biography from Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
John R. Baer, Auditor of Mahaska County, was born in Rockville, Park Co., Ind., on the 11th of March, 1839. His father, George W. Baer, was a native of Virginia, and while a young man went to the State of Ohio and became acquainted with Elizabeth Lundy, a native of that State, with whom he was united in marriage. Soon afterward they removed to Parke County, Ind.,and in 1842 to Sarcoxie, Mo., locating in the fall of 1844 at Oskaloosa, then a small village. Here he followed his trade as tailor for a short time, and then engaged in general merchandising, and retiring from that occupation, followed that of buying, selling and shipping stock for many years. By his thrift he accumulated a competency, which he afterward lost because he could not say No, to a friend who desired his name as security. In his early life he was an old-line Whig, and under the old laws of Iowa filled the office of Collector and Treasurer of the county for one term. His wife died in May, 1855. She was a very sincere and earnest Christian woman, foremost in every good work and word, and greatly beloved by all who knew her. The father is still living, and is with one of his children in Carroll County, Iowa. The subject of this sketch, John B. Baer, received his education in the public schools of Oskaloosa. In July, 1861, he enlisted in Co. C, 7th Iowa Vol. Inf., that being the second company raised in this county, and was with his regiment at the capture of Fts. Henry and Donelson, the battle of Shiloh, siege and battle of Corinth,. and at Pulaski, Tenn., at which place he was detailed to the commissary department under Hon. C. C. Carpenter, ex-Governor of Iowa, and acted until he was mustered out in August, 1864, at Chattanooga, Tenn. After his return from the army he engaged in general merchandising at Beacon, Iowa, which business he continued for seven years. He was appointed and served as Deputy Sheriff under ex-Sheriff Marquis Barr, now Warden of Anamosa Penitentiary. For several years Mr. Baer officiated as salesman for leading business houses in Oskaloosa, and for the two preceding his election to his present position, was traveling salesman for Knapp & Spaulding, wholesale hardware dealers of this city. In November, 1885, he was elected by the Republican voters of Mahaska County to his present position. Mr. Baer was married, Nov. 8, 1866, to Miss Frances Carnahan, a daughter of David Carnahan, Esq., of this county, and a native of Ohio, where she was born June 30, 1846. There are two children by this marriage: Nellie A., born Feb. 11, 1868, and Grace L., Jan. 21, 1875. Mr. Baer is a member of Phil Kearney Post No. 40, G. A. R., this city, and is also a member of Triluminar Lodge No. 18, A. F. & A. M. Mrs. Baer is a leading member of the United Presbyterian Church of this city. Mr. Baer has been identified with the county nearly forty-one years. There were but few settlers in the county when he came here with his father, and over our beautiful prairies the Indian roamed at will. Here and there among the groves that fringed the banks of the stream, were the houses of the pioneers of that day. By them the prairie was not considered fit to be used for any other purpose than pasturage. In the years that have passed, he has witnessed all the changes in the county, and has observed its growth from a condition of semi-barbarism to the highest type of civilization. As an officer he is efficient and popular, and his careful business training eminently fits him to discharge the duties of the position to which he has been chosen.
Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy