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Baker, William George, 1835-1901



  • Existence: 1835 - 1901


William George Baker (1835-1901) was a British pioneer of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who served in the settlement of the state of Utah as a teacher, choir leader, hotel owner, and a member of the United Order in Richfield, UT.

William George Baker was born to Henry Baker and Jean Rio Griffiths in London, England on June 10, 1835. While growing up in London, he was taught in the manners of many upper-class Londoners, learning to speak proper "Queen's English," traveling with his mother - an accomplished musician - throughout Europe, etc. While living in Europe, his family was eventually contacted by John Taylor and eventually the family was baptized under the hand of Wilford Woodruff in 1849. Although his father passed away shortly after this, eventually they emigrated to the United States to settle in the Salt Lake Valley in 1851.

Four years after settling in Utah, William married his first wife Hannah Hayward and eventually the two settled in Moroni, UT. However, in 1862, the family was called to move to Sevier County, where he fought against the Native Americans in the Black Hawk and Walker Wars. While he did try to teach and sing in the community during this time, in 1867 he eventually fled to Nephi, UT to live for the next 5 years. It was around this time where he entered into plural marriage, marrying his second wife Nicolena Bertelsen on June 1, 1867.

In 1873, the Baker family resettled in Richfield, UT. Once returning, William served in a variety of positions in the community - leading the first choir in the region, organizing a community theatre troupe, and even building a hotel for travelers to live in in 1879. In 1874, he also agreed to live in the United Order, attempting to share their hay to everyone in the community. However, this ended up in disaster for him: not only did some of his hay burn alongside a threshing machine and farm implements in a fire, but the order itself proved unsustainable - disbanding only 4 years later.

William continued to live in thr region for the remainder of his life. On October 1, 1901, he passed away in a heart attack and was buried in Richfield with his twelve grown sons serving as his Pall Bearers.

FamilySearch, via WWW, May 31, 2017 (William Baker George; b. June 10, 1835; d. Oct. 1, 1901), via WWW, May 31, 2017 (Married his second wife, Nicolena Marie Bertelsen, on June 1, 1867)

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

William George Baker: family life stories

 File — Folder 1: [Barcode: 31197230309764]
Identifier: MSS SC 1140
Scope and Contents

Typewritten book including genealogical worksheets and family photographs. The item is a biography of William George Baker (1835-1901) and his descendants. William Baker was a convert to the Mormon Church from England and lived in Nephi and Richfield, Utah.He has a large posterity living mostly in Utah and in other Western states. Also included are genealogies of the Baker family.

Dates: 1980

Jean Rio Griffiths Baker Pearce letters and photographs

Identifier: MSS 9000
Scope and Contents

Collection comprises a series of letters written by Jane Rio Baker to her children (including William George Baker); a photocopy of Jane's obituary; William George Baker's letter to his son Josiah Elliot Baker; and a scrapbook containing family photos, pedigree charts, and other family history-related materials on Jane Rio Baker's family. Materials dated 1843-1960.

Dates: 1843-1960

Additional filters:

Biography -- 19th century 1
Families -- United States -- History -- 19th century 1
Family histories 1
Genealogies 1
Latter Day Saints -- Utah -- Biography 1