Conrad Baker, Indiana’s fifteenth governor, was born in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, on February 12, 1817. After attending Pennsylvania College in Gettysburg, Baker studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1839, and then established a legal practice in Gettysburg. After moving to Indiana, Baker entered politics in 1845, serving as a one-term member to the Indiana House of Representatives. In 1856, he ran unsuccessfully for the lieutenant governor’s office. With the outbreak of the Civil War, Baker’s political career was temporarily put on hold. He served as colonel of the 1st Cavalry Regiment of Indiana Volunteers, and was honorably mustered out of service on September 12, 1864. After his military service, Baker was elected to Indiana’s lieutenant governorship, serving from 1865 to 1867. In 1865, Governor Oliver Morton’s health failed, and Baker, who was lieutenant governor at the time, took over the duties of the executive office for five months. Upon his election to the U.S. Senate, Governor Morton resigned from office on January 24, 1867, and Baker once again assumed the duties of the governorship. Baker was elected to his own gubernatorial term in 1868. During his tenure, a women’s prison was planned, as well as a soldier’s home, a state normal school at Terre Haute, and a juvenile offenders home. After leaving office, Baker retired from politics and returned to his law practice. Governor Conrad Baker died on April 28, 1885, and was buried in Evansville, Indiana.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
Indiana Historical Bureau