Samuel Aaron Baker was born in a log cabin in Patterson on November 7, 1874.
His father, a physician and Union Army veteran, died shortly before Sam was born. Sam’s mother, Mary Amanda (McGhee), remarried a Mr. Page and the family moved to Mill Springs.
He attended school sporadically in Mill Spring and worked as a saw mill assistant and as a railroad section hand until he saved enough money to attend Southeast Missouri State Teachers College in Cape Girardeau. Sam held a variety of teaching, principal and superintendent positions around the state following his college graduation.
He married Nelle Rose Tuckley in 1904 and he became Missouri’s Superintendent of Public Schools in 1918. He served until 1923.
Sam Baker became Missouri’s 36th governor in 1924.
His accomplishments included increased funding to schools, the establishment of a workers’ compensation program, a bond issue to improve Missouri roads, banking reforms and the development of Missouri state parks.
Sam A. Baker State Park was dedicated in 1927.
Governor Baker suffered two major strokes in January, 1929.
He died on September 16, 1933.
He is buried in Riverview Cemetery in Jefferson City, Missouri.