Sheriff Joseph H. Baker

Sheriff Joseph H. Baker

Portage County Sheriff's Department, Wisconsin

End of Watch Tuesday, October 12, 1875

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Joseph H. Baker

Sheriff Joseph Baker was shot and killed when he attempted to serve an eviction notice and other court papers to a pair of brothers.

Sheriff Baker was outside the premise and was shot by one of the brothers who had fired from a second-floor window. The sheriff was taken to a nearby house, where he died the following day. Both suspects were taken into custody a short time later.

A week later, an angry mob broke into the jail and hanged both suspects. The suspect who shot Sheriff Baker had served several years in New York's Sing Sing Prison for murder.

Sheriff Baker had served four years with the 18th Wisconsin Infantry during the Civil War. He received a severe wound at the Battle of Shiloh. He entered the war as a private and came out as a 1st Lieutenant.

Sheriff Baker was serving his second term as Sheriff of the Portage County Sheriff's Department. He was survived by his wife and four children.


  • Age 40
  • Tour 6 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Monday, October 11, 1875
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Lynched

civil papers, eviction

Most Recent Reflection

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No passage of time can ever erase your service and sacrifice. Rest in peace always.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

October 12, 2020

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