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Baker, William M.


Posted By: JCGS Volunteer
Date: 2/28/2015 at 13:32:40

Wm. M. Baker Reaches His 80th Milestone
His Children and Friends Give Him a Very Pleasant Surprise Birthday Reminder
(From Newton Record)
Our old friend William M. Baker of First Avenue West rounded out his eightieth year, last Monday, May 3d, and says that he feels very little older than he did forty years ago. On Monday afternoon his children and a few friends gathered at his home, to celebrate the anniversary – giving the old octogenarian a most delightful surprise. They brought with them everything necessary for a sumptuous birthday dinner, and also many beautiful gifts, all of which Mr. Baker fully appreciated. The children present were: Bert Baker with his three children; George Baker, wife and son; and Harry Baker, wife and son. There were also Mrs. J. L. Sims and daughter, Mrs. Ada Taylor, of Long Beach, Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Ramsey, Mrs. Tacy Montgomery and Mrs. Henry Bergman.
Mr. Baker has been a resident of Jasper county for 56 years. He arrived in Newton by “stage coach” in 1864 and stopped at the old “Phelps House” on the south side of the square, Wm. Rodgers and Caleb Lamb being the landlords. In 1868, he bought the Bliss 80-acre farm 4 miles west of Newton, paying $20 per acre for it. He sold the place in 1873 – for the same that he paid for it – and bought of his father the old Caldwell farm of 120 acres, just west of the Bliss place, for which he paid $27.25 per acre. He later added 80 acres to it. He still owns the old 200-acre farm which could not be bought for less than $400 per acre.
On the 24th of October, 1867, Mr. Baker was married to Mary Jane Ramsey who died in 1882. He was again married in 1896 to Mrs. Malissa Connelly of this city, and six years later they moved to Newton, and have since occupied their pretty home on First Avenue West. Mr. Baker’s 80th birthday finds him hale and hearty, and his friends are all hoping that he may live to enjoy many additional happy anniversaries.
Source: The Newton Daily News; May 8, 1920, page 3, col. 5


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