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Newton Baker

Newton Baker


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Newton Baker was born in West Virginia in 1871. After graduating from John Hopkins University (1892) he became as a lawyer in Cleveland, Ohio.

Baker was a reforming Democratic mayor of Cleveland (1912-16) and a person who had expressed pacifist beliefs, surprisingly accepted the post of secretary of war under Woodrow Wilson.

In 1917 Baker was criticised by Republicans such as Henry Cabot Lodge for not making Leonard Wood, field commander of the United States Army. Instead Baker appointed John Pershing.

After the United States entered the First World War Baker drew up plans for universal military conscription which resulted in the mobilization of more than 4 million men.

Baker was a member of the USA's delegation to the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 and helped draw up the covenant of the League of Nations.

In 1920 Baker returned to his legal practice in Cleveland. He joined the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague in 1928 and the following year Herbert Hoover appointed him to the Law Enforcement Commission. In his retirement Baker wrote Why We Went to War (1936). Newton Baker died on 25th December, 1937.


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Baker, Newton D.

Baker, Newton D. (1871�), urban reformer, secretary of war.The career of Newton D. Baker, Woodrow Wilson's second secretary of war (1916�), was paradoxical. A compassionate man, he balanced concern for justice with commitment to order. A man of peace, he became an accomplished warmaker. A social reformer, he did little to combat wartime racial and political prejudice in the army. An antimilitarist, he supported national conscription. A man with no experience in foreign affairs, he supervised the movement of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) to France and protected their independence against the French and British who attempted to amalgamate them with their own armies. The rather unimposing, bespectacled, owlish‐looking cabinet officer thus gave President Wilson a strong hand at the peace table and achieved recognition as a successful secretary of war.

A lawyer and reform Democratic mayor of Cleveland, Baker had a reputation as a pacifist as well as an efficient administrator when Wilson appointed him to succeed Lindley Garrison in March 1916 on the eve of the U.S. Punitive Expedition into Mexico. Unlike Garrison, who had been won over by the generals and the Republican�sed Preparedness movement, Baker always remained loyal to Wilson. In the War Department he was a conciliator and kept congenial connections between his office, the General Staff, and the army's bureau chiefs as long as possible. Even during the war production and transportation crisis in the winter of 1917� he refused to act hastily it was April 1918 before authority was adequately concentrated in the General Staff and the War Industries Board. Baker also refused to resolve command issues between the War Department and the AEF. In the struggle between Gen. John J. Pershing and Chief of Staff Peyton C. March for the control of military policy, Baker did not decide in March's favor until the war was nearly over. The secretary believed that most problems were resolved if left alone. After the war, he remained an outspoken Wilsonian internationalist and was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1924.
[See also World War I: Domestic Course.]

Frederick Palmer , Newton D. Baker: America at War , 2 vols., 1933.
Daniel R. Beaver , Newton D. Baker and the American War Effort 1917� , 1966.

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Company-Histories.com

Address:
1900 East 9th Street, National City Center, Suite 3200
Cleveland, Ohio 44114-3485
U.S.A.

Statistics:

Partnership
Founded: 1916 as Baker, Hostetler & Sidlo
Employees: 1,400
Sales: $191 million (1999 est.)
NAIC: 54111 Offices of Lawyers

Company Perspectives:

Baker & Hostetler LLP was founded on the belief that we would strive to create successful, long-term relationships with clients, dedicate ourselves to the profession and be good corporate citizens in the communities where we live and work. That belief has helped us grow into one of the nation's largest law firms with 500 attorneys operating from nine offices coast to coast and in every time zone.
Our firm has been shaped by the strategic integration of skilled attorneys who have a strong work ethic and a dedication to client service. We have developed the people, the experience, the resources and the technologies to provide legal services worldwide.
Through our multidisciplinary approach, we help clients meet their business, professional and personal objectives. Whether our work is a corporation's complex multi-district litigation or an individual's financial and estate planning, clients receive comprehensive legal services.
We add value to the services we provide by listening to clients, learning their businesses and counseling them as advisors, confidants and, in many cases, friends.

