and friends bears testimony to the many excellent qualities of mind and heart which gained for her the worthy place in the social circles of the city which she now holds.  Hannah Elizabeth Kendall  was born October 10 1836, in Cumberland county, Pennsylvania, being a daughter of  Brilliant and  Hannah ( Elder) Kendall, who were also natives of that state and for many years residents of the county of Cumberland, where the ancestors of both branches of the family settled in an early day.  William Kendall, whose birth occurred in the year 1808, was a miller by trade.  Shortly after the death of his wife he left his three children (two died in infancy) in the care of friends and came to Shelby county, Indiana, where he operated a mill on Blue river for a number of years and met with encouraging success in business affairs.  He married in this county his second wife who bore him seven children, and in 1853, at the age of forty-five, after a residence of seventeen years in his adopted state, died.  Mrs. Kendall was deprived of a mother's loving care and guidance when but seven days old, after which she was taken to the home of her mother's friends where she was tenderly nurtured and grew to young womanhood, the recipient of many kindly favors, having been adopted by  James and Margaret Coyle, of Juanita county, Pennsylvania, who proved parents indeed to the orphan, and spared no pains in rearing her to a life of usefulness.  For various reasons she was unable to attend school until her tenth year, but possessing a strong inquiring mind and a love of books and study, she made up for this deficiency by learning to read at odd times, and while still a mere child, eagerly pursued every book, magazine and paper to which she could lay her hand; soon acquired a knowledge of many subjects, so that at the beginning of her school life she was not only as far advanced as those whose education experience far exceeded her own, but better informed.  In October, 1857, she came to Indiana and after attending for some time the schools of Franklin and Shelbyville, she became quite proficient in her studies and earned an honorable reputation among the best students of that institution.  Returning to Indiana after completing the high school course, she accepted a position in the schools of Edinburg, where she taught one year and subsequently taught in Hendricks township and Sand Hill Ridge, and achieved marked success in her educational work.
          On July 23, 1865, Miss Kendall was united in marriage with  Samuel R. Baker, a native of Union county, Pennsylvania, where his birth occurred June 26, 1825.  Mr. Baker's antecedents were Germans, and among the early immigrants to Pennsylvania,  from which state his mother moved to Indiana many years ago, and settled in Shelby county, Indiana, the father having died in Pennsylvania, where he and his wife spent the remainder of their lives.  When a young man, Samuel R. Baker learned carpentry and became not only a proficient but a very skillful workman.  He followed contracting very successfully for a number of years and today in many parts of Shelby county as well as adjoining counties, numerous large barns, fine residences and other buildings stand as monuments to his excellence as a mechanic.  He served in the Sixty-eighth Indiana Volunteers in the late Civil war, participated in a number of campaigns and battles, and acquitted himself honorably as a brace and fearless defender of the National Union.  He was a drummer in Capt. E. E. Finns' Company H, Sixty-eighty Regiment Indiana Volunteers, was enrolled the 5th of August, 1862, and was discharged the 9th of March, 1863, at Nashville, Tennessee, for reasons of disability.
          A Methodist in his religious belief, he demonstrated his faith by a life removed as far as possible from the evils that contaminate and degrade man's better nature, and in all of his relations with his fellow citizens he was governed by the principles of honor and rectitude with bespeak the devoted Christian and high-minded gentleman.  This worthy citizen had a host of warm friends to whom he was sincerely attached, and by whom his death on the 22nd day of December, 1902, was felt as a great personal loss.
          Mr. and Mrs. Baker reared a family of four children, the oldest of whom, a son by the name of  John, is a farmer of Shelby county.  N. W. Baker, the second in order of birth, lives with his mother, whose interests and comfort are his principal consideration;  Grant W. Baker, the third son, who also resides under the parental roof, is a lawyer by profession.  After receiving his preliminary education in the public schools he added two years' work in the State University at Bloomington, and then prosecuted his legal studies for two years in the law department of the University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor.  Ora E.,  the youngest member of the family and only daughter, enjoyed an excellent education during childhood and youth in the town of Brookville, and is still a member of the home circle and her mother's capable helper in conducting the same.
Chadwick's History of Shelby County, Indiana by Edward H. Chadwick, B.S., assisted by well known local talent, B.F. Bowen & Co, Publishers: Indianapolis, IN, 1909, pages 404-406.
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming
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