|Birth: ||Jan. 3, 1870|
|Death: ||Aug. 29, 1949|
Oct. 8, 1947 newspaper article (Eugene, Oregon area)
Goose Baker, now nearly 78, got his nickname here some 60 years ago when he shot enough geese in one season to provide 21 lbs. of down.
Goose down doesn't weigh up very fast so Baker has to admit causing part of the present goose shortage with his rifle when honkers were more plentiful.
He said Toby, his tame goose decoy, stayed with him for 24 years and a lot of old timers will remember renting Toby from him to go hunting. Toby never seemed to mind betraying the wild geese. Toby would just wait until a flock flew over and then commence honking at them.
When the wild ones dropped down for a palaver with Toby, up would step Baker with his rife and the geese would tumble from the sky.
Later when the hunting began to taper off and the pioneers started having Pageants, Goose Baker, became the star fiddler. He played in every Pageant since 1926.
He sticks pretty close to his home now at 459 Polk St. because, like he says, "I'm getting kinda crippled up." But he still plays his fiddle for neighbors who come in to set their watches by his old (120 years) weighted clock."
In an undated letter to the Editor, he states, "I am all that is left of an old pioneer family of 15 children. I was born in an old log cabin Jan. 3, 1870, on the Prairie Road, north of Irving. I have seen Eugene grow from a very few homes to what it is today. When I was a boy we had to ride horseback to Eugene once a week to get our mail, until we got a station at Irving. (It was called Yaller Dog then). I've been a farmer all my life, having only moved to Eugene two years ago - as I could not work any more. When I was nine years old I began to play the violin by ear and am what is called an Old Time Fiddler... My father, William A. Baker, crossed the plains in 1850 from Missouri and was living on our donation land claim at the time of his death..." James E. Baker
MEADOWVIEW - The Meadowview Ladies club met at the home of Mrs. L. Knudston, Wednesday afternoon, with Mrs. B. Bertelsen as co-hostess. The club will meet April 19 at the home of Mrs. C. DeYoung, with Mrs. McClellan assisting.
A potluck dinner was given in the Community room at the schoolhouse, Saturday evening, honoring Mrs. Emma Pehrson and James E. Baker, who have moved to Eugene. Mr. Baker told of the change he had witnessed during the 74 years he has lived in the community. He described the log schoolhouse he first attended which stood on the site of the present building, then the frame building built across the road, and finally the construction of the present school building. About 50 friends were present for the dinner. Gifts were presented the honor guests by the Ladies club.
Applegate Pioneer Museum
Veenta, Lane County, Ore., Scrapbook #3, p 11:
BAKER: James Elza Baker, 79, of 459 Polk Street, died Monday evening. He was the son of William A. and Mary Baker, pioneers who crossed the plains by ox-team from Missouri in early days. The family settled on an old donation land claim on the Prairie Road located between Irving and Junction City, known now at Meadowview. It was there that Mr. Baker was born on January 3, 1870. He married Blanch Deming on June 17, 1893 spending their entire life in this locality, until moving to Eugene about five years ago. He will be remembered as one of the most prominent old time fiddlers in Lane County and was an enthusiastic participant in all of the Pioneer pageants held in Eugene. Mr. Baker was a member of the Santa Clara Christian Church and a charter member of the Irving Grange. He was also a member of the Irving I.O.O.F. lodge for 38 years. He was preceded in death by his wife, Blanche Deming Baker, in July 1939. He is survived by two daughters, Mrs. Belva Schrenk of Creswell and Mrs. Florence Schrenk of Eugene, seven grandchildren, and four great-granddaughters. Funeral services will be held at Poole-Larsen Chapel at 2 p.m. Friday, with burial in Westlawn Cemetery, Rev. Claude O'Brien officiating. ~~~END~~~
Goose Baker was married to Grace Moorehouse on 13 Jun 1889 in Lane County, Oregon.
He was then married to Blanche Nellie Deming on 17 Jun 1893 in Eugene, Lane County, Oregon. They had two daughters living to adulthood: Belva DeVera Baker, Florence Ethel/Eleanor Baker. Two infants died at birth and one son, William "Fayette" Baker died at age 5 months.
William Albert Baker (1825 - 1899)
Mary Jane Prock Eccleston (1840 - 1916)
Blanche Nellie Deming Baker (1872 - 1939)
Blanche N. Baker (1872 - 1939)*
Belva DeVera Baker Schrenk (1897 - 1987)*
Florence Ethel Eleanor Baker Gillen (1901 - 2002)*
William Fayette Baker (1911 - 1912)*
Ruby Laura Baker Cleek (1853 - 1910)**
William Albert Baker (1855 - 1940)**
Cordelia Ann Baker Welcome (1856 - 1932)**
Joseph Thomas Baker (1859 - 1935)**
Amilia Anne Bushel Simmons (1860 - 1892)**
Ulysses Simpson Grant Baker (1864 - 1895)*
Elizabeth Jane Baker Ford (1865 - 1900)*
Drury Sherman Baker (1868 - 1918)*
James Elza Baker (1870 - 1949)
George C Baker (1872 - 1881)*
Fredrick Lindsay Baker (1874 - 1944)*
Robert Espy Baker (1876 - 1889)*
West Lawn Memorial Park
Maintained by: Jan
Originally Created by: Arline Poole Cox
Record added: Aug 23, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 5709425