Key Dates:

1916: The partnership of Baker, Hostetler & Sidlo begins in Cleveland on January 1.
1924: The firm moves to larger facilities in the Union Trust Building.
1931: The firm is renamed Baker, Hostetler, Sidlo & Patterson.
1938: The firm becomes Baker, Hostetler & Patterson after Tom Sidlo retires.
1939: A Washington, D.C. office is opened but then is closed in 1943.
1971: The firm's first merger is with Cleveland's Falsgraf, Reidy, Shoup and Ault.
1973: The firm reestablishes a Washington, D.C. office.
1979: The firm adopts its permanent name of Baker & Hostetler merges with the Washington, D.C. firm of Morison, Murphy, Abrams & Haddock begins offices in Orlando, Florida, and Columbus, Ohio, through mergers with local firms.
1980: Merger with Orlando's Johnson, Motsinger, Trismen & Sharp adds a Winter Park satellite office merger with Clark, Martin & Pringle leads to Baker & Hostetler's first Denver office Cleveland office relocates to the National City Center merger with Columbus firm Moritz, McClure, Hughes & Kersher adds ten lawyers.
1986: Seventeen lawyers are added from merger with Columbus firm of Gingher & Christgensen.
1988: The firm closes its Winter Park office and moves its Orlando office to the SunBank Center.
1990: Merger with McCutchen, Black, Verleger & Shea adds offices in Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Houston.
1997: Firm opens a Cincinnati office.
2000: Formal affiliation with Brazil-based Franca Ribeiro Advocacia, is announced.

Headquartered in Cleveland, Baker & Hostetler LLP is one of the nation's largest law firms. It provides counsel in virtually all legal specialties to large corporate clients such as Ford and Boeing, small startup firms, and also foreign governments such as Peru. It serves traditional industries and also more recently created companies in such cutting edge areas as computers and biotechnology. The Baker law firm remained a modest operation until multiple mergers in the 1970s and 1980s added hundreds of attorneys and new branch offices in several states.

Origins and Early History

The law firm of Baker, Hostetler & Sidlo was started by three of Cleveland's top lawyers during the Progressive movement. Newton Diehl Baker (1871-1937) graduated from Johns Hopkins University and then the Washington and Lee University Law School in 1894. In 1901 Cleveland Mayor Tom L. Johnson recruited Baker to work for the city, and in 1902 Baker became the head of the city's new law department. There he helped Johnson push for various reforms and from 1912 to 1915 served as Cleveland's mayor. Mayor Baker soon recruited Joe Hostetler and Thomas Leon Sidlo, two graduates of Cleveland's Western Reserve University.

When his second mayoral term ended, Baker decided to form a law firm with his two aides as his fellow partners. Shortly after the partnership of Baker, Hostetler & Sidlo was formed, Baker became President Woodrow Wilson's secretary of the War Department. The other two partners in 1916 served two main clients: the National One Cent Letter Postage Association and the International Molders Union of North America.

While Baker remained in the Wilson cabinet until early 1921, the firm added many new clients, including the Toledo Street Railway Commission and also the publisher of the Plain Dealer, which remained a client into the 1990s. E.W. Scripps hired the firm to write his will and trust, which led to representing the Scripps Howard newspaper chain for decades. In 1920 the Baker firm helped incorporate the Midland Bank, which remained a client until it merged with The Cleveland Trust Company in 1946. Other new clients in the 1920s included General Electric, Goodyear, the Federal Reserve Board, American League of Professional Baseball Clubs, the Federal Reserve Board, and the Hydraulic Steel Company. They began representing the owners of the Cleveland Indians baseball team, and in 1927 lawyers Baker and Hostetler became minor owners of the team.

In the 1920s and 1930s the firm represented the state of Ohio in a lawsuit called the Chicago Water Steal Case. Ohio and several other states objected to the depletion of Lake Michigan when its waters were diverted to flush sewage out of the Chicago River. A 1929 U.S. Supreme Court ruling prevented the uncontrolled diversion but also resulted in the construction of locks that regulated the water flow into the Chicago River. This case helped build the Baker firm's national reputation.

Another 1920s case ended up having widespread ramifications. The Baker firm represented The Ambler Realty Company and other landowners who objected to the Village of Euclid's zoning law that limited their development to just residential use. According to the Baker firm's history, in 1924 the U.S. Supreme Court 'ruled in favor of the Euclid ordinance in a landmark decision that opened the way nationally for widespread zoning.'

