Hon. John I. Baker was the first mayor of Beverly. Having been born there on 16 August 1812, Baker devoted himself to improving Beverly. He was interested in the idea of temperance (he was nominated for Congress and Governor on the Prohibition ticket) and was strongly against slavery.
For seventeen years he served as town clerk and selectman. He was county commissioner for sixteen years, school committeeman for twenty years, and he was in the House of Representatives for eighteen years. He also served in the state senate for two years. The list of his public service extends further still, having served on a variety of commissions. He lived to be eighty-three, and was well known and loved by the citizens of Beverly when he died.