R.M.L. Baker is one of the prosperous general merchants of Drew County, Ark., his place of business being at Collins. He was born in Meriweather County, Ga., May 30, 1846, being a son of John and Jane (Bussey) Baker, both of whom were born in the State of Georgia, the former on September 12, 1815, and the latter February 19, 1819. They were marriedon February 22, 1838, and in due time a family of thirteen children was born to them, the following of whom are now living: Louisa E., Francis M., Marissa R., Robert M.L., Georgia E., Major M., Ella J., Kittie L. and Captain L. Seven of the family reside in Arkansas, one in Texas and one in Florida. The father was a mechanic and farmer by occupation, and at the time of his death was the owner of 480 acres of land, which was divided between his heiors. He became a resident of Arkansas in 1856, and in Drew County he laid the foundation of his fortune. He was a Democrat, held the office of justice of the peace while a resident of Georgia, and died at his home in Arkansas July 31, 1869, followed by his wife on April 11, 1880, both having been earnest members of the Baptist Church. Robert M.L. Baker was reared and educated in Drew County, and in the year 1871 began life for himself as a clerk, and in September of the same year began retailing whiskys and family groceries. On March 20, 1872, he was married to Miss Marietta Gates, a native of Texas, and a daughter of David Gates, but on September 16, 1877, he was called upon to mourn her death, she having borne him two children: Mell J. and Annie B. In 1879 Mr. Baker married Miss Mollie L. Pyron, she having been born in the State of Arkansas, and a daughter of John C. and Isabel Pyron, and to their union two children have been born: Christla and Mary A. Mr. Baker is now following merchandising and farming, his stock of goods being valued at $5,000, and the amount of land he owns is 485 acres, of which seventy-five acres are under cultivation. He is a member of the Masonic order, the K. of H., and he and Mrs. Baker are members of the Baptist Church, in which he is a deacon. Mr. Baker is a useful and honorable citizen, and owing to his many worthy qualities has many warm friends.


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