During the Great Depression, the federal government created the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) as a public power entity. The Baker firm represented a group of private electrical power companies headed by the Commonwealth and Southern Corporation that sued the government over what some critics said was an unconstitutional and socialistic program. However, the TVA survived the challenge and remained long after the Depression ended.

Although several Baker lawyers left for military or government service during World War II, the firm continued to provide services. Probably its most significant litigation was United States v. Cold Metal Process Company (Baker's client) filed in 1943. Although the government appealed this case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, it ultimately failed to cancel two Cold Metal patents used in making steel. The Baker firm continued to represent Cold Metal in other litigation filed during the 1950s.

Practice in the Post-World War II Era

In 1947 the Baker firm's clients, a group of plumbing supply companies, were granted an acquittal by the trial judge in a case where the federal government tried in vain to prove a general distribution antitrust conspiracy. Filed in 1940, United States of America vs. Central Supply Association was 'the largest mass trial in the history of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio,' according to the Baker firm's history.

The firm prospered in the immediate postwar period. In 1949 it brought in over $1 million in fees for the first time in its history. During the 1950s, the partnership successfully represented major league baseball in several important lawsuits that challenged baseball's exemption from antitrust laws, its farm system, and the so-called 'reserve clause.' Baseball also used the firm to help it preserve the rights of individual teams to control broadcasts of their games.

In the 1970s and mainly the 1980s the Baker law firm grew rapidly through multiple mergers and the addition of its first permanent branch offices. This expansion was led by Managing Partner John Deaver Drinko, a West Virginia native who had joined the firm in 1945. In 1971 the firm acquired the 12 lawyers of Cleveland's Falsgraf, Reidy, Shoup & Ault, whose clients included Continental Products Company, Newbury Industries, and the business interests of Cleveland's Frohring family and Cincinnati's Schott family. Two years later the firm added its first office outside of Cleveland when it merged with Washington, D.C.'s Frost, Towers, Hayes & Beck, a five-lawyer practice that dated back to 1923. The Frost firm represented Sperry Rand, Textron, and other Fortune 500 firms.

In 1979 the firm took several major steps. First, it adopted the permanent name of Baker & Hostetler. Second, it strengthened the Washington, D.C. office by merging with that city's Morison, Murphy, Abrams & Haddock, a ten-lawyer firm that had been started in 1952. Morison, Murphy specialized in antitrust and administrative law for clients such as Frontier Airlines and Sperry & Hutchinson.

The Baker law firm played a role in resolving Ohio's savings and loan (S & L) crisis that began in 1985 when Cincinnati's Home State Savings Bank collapsed after losing $144 million. Andrew Welsh-Huggins wrote, 'Home State took down the Ohio Deposit Guarantee Fund and started a run that eventually led to the closing of 69 other thrifts insured by the private deposit insurance fund.' Under the direction of Robert B. McAlister, a Baker lawyer appointed to head Ohio's Commerce Department's Division of Savings and Loan, eventually all the closed S & L's were allowed to reopen.

M & As, IPOs, and Other High-Profile Work: 1990s-2001

In the mid-1990s Baker & Hostetler's work in mergers and acquisitions (M & A) increased, which led the firm to add to the 50 lawyers in its Business Practice Group in Cleveland. Most of them worked on M & A, plus securities and debt and equity financing. For example, the Baker firm assisted McDonald & Co. Investments Inc. when it helped Qualitech Steel Corp. raise $500 million. The law firm also backed Boykin Management Co.'s initial public offering and represented Key Equity Capital Corp. when it bought CSM Industries Inc. for $50 million.

The firm in 1997 opened a new office in Cincinnati to cover southern Ohio, since it already had offices in Cleveland and Columbus in northern and central Ohio. The firm's clients in the Cincinnati area included E.W. Scripps Co., which owned the Post newspapers and WCPO-TV.

Genetically engineered foods became a major controversy in the 1990s, so in early 2000 the U.S. Department of Agriculture set up a committee to make suggestions concerning health and trade issues involving biotechnology. The department appointed Baker & Hostetler's Dennis Eckart, a former Democratic senator from Ohio, as the committee chairman.

