Woman of the Century/Louise S. Baker
BAKER, Miss Louise S., Congregational minister, born in Nantucket, Mass., 17th October, LOUISE S. BAKER. 1846. Her parents were Arvin and Jerusha Baker, the latter of Quaker descent, and the former a Methodist in faith and a man of broad spirit. Louise was the only daughter among five sons. She was educated in Nantucket and was graduated from the high School in 1862. While well versed in mathematics, her specialty showed itself as linguist and elocutionist. She began to teach at eighteen, and at twenty-two was assistant in the high school in Pawtucket, R. I. Later, on account of her mother's semi-invalidism, she remained with her parents at home, receiving private pupils in the languages and English literature. From 1877 to 1880 she spent much time in Boston, speaking in the interest of the Massachusetts Woman's Christian Temperance Union. She was chosen to read a paper before the Suffolk County Medical Society, calling attention to the lessening of the use of alcohol in medical prescriptions. The paper was well received, and a large edition was printed for circulation. On one of her visits home she was invited to preach in the Baptist church, and subsequently supplied that pulpit many times when the society was without a pastor. In November, 1880, Miss Baker was invited to preach in the First Congregational Church in Nantucket, for one Sunday. She was the acting pastor of the Old North Church for more than seven years, being ordained by that body in 1884. She was a member of the church, having united with it in 1866. Repeated family bereavements caused her to quit active work for a time, and in 1888 she withdrew from pastoral labors. She still responds to frequent demands for pulpit and public service, and the record of her work shows attendance at nearly two-hundred funerals, twenty-one marriages and a number of baptisms. She has preached by invitation in other cities, and is very active in her own community. In the pulpit her manner is earnest, reverent and impressive. She has done considerable literary work in essays and lectures. As a writer, her style is terse and condensed. She has published a volume of poems under the title of "By the Sea." Her home is in Nantucket.