m. ABT 1836
m. 12 Jun 1857
Facts and Events
Sources and Notes
Pennsylvania timeline (1830,1840,1850) Utah timeline (1860,1870) Short stay in Idaho (1880) Utah timeline (1880,1890,1900,1910)
From the things I have heard and read of my great grandfather, he must have been quite a colorful figure. I wished I could have known him but he died 13 yrs. before I was born.
He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on the 1st day of August 1836 to his father, Henry Phillip Baker & his mother, Mary Sarah (Ann) Harmon. Grandpa Baker was married twice. His 1st wife Sarah Lucille Vickery died the next day after giving birth to their 1st child (Emma Erilla ) when she was only 19yrs. old.
Henry married my Great Grand-mother, Mary Sarah Harmon two years later the 5th of June 1861. She, of course raised Emma along with the 5 children they had together, four girls and one boy. The 1st-born. Henry Augustus Harmon Baker 12th Oct. 1863. Died 5th June 1865. Mary Catherine 10th Nov. 1865. Died 29th Nov.1887. Suzanna Weir 8th May 1867. Died 1st Dec. 1935. Elizabeth Melvina 1st Sep. 1869. Died 3rd Sep. 1943.
Isabelle (Bell) 21st Feb. 1874, (my grand-mother) (Her mother passed away 19th Nov. 1875, before grandma was 2 yrs. Old leaving the responsibility of rearing the children to my great grand-father.)
Taking his children, he moved to Jerome, Idaho for a few years, but returned sometime before 1885. Here they lived and really enjoyed life. Wherever they were they were people who made the best of things and lived happily.
Before their children were born, Henry and Mary Sarah, and little Emma left Pennsylvania and went to Florence Neb. where they joined a group of Mormon Pioneers coming to Utah. The 3 of them came across the Plains to Salt Lake City. Arriving at Salt Lake Territory 5th October 1862 with the Ansel P. Harmons Co. ox team. They were sealed in the Endowment House 5th Sep., 1863. Their five children were all born in Salt Lake City, Utah
It's been said that Henry started smoking a pipe at an early age and when he came to Utah he filled his musical instrument (the cello) full of tobacco and brought it with him across the plains to Utah!
They say he was quite a hunter. He tamed an eagle and taught it to go hunting with him, bringing in the duck or rabbit or whatever small game he had shot. The eagle would sit on his shoulder and as he walked along he would talk to it. It was considered as one of the family.
When they were living in Jerome Idaho, Gr. Grandpa was elected as Justice Of The Peace. Also he was Postmaster General for a time. His girls really enjoyed this, for when a special delivery letter came, one of them would get to ride to the destination of the letter on horseback! (I cannot imagine my Grandma, Isabelle on horseback!). Of course they would have to take all the shortcuts over ditches or fences no obstacle was too high or too wide (that was if the horse could jump it!) Gr. Grandpa decided this was no life for his girls who were rapidly becoming young ladies. That is when he moved back to Salt Lake and bought a home on Apple St. later Grape St. Now Almond St. It was only two blocks from the Temple. (Later that area was known as the Marmalade District) (Apricot Ave. Plum St. and Quince St. Where I was raised).
He was a man of many talents. He was an exceptional hand writer and was Brigham Young’s personal right-hand man for Special Records.
He was one of eight men who first organized the big Z.C.M.I. Mercantile Store. He was an Elder in the Church. He played various musical instruments, especially violin, cello, guitar, and organ. He worked for over 35 yrs. at the Salt Lake Theater as propman, also painting scenery. Also when any of the theater musicians were ill or not on hand to play, he filled in for them. He also played for dances and other entertainment. He was also a book-edge gilder. As he grew older in years and not able to do many other things, he was still able to do his gold-edging which gave him joy, to still be useful.
One time when he was working at the Theater, he was returning home on a cold snowy night, as he started down the steep hill (2nd North) towards home. His feet hit the ice, and down he went, he came down on top of his Bass Violin and rode it to the bottom of the hill. What a glorious ride! (Never to be forgotten!). He wasn't hurt much, just his dignity and with his know-how of fixing instruments he soon repaired his instrument.
His children grew and married, and as he became elderly his daughter Lizzy (Elisabeth) and her husband, John George Smith moved into her fathers' home at 291 Almond St. to care for him.
They made his life happy and contented.
Henry Augustus Baker died of a heart attack at home on the 29th April 1916 at 80 years old to join now with his family who had gone on before. He was loved by all who knew him! And I can't help but wonder, “Did he ever give up that pipe?"