Baker & Hostetler represented the government of Peru in a case with possible widespread consequences for other nations. The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in October 2000 ruled that Elliott Associates, a New York hedge fund, was entitled to all of Banco de la Nacion's assets in New York State to pay off a debt guaranteed by Peru, which ended up settling out of court for $58 million. Peru, with the law firm's counsel, had tried to pay a reduced amount under the Brady Plan that allowed for creditors to partially forgive developing nations' debt under certain terms, but Elliott refused the offer. The appeals court decision could encourage other creditors to seek full repayment of loans and thus make it more difficult for debtor nations to restructure their debt.

The Cleveland law firm in 2000 also was involved in a sensational case concerning the murder of Marilyn Sheppard about 45 years earlier. Her husband, Dr. Sam Sheppard, served ten years in prison before the Supreme Court overturned the murder conviction that led to the television series and movie The Fugitive. The follow-up trial, for wrongful imprisonment, would ultimately determine if the estate of Dr. Sheppard, who died in 1970, would be entitled to compensation for lost wages. Baker & Hostetler represented James Neff, who was writing a book on the case. Neff's research files initially were sought as evidence in this case that pitted the search for truth against First Amendment rights, but the prosecution decided to drop its requests.

After several years of working together on various projects, in 2000 Baker & Hostetler strengthened its international practice by starting a formal affiliation with Sao Paulo, Brazil's Franca Ribeiro Advocacia. Started in 1951, the Brazilian firm of 36 lawyers served mainly corporate client based in Latin America, the United States, and Europe.

As of August 31, 2000, Baker & Hostetler had 166 lawyers in its Cleveland home office. Its largest branch office, in Washington, D.C., had 80 lawyers, followed by 76 in Columbus, 48 in Orlando, 45 in Houston, 41 in Denver, 31 in Los Angeles, ten in Cincinnati, and five in Long Beach. Its litigation practice of 190 lawyers and its business practice with 156 lawyers were by far its two main concentrations.

At the end of the 1990s, Baker & Hostetler increased its gross revenues but declined in the American Lawyer 's annual ranking of the largest U.S. law firms. It went from 53rd in 1997 (based on gross revenue of $162 million), to 54th ($180 million) in 1998, to 63rd in 1999 ($191 million). The partnership of over 500 lawyers had come a long way from its original three lawyers but faced stiff competition from other large law firms. For example, its 1999 profits per equity partner of $340,000 was less than that of 90 of the other elite American firms in the annual survey. Baker & Hostetler was also not listed in the world's 50 largest law firms in a survey in the November 1998 issue of the American Lawyer .

At the start of the new millennium, Baker & Hostetler faced stiff competition from numerous large law firms, including some with many more lawyers. The United Kingdom's Clifford Chance and Chicago's Baker & McKenzie each had about 3,000 lawyers. New laws and international pacts, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, presented other challenges to the law firm's clients. While Baker & Hostetler had no overseas offices, many of its rival law firms maintained at least a few such branches in order to cope with an increasingly globalized economy. These were just a few of the situations that would impact the future of Baker & Hostetler.

Principal Competitors: Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, L.L.P. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

D'Allegro, Joseph, 'Collecting on Peru's Sovereign Debt,' Global Finance , January 2001, p. 63.
Franz, Neil, 'USDA Names Chemical Reps to Biotech Panel,' Chemical Week , February 2, 2000, p. 18.
Gleisser, Marcus, 'Law Newton Baker,' Plain Dealer (Cleveland), December 31, 1999, p. 13S.
Hagan, John F., 'Prosecutor Abandons Effort to Get Author's Notes,' Plain Dealer (Cleveland), February 4, 2000, p. 3B.
Johnston, David Cay, 'Writer Fights Subpoena in Sheppard Case,' New York Times , January 10, 2000, p. C13.
Kelly, Katherine, Foundations for the Future: A Commemorative Volume in Honor of Our 75th Anniversary: Baker & Hostetler, Counsellors at Law, LXXV, 1916-1991, Cleveland: Baker & Hostetler, 1991.
Larkin, Patrick, 'National Law Firm Opens Office,' Cincinnati Post , September 11, 1997, p. 6C.
Schiller, Zach, 'Baker & Hostetler Growing in Mergers, Acquisitions,' Plain Dealer (Cleveland), January 1, 1997, p. 2C.
Segal, David, 'In the Business of Billing? Lawyers Say a Rush for Money Is Shaking Profession's Standards Series: The Ethics Squeeze: Law Series Number: 2/3,' Washington Post , March 22, 1998, p. H01.
Welsh-Huggins, Andrew, 'Robert McAlister, Who Helped Pull Ohio from S & L Crisis, Dies,' Cincinnati Enquirer , December 11, 1999, p. C8.

