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WAS born in Hagerstown, Maryland, June 15, 1765.
The Hagers and Kershners were his immediate relatives. His father
died when he was two years old, leaving two children—Jacob, aged four,
and Martin. Mr. Baum, in his later years, was fond of relating his
various adventures when a youth, crossing the Alleghany Mountains with
the sutlers' trains of supplies to Wayne's army, then fighting the
Indians in the North-western Territory. He was afterward engaged in
surveying in New Jersey, and is supposed to have come West with a
surveying party, probably with John Cleves Symmes. His great tact
and judgment in selecting the finest localities in South-western Ohio
would seem to indicate that he profited by the knowledge thus acquired.
Witness his selection of the Yellow Springs, Greene County, where he
once owned three or four sections; also lands near Miamisburg; and again
five or six miles above Hamilton, Butler County, where he located his
mother and his half-brothers. He selected Cincinnati for his future
residence in 1795, and from that time to his death, he was one of the
most prominent, energetic, enterprising of her citizens. He married, in
November, 1804, Miss Ann Wallace, sister of Mrs. Judge Burnet, at whose
house the wedding took place, in their then new brick house, where the
Burnet House now stands. Mr. Baum immediately built a brick residence on
Front Street, north-west corner of Sycamore Street, his place of
business being a log-house (weather-boarded) right on the corner, his
garden running back about two hundred feet to the residence of his
brother-in-law, Samuel Perry.
Mr. Baum engaged in every thing that would advance
the prosperity of Cincinnati ; owned an interest in the first
steamboats, on one of which D. K. Cady was clerk ; in the first steam
flour-mill, located at the foot of Broadway; in shipping produce to New
Orleans, and bringing back in his barges sugar, coffee, tea, and all
groceries from thence; with Judge Burnet, in the first sugar refinery,
of which Jacob Guelick was manager and afterward owner. He was for
some time president of the Miami Exporting Company Bank ; was the first
mayor; was interested in the first public library ; the Cincinnati
College; was president of the building committee of the Second
Presbyterian Church, recently torn down, on Fourth Street, between Vine
and Race Streets; was very much interested in the construction of the
Miami Canal; he was president of the companies that selected and bought,
at the land-office in Wooster, in 1817, the lands on which Fremont,
Maumee City, and Toledo are now located. He built, in 1820-1823, the
large house east of Pike Street, afterward owned by Nicholas Longworth,
and at present the residence of David Sinton, probably as commodious,
and delightful a residence still, after the lapse of sixty years, as any
in the city. After this active and useful life, Mr. Baum became
involved, through indorsements and losses, and saw a large part of his
fortune swept away. He died, December 14, 1831, during an epidemic of
influenza, which carried off a number of citizens. He left a widow
and six children—four sons and two daughters—of whom only two, Mrs.
Mary P. Ewing, widow of Alexander H. Ewing, and Mrs. Eleanor Hartshorn,
widow of Charles Hartshorn, now survive.
Source: In Memoriam
Cincinnati 1881, Cincinnati, A. E. Jones, Publisher, 1881.
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