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Baker, Luther H.
Luther H. Baker. Fire insurance, safeguarding manufacturing enterprises and commercial establishments against loss by fire, has been one of the greatest factors in the development of modern industrialism. Luther H. Baker has been connected with this form of insurance selling in Lansing for over twenty years and has attained a place of prominence in business circles through the ability and farsightedness that he has shown in the work. He was born in Lansing, September 8, 1872, a son of Luther Byron and Helen (Davis) Baker, the former of whom was a native of Batavia, New York, and the latter of Massachusetts. Luther Byron Baker attended Oberlin College and then secured employment in the Michigan auditor general's department after the Civil war. He was lieutenant in the First District of Columbia cavalry and had command of the party that captured the assassin of Abraham Lincoln. He was in the United States secret service and was in New York City at the time of Lincoln's assassination, but returned to Washington at once. Soon after the Civil war, he came to Michigan and bought one hundred acres of land at Lansing, which he later sold and upon a part of which the present plant of the Reo Motor Car company is standing. He was a deacon of the Congregational church and was prominent in Sunday school work for the same denomination. He was greatly honored and revered in the city, and although he was many times asked to run for office, he refused to hold a political position of any sort. Helen Davis Baker, his wife, was the daughter of Thomas Davis. She came to Lansing in 1867. She had three brothers: Frank, a merchant at Wacousta, Michigan; Eli H., who was secretary and treasurer of the Clark Carriage company, which at one time was one of the largest manufacturing concerns in Lansing; and Arthur, who was the founder of the Michigan Millers Mutual Fire Insurance company, which has grown into one of the largest of its kind in the United States. To Luther Byron Baker and his wife were born four children, as follows: Arthur D.; Luther H.; Lucelia, the wife of W. O. Hedrick, and Helen, who died in 1918. A memoir to Lieutenant Luther B. Baker appears on other pages of this work. Luther H. Baker obtained a graded and high school education and then attended the Michigan Agricultural College, in which he was graduated with the class of 1893 and with the degree of Bachelor of Science. He elected to follow the profession of teaching, his first place being at Galesburg, Michigan. From 1893 to 1903, he served as principal of various high schools, being located at Albion three years and at Kalamazoo two years. The balance of that period was spent in Galien, as superintendent of schools. He believed that his abilities were suited to other work, however, and decided to give up educational work, so that in 1903 he returned to Lansing to become associated with the Michigan Millers Mutual Fire Insurance company. In this work he found congenial employment and was soon made its secretary-treasurer, a position which he still occupies. He has contributed much to making the concern what it now is-one of the most successful fire insurance companies operating in the United States. He is assistant secretary and treasurer of the Michigan Millers Mutual Fire Insurance company and of the Mills Mutual Agency, secretary and treasurer of the Michigan Shoe Dealers Mutual Fire Insurance company, and secretary and treasurer and a member of the governing body of the Mutual Fire Prevention Bureau of Chicago, of which he was one of the organizers in 1911. He is also a director of the East Lansing Building and Loan association and of the East Lansing Realty company. He served two terms as alderman on the East Lansing council and was a member of the East Lansing school board for six years, being its president the last year. He is a member of the Kiwanis club. May 28, 1899, he married Una Jacobs, the daughter of Burban and Wealthy (Dewey) Jacobs, the former of whom was the son of a Methodist preacher of London, Ontario, and to this union have been born two sons: Maurice J., a student at the University of Wisconsin, was sport editor of the Capital News during his vacation in 1923; Luther Byron is a student in the East Lansing high school. Ray Stannard Baker ("David Grayson"), author, was born at Lansing, Michigan, April 17, 1870; son of Major Joseph Stannard and Alice (Potter) Baker. He received the degree of Bachelor of Science from Michigan Agricultural College in 1889, and that of Doctor of Laws in 1917. He took a partial law course and studies in literature at the University of Michigan. He married Jessie I., daughter of Professor William James Beal, January 2, 1896. He was reporter and sub-editor of the Chicago Record, 1892 -97; managing editor McClure's Syndicate, 1897-98; associate editor McClure's Magazine, 1899-1905; one of the editors of American Magazine, 1906-15. He was special commissioner of the department or state in Great Britain, France and Italy, 1918; director Press Bureau of American Commission to Negotiate Peace, at Paris, 1919. Clubs: Century, Players (New York); Cosmos (Washington. D. C.), member National Institute of Arts and Letters. He is the author of "Boys' Book of Inventions," 1899; "Our New Prosperity," 1900; "Seen in Germany," 1901; "Second Boys' Book of Inventions," 1903; "Following the Color Line," 1908; "New Ideals in Healing," 1909; "The Spiritual Unrest," 1910; "What Wilson Did at Paris," 1919; "The New Industrial Unrest," 1920; "Woodrow Wilson and World Settlement." a history of the Peace Conference from original documents, in three volumes, 1922; "The Public Papers of Woodrow Wilson," authorized edition, edited (with Prof. W. E. Dodd), in six volumes, 1924-26. He is also, under pseudonym of David Grayson, author of "Adventures in Contentment," 1907; "Adventures in Friendship," 1910; "The Friendly Road," 1913; "Henipfield," 1915; "Great Possessions," 1917. He has been a contributor to American and English magazines. His home is at Amherst, Massachusetts.