Source: International Directory of Company Histories , Vol. 40. St. James Press, 2001.


Veterans Administration Center

Established as the Newton D. Baker General Hospital, U.S. Army. Named for Newton D. Baker, native of Martinsburg and Secretary of War, World War I. Opened for patients in 1944. It became Veterans Administration Center in 1946.

Erected 1965 by West Virginia Historic Commission.

Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Science & Medicine &bull War, World I. In addition, it is included in the West Virginia Archives and History series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1944.

Location. 39° 24.775′ N, 77° 54.957′ W. Marker is in Baker Heights, West Virginia, in Berkeley County. Marker is at the intersection of Baker Road and Charles Town Road (West Virginia Route 9), in the median on Baker Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Martinsburg WV 25401, United States of America. Touch for directions.

Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Stone House Mansion (approx. one mile away) Shaw Run Wetland Complex (approx. 1.2 miles away) Kearneysville Area Historic Properties (approx. 2 miles away) a different marker also named Kearneysville Area Historic Properties (approx. 2.3 miles away) Van Metre Ford Bridge (approx. 2.3 miles away) "Travelers' Rest"


Newton Baker - History

Martinsburg Evening Journal
December 27, 1937

Newton D. Baker Rites To Be Held In Cleveland Tuesday

Native Of Martinsburg, Later War Secretary Under Wilson, Dies Suddenly

Became Prominent Attorney - Son Of Physician In Martinsburg, Spent Early Life Here

A sketch of the life of Newton D. Baker will be found on page three of today's issue.

Newton D. Baker, 66, native of Martinsburg and who spent his early life here, later Secretary of War in the World War period and who as secretary mobilized the greatest United States Army in the history of this country, died Saturday at his home in Cleveland. Rites will be held in Cleveland Tuesday afternoon with interment in that city.

The short-eloquent statesman who served in the World War Cabinet of President Wilson had been confined to his bed since shortly after his 66th birthday December 3. He was first stricken several months ago in Syracuse, N. Y.

He recovered from this attack and resumed some of his law practice. As counsel for a number of utilities he recently appeared in court at Chattanooga, Tenn., in a suit involving the utilities and the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Born in Martinsburg

In the later years of his life he had withdrawn gradually from the multiplicity of interests which he cultivated after leaving public office, living quietly at his home here and visiting his law office frequently.

Baker, born in Martinsburg, was the son of a physician in the Confederate army.

Last year he resigned as chairman of the Cuyahoga county (Cleveland) Democratic central committee, a position he had held for 26 years. He said then "it is up to us older men to give the young fellows their chance."

Had Quiet Christmas

Baker is survived by his widow, one son, Newton D. Baker, third two daughters, Mrs. Margaret Wright, of St. Louis, and Mrs. Elizabeth McGean of Cleveland and five grandchildren.

Although reluctant in late years to express himself on political questions, he studied international affairs closely. A little more than a year ago, he said "the world is in the most unsafe situation I have ever seen it."

Members of the family had gathered at the Baker home for a quiet Christmas. The former War Secretary's son, Mrs. Baker, Mrs. McGean, a physician and nurse were with him when he died.

Members of the family said he was "cheerful to the last" and felt well enough to join in some of the Christmas festivities. He conferred for a while early in the day with his law partner, Joseph C. Hostetler.

Dr. Roy Scott, one of his physicians, said Baker had suffered from heart trouble for several years. Death was caused, he said, by coronary thrombosis. Baker was conscious to within a few minutes of his death.

Members of the family said he made his last visit to his law office December 3, his birthday.

Eulogized For Service

Simple services will be held Tuesday for the former Secretary of War, eulogized by prominent Americans as one of the Nation's great leaders.

Arrangements called for the body to lie in state with a military guard of honor in Trinity Episcopal Cathedral Tuesday morning.

