John Baker – 10

Katie & John

How John Baker partnered up with James (JR) Gill is a mystery.  Gill was five years older than John, married, and with an infant daughter.  He moved to Clarksville in 1875 or so, when he was just six years old.    It may be that John did his apprenticeship at a carriage firm in Clarksville and worked there with Gill.  Perhaps the two decided to leave a large firm (like Harrison & Dugan, for example) and start their own, as there was certainly enough need in town.  Gill was a carriage body maker, while John did the blacksmithing, and so it was a good partnership for offering new carriages and carriage repair.  They opened their shop in 1894 at 312 Commerce Street.

Likewise, how John and Katie met is a mystery.  He was boarding at 402 S Second, and Katie lived no more than a house or two down the street, so they may have met that way.  They knew of each other by early 1899, because Katie was there when John suffered the compound fracture of his leg in a sledding accident that occurred on Second Street.

John and Katie married on Christmas Day in 1900 at the home of her parents, and they lived afterwards on Marion Street.