FL-GenWeb Digital Library and Archives
Duval Co. Biographies
Baker, John D.
Transcribed from: The History of Florida: Past & Present, The Lewis Publishing Co., Vol.
II, page 112, 1923.
BAKER, JOHN D. has been an influential figure in the commercial affairs of Jacksonville
for over thirty years. The field in which his experience has been chiefly centered has
been the wholesale grocery business, and he is interested in several of the larger industrial
organizations of Jacksonville.
Mr. BAKER was born on his father's plantation in Robeson County, North Carolina, October 31,
1864, son of Capt. ANGUS S. and HARRIETT (McEACHERN) BAKER. His parents were natives of
North Carolina. His father was born in 1813 and died in 1884, and his mother was born in
1829 and died in 1919. They had a family of five sons and two daughters, five of whom are
still living. JOHN D. being the third child. Capt. ANGUS BAKER before the Civil war was
a cotton planter and slave owner, and devoted his active life to the management of his
planting interests. During the Civil war he was too old for active duty, but served as a
member of the Home Guard. He was a leading elder in the Presbyterian Church and a democrat.
JOHN D. BAKER was educated in North Carolina during the reconstruction era, and he finished
his schooling in Davidson College of that state. In 1886, at the age of twenty-two, he
came to Jacksonville and began his experience in the wholesale grocery business as receiving
clerk for ROBERT H. JONES, wholesale grocer. When Mr. JONES retired from business he went
with the Smith and Frazier Company, wholesale grocers, as shipping clerk, in 1889. Then in
1890 he engaged in business for himself, associated with JAMES D. HOLMES, under the firm
name of Baker & Holmes. In 1896 the business was incorporated as the Baker & Holmes Company,
dealers in wholesale groceries, grains and building material. Mr. BAKER is vice president
of this, one of the oldest wholesale houses in Jacksonville under continuous management.
He is also vice president and a director of the Covington Dry Goods Company, has been a
director in the Atlantic National Bank since it was organized, and is a stockholder in the
Wilson & Toomer Fertilizer Company.
He is a democrat, but has never taken an active part in politics. He is affiliated with
Solomon Lodge No. 20, F. and A. M., and is high priest and prophet of Morocco Temple of the
Mystic Shrine at Jacksonville. He is an elder in the First Presbyterian Church.
January 26, 1898, Mr. BAKER married Miss JULIA SIMKINS, a native of Florida. They have
six children: KATHERINE, wife of FRANKLIN G. RUSSELL, Jr.; HARRIETT LOUISE, wife of JAMES
R. STOCKTON; JOHN D., Jr., THOMPSON S., MARGARET S. and ARCHIBALD J.
Transcribed by Nancy Rayburn
©2016 Fran Smith
This page presented August 14, 2010