The family asked that processions for paying last respects be formed early because the cathedral will not hold the crowds expected for the last rites in the afternoon.

Burial will be in Lake View cemetery in Cleveland, near the graves of President James A. Garfield, John D. Rockefeller, Senator Marcus A. Hanna and Ambassador Myron T. Herrick.

"Death was very sudden," said his son, Newton D. Baker, 3d. "He seemed well and happy to the end."

In Mr. Baker's service as Secretary of War with resident Woodrow Wilson in World War days, few were closer linked than Gen. John J. Pershing.

Gen. Pershing said Monday in Tucson, Ariz., "Mr. Baker was America's greatest Secretary of War." To him he gave "full credit for success of providing men and materials and their transportation to Europe."

Newton Baker Was Native This City

Spent Early Years in Martinsburg, Also Made It Point To Stop Here If Possible

Newton D. Baker, whose death occurred in Cleveland Saturday, was a native son of Martinsburg, born at the Baker home at 203 East Burke street, now owned and occupied by Dr. and Mrs. James H. Shipper.

He and his father were most intimate, and friends here said Monday morning that credit for the son's success in life should be given the father, who studied with and encouraged the son always. He was one of several brothers and, said to have been different from the average boy of the crowd, did not seek beyond his family for intimates.

He was graduated from Martinsburg High School and left immediately for college, never spending any great length of time here afterward. He returned whenever possible, however, and for years retained his membership in Trinity Episcopal Church, often attending services there when in the city for brief periods. He had spoken at gatherings of Martinsburg High School Alumni Association, in behalf of patriotic projects and political campaigns in the city.

It was said Monday that his last visits to the city were in 1936 when he stopped briefly, twice within a short space of time, while making trips to the Valley for a law case in which he was interested.

The Berkeley Bar Association, of which the deceased was a member when he began his practice in this city, sent flowers to the Baker home Monday. It was expected that Attorney Clarence E. Martin, this city, former president of the American Bar Association, would attend the rites Tuesday.


BAKER, NEWTON DIEHL

BAKER, NEWTON DIEHL (3 Dec. 1871-25 Dec. 1937), was mayor of Cleveland (1912-16) and Secretary of War under Pres. Woodrow Wilson. Born in Martinsburg, W. Va., to Newton Diehl and Mary Ann Dukehart Baker, he graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 1892, and received his law degree from Washington & Lee University in 1894. He returned to Martinsburg in 1897 to practice law before coming to Cleveland in 1899 to work in the law office of MARTIN FORAN. He was appointed assistant law director under Mayor TOM L. JOHNSON in 1902 and city solicitor in 1903. After Johnson's death, he became the leader of the county Democratic organization until 1924, remaining chairman of the County Central Committee until 1936.

Active in promoting municipal HOME RULE, Baker helped write the 1912 Ohio constitutional amendment giving municipalities the right to govern themselves. As mayor, he was influential selecting the commission to write Cleveland's first home rule charter, campaigning for its passage in 1913. He oversaw construction of a new municipal light plant (1914). Declining to run for a 3d term as mayor in 1916, he retired to practice law, founding the law firm of Baker, Hostetler & Sidlo (see BAKER & HOSTETLER).


Newton D. Baker, Jr.

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HIGHLIGHTS:
1896-1897:
Private Secretary to Postmaster General William L. Wilson
1897-1899:
Attorney in Martinsburg, WV
1899:
Attorney in Cleveland, Ohio
1901-1902:
First Assistant City Solicitor in Cleveland, Ohio
1902-1912
City Solicitor, Cleveland, Ohio
1912-1915:
Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio
1916-1921:
U.S. Secretary of War

DIED:
December 25, 1937 (age 66)
Shaker Heights, Ohio


Newton Baker - History

Know Your State
By Phil Conley
President, Education Foundation, Inc.

Number 32
Release Date:
December 8, 1962

Woodrow Wilson selected two West Virginians as members of his Cabinet - Newton Diehl Baker, Secretary of War, and. John Barton Payne, Secretary of the Interior.

Mr. Baker was born at Martinsburg, West Virginia, on December 3, 1871. He grad.uated. from Johns Hopkins University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1892. Two years later he received, a Bachelor of Laws degree from Washington and Lee University.

