Brief Sketch of One of Danby’s Oldes Residents.—Three-Quarters of a Century Spent in Town.
There are not many people living in town today who have passed as mane as seventy-five years of their life here and during all that time held their residence in the same locality, as is the case of the subject of this sketch.
Miss Elizabeth Baker was born June 16, 1820, in the town of Mount Holly, but moved to this town with her parents, Stephen and Susannah (Mathewson) Baker, when she was eight year of age, taking up their abode in the northern part of the town, with a log house for their domicile. Here they acquired a considerable tract of land, which with subsequent purchases became the homestead of the family, and is now owned by Miss Baker.
With the exception of a few summers while she was engaged in making cheese principally for other farmers of the town and a few months spent in a cloth-goods mill in Rhode Island, Miss Baker has spent the entire three-quarters of a century of residence in town on the old homestead. In her girlhood days she learned to spin both wool and flax and to make it up into cloth for the household needs—a necessity that was in those days supplied almost entirely by home production. Another household duty in which she was also especially proficient was the making of cheese, and became known as one of the best cheese makers in Rutland county. She followed this occupation for many years, and until the cheese factories superseded the home method of production.
Miss Baker has been a prudent, painstaking and diligent housekeeper and manager of domestic affairs, thrifty and modest in her mode of living and scrupulously honorable in all her dealing. Her thrift has resulted in her gaining for herself, amid many obstacles and sometimes discouraging conditions, something more than a competency of this world’s goods.
Elizabeth and her younger brother, Orean, were the only ones of the large family of children to remain at home during the lifetime of their parents, and to them fell the care and management of the farm for many years before they became the owners of it—which they finally did after the death of their mother in 1871. The father died in 1858, aged 80 years, and was totally blind for the last seven years of his life.
Upon the death of the only remaining parent, Elizabeth and Orean jointly purchased the homestead, which they carried on for a number of years, then letting the working of it to others on the share basis. The brother’s health was poor, which added somewhat to the sister’s burden, but she went about her daily vocation without complaint, happy in the thought that she was able to minister to his comfort. Upon his death in 1891 she purchased his interest in the property, which she still owns, and the management of which she has exercised till last March, when she leased the farm outright and took up her residence with her sister, Mrs. Philena Harrington, whose home is in the little settlement known as “Scottsville.”
Miss Baker’s health is very good for a person of her age, and has done her own work and cared for herself entirely till she left the farm. She likes to be engaged in some occupation now, and finds little comfort in idleness. Though she never married, she is very fond of children, and also prizes the friendship of those with whom she has associated.