Biography of George W. Baxter

A particularly well-known grain and cattle raiser of the San Joaquin Valley, George W. Baxter has lived in this section of the State since 1874, and during that long stretch of time has been a part of the growth and development of his district, where he is prominent as an agriculturist and a man of fine business integrity. Born in Colchester County, Nova Scotia, June 5, 1865, he is the eldest of eight children born to his parents, J. C. and Agnes (Miller) Baxter, mentioned elsewhere in this history. George W. received his education in the Appling school, and later, in 1895-96, took a business course at the Ramsay Business College in Stockton. With his father and brothers he engaged in sheep and wool growing until 1878; in dry years, such as 1877, they drove their flocks into the mountains as far as Inyo County, Owens Valley, where feed was plentiful. His uncle, the late Robert Baxter, who had preceded the family to Merced County, was one of the successful pioneer grain ranchers of the valley and died at their home ranch in 1884. He was the inventor of the Stockton Gangplow which has been such an important factor in grain development in the entire country.

When twenty-four years old, George W. Baxter went into the grain-raising business on his own responsibility on an extensive scale, planting as many as 2500 acres at times, and raising large quantities of wheat and barley, always ranching in the Appling district. He became well known as a breeder of excellent work stock, having raised more fine mules than any other individual in this part of California, with shipments into Arizona, New Mexico, and even to the Hawaiian Islands, besides supplying local markets. His property embraces 1000 acres of choice land in Merced, Mariposa, and Madera Counties, and 240 acres at Plainsburg, being a taxpayer in three counties. He attributes his success largely to persistency of effort despite reverses, for he has taken the “ups” with the “downs” and won out by staying at the helm in all kinds of weather.

The marriage of Mr. Baxter, occurring at Santa Cruz, California. on October 17, 1888, united him with Fanny Taylor, born on Dry Creek near Snelling, Merced County, a daughter of William Fielding and Elizabeth Ellen (Inman) Taylor. Six children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Baxter: Nelly A., deceased; Wallace W., married Leona Grow and has a daughter Nellie, and is a rancher at Le Grand; Alvin, rancher at Le Grand, married Helen Walker; Ellen A., a teacher, now deceased; Glenn W., at home; and Mary E., at home; all natives of Merced County. Two sons, Alvin and Glenn, served their country during the World War. Alvin served in the United States Navy for four years, and Glenn went into training at Stanford University for six months. A Republican in politics, Mr. Baxter has always voted for the men and worked for the measures which meant the future development and upbuilding of his district and the country at large. He has served for twenty years as trustee of the Appling school district, and has been active in other civic and educational affairs. Fraternally, he belongs to the Odd Fellows, both the Lodge and Encampment at Merced, and to the Merced Camp, M. W. A.

Source: Outcalt, John. A history of Merced County, California : with a biographical review of the leading men and women of the county who have been identified with its growth and development from the early days to the present; Los Angeles, Calif. : Historic Record Company, 1925.

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