He served as private secretary to William L. Wilson who was Postmaster General under President Cleveland. Wilson was also a West Virginian who was born in Jefferson County.

Mr. Baker began the practice of law at Martinsburg in 1897. He moved to Cleveland and became city solicitor of that city, and later was elected mayor.

President Wilson appointed Mr. Baker Secretary of War on March 7, 1916, and he served in that office throughout World War I until 1921.

President Coolidge appointed Mr. Baker as a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague. President Hoover appointed him a member of the Law Enforcement Commission. He served also as a member of the advisory council of the National Economy League.

In The Memoirs of Herbert Hoover, he has this sentence: "Secretary of War Newton D. Baker was modest, courageous, methodical and helpful. He surrounded himself with able men, irrespective of party, and left a name high in the annals of American public service."

After leaving government service he returned to Cleveland, where he was the senior member of a large law firm. He was a director of several large corporations. He was awarded a medal by the National Institute of Social Sciences "for services to humanity." He died on December 25, 1937.

John Barton Payne, who served as Secretary of the Interior in President Wilson's Cabinet, was born at Pruntytown, West Virginia, on January 26, 1855. He attended private schools. He was admitted to the bar in 1876 and practiced law at Kingwood, West Virginia, and served as special judge of the Circuit Court of Tucker County. He also served a term as mayor of Kingwood.

Mr. Payne went to Chicago, where he practiced law and served a term as judge of the Superior Court of Cook County, Illinois. He became senior member of a large law firm in Chicago. He served as counsel to the United States Shipping Board, U. S. Railroad Administration, and chairman of the Shipping Board.

He was appointed chairman of the American Red Cross in 1921. He served this organization without salary.

He received a number of decorations including Commander Legion of Honor of France, Grand Order of Leopold II of Belgium, Grand Cross of the Order of King George I of Greece, and the Order of the Rising Sun of Japan.


Newton Diehl Baker

Newton D. Baker was born in Martinsburg, W.Va., of a family with deep southern roots. In 1892, after graduating from Johns Hopkins University, he took a law degree at Washington and Lee University. A disciple of Edmund Burke, he also admired Thomas Jefferson.

After practicing law briefly in Martinsburg, Baker went first to Washington, D.C., where he served as secretary to Postmaster General William L. Wilson, and then to Cleveland to resume practice. There his astuteness and speaking ability soon won the attention of Thomas L. Johnson, who began an extraordinarily constructive career as a reform mayor in 1901. The youngest man in Johnson's administration, Baker was also one of the most influential. As city solicitor from 1902 through 1912, he brilliantly handled most of the 55 suits brought by the traction interests to prevent reductions in streetcar fares. He also did much to publicize the inequitable tax structure.

Baker early supported Woodrow Wilson for the presidential nomination in 1912, and his success in breaking the unit rule at the convention helped assure Wilson's nomination. Baker had been elected mayor of Cleveland in 1911 and in 1913 was reelected. Furthering Johnson's ideal of a utopia of civic righteousness, he constructed a municipally owned power plant, organized a symphony orchestra supported by civic funds, improved hospital facilities, and in general raised the quality of Cleveland life.

Appointed secretary of war in March 1916, Baker served to the end of Wilson's second term. He was slow to revitalize the Army and Navy, partly because of Wilson's indecisiveness and partly because of his own pacifist leanings. He approved the decision to go to war, however, and despite much Republican criticism of his administration of the War Department, he proved a creditable, though not truly distinguished, secretary.

In 1921 Baker returned to Cleveland and the law. As successful at the bar as he had been as a municipal reformer, he was called the outstanding lawyer of the 1920s by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. Baker's practice was largely corporate. He became more conservative as he grew older and spent much of his time in the service of the utility interests he had once opposed. He was an ardent proponent of the League of Nations, and in 1928 he was appointed to the World Court. Though critical of the New Deal, he did not break with his party. Baker died on Christmas Day, 1937, and was survived by his wife, two daughters, and a son.

A gracious and learned man, Baker had an unusually open mind. Though small and slightly built, he was a powerful orator. He was widely regarded as one of the most kindly and charming public men of his time.



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  3. Braoin

    already have, and have already seen waited a long time



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