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 Ernest Baker

Ernest Baker

Fairchild, Eau Claire County, Wisconsin, USA
Death 10 May 1971 (aged 99)
Wendell, Gooding County, Idaho, USA
Burial Nampa, Canyon County, Idaho, USA
Memorial ID 43883840 · View Source
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My paternal great grandfather, Ernest, to my knowledge, never had a middle name. If he did it was never recorded in any official record that I have reviewed; including his death certificate and census records. Ernest was the son of German immigrants to the United States by the name of Charles Baker (or Boeker) and Christina Grissell (or Graessel)

Ernest was born on January 2, 1872, in Fairchild, Eau Claire County, Wisconsin. His father was nearly 51 years old when Ernest (the first born) was born. His mother was 31 years old at that time.

Ernest spent his youth in Wisconsin, but he apparently was not content to stay there, and around the age of 25 he left Wisconsin and moved to Arkansas along with his younger brother Wiliam. In Arkansas they attempted to grow strawberries as their business.

Soon after moving to Arkansas Ernest met and married Onie Jane Bennett, the daughter of John Paradise Bennett and Sarah Inez Collier. Ernest and Onie were married in the Bennett family home and the ceremony was conducted by the Reverend Massey of the Methodist church. The marriage took place on February 26, 1899, in Springdale, Washington County, Arkansas.

Very soon after the wedding Ernest and Onie moved half way across the country to the State of Washington and settled in Everett and then in Shohomish, Shohomish County, Washington. Christena Elizabeth Baker, my paternal grandmother, was their first born child and she was born to them roughly 10 1/2 months after their marriage in Arkansas, in Everett, Washington. Their second child, Inez E. Baker, was born in Shohomish a little over two years later in April of 1902 and the third and final child, Charles Arthur Baker, was also born in Shohomish in February of 1904.

Ernest was employed at this time by Wells Fargo (until 1906) as a driver and freight man. After working for Wells Fargo he was briefly employed as an iceman in the Shohomish area.

When the family lived in Shohomish they lived in a very nice two-story house which had a brick sidewalk and a porch in the rear of the home. And on this porch the family enjoyed a water pump, which was quite a luxury in those days. My grandmother fondly remembered those early years in Shohomish.

Ernest's sister, Minnie Baker (wife of Dexter M. Ives) had been urging Ernest to move to Idaho. So the family moved from their beautiful home in Shohomish and left Washington on an immigrant car on the Union Pacific Railroad, bound for Idaho. They settled in an arid, dusty, and very remote area in Idaho called "Sunnyside". This area was located approximately 20 miles West of Mountain Home, Idaho and just East of the Ada and Elmore county line near what is now Interstate 84. There is no town there today, and really there never was. In fact, when Ernest and his wife and three children tried to settle there, there were only two Indian families who lived in that remote area. It was homesteaded land and their time spent in Sunnyside proved to be enormously difficult. Onie had staked a desert claim on that land and Ernest had the homestead rights. They lived in a one-room house which Ernest had built himself. It was basically a small shack with a tent attached to the "home" on one side. The children slept in the tent.

Ernest attempted to dry farm this desert land, as water was very scarce in this area. In fact they had to haul water in barrels from Mountain Home (20 miles away) just for their own personal use. Thoughts of the water pump on their back porch in Snohomish must have crossed their minds numerous times in those days.

They spent four years trying to live in the remote area called Sunnyside, trying to dry farm and raise chickens and turkeys, but the coyotes in the area killed many of the poultry and the numerous rabbits in the area took a severe toll on the small garden. They finally left the area after being swindled by a man by the name of John Garrett who was promoting a deal for bringing several water canals into the area. Ernest spent many months with his four horse team working to help build these canals and he also contributed $4,000 of his money, in cash, to help build these canals. Very soon after Ernest had made his 4th payment of $1,000, Garrett left the area never to be heard from again.

At this point Ernest and family moved to Mountain Home, Idaho, and they lived there for three years. From there they moved to Caldwell, Idaho, and finally settled in nearby Nampa, Idaho.

Ernest's beautiful wife, Onie, passed away, at the age of 78, in March of 1957, in a nursing home in Nampa, Idaho. Ernest lived another 14 years after her death and he spent most of those years living in the home of his son-in-law, Arthur Gladstone Greer, with his first born child, Christena Elizabeth Baker (wife of Arthur Gladstone Greer). Ernest died on May 10, 1971, in Wendell, Gooding County, Idaho.

I remember visiting my paternal grandparents many times in King Hill, Idaho, when my great-grandfather, Ernest Baker, was living with them in his basement bedroom. He died when I was ending my Junior year in High School. He lived with them after the death of his wife Onie. I remember him as a very quiet elderly man who had some very odd habits. He never really said much to us "kids". He lived to be 99 years, 4 months and 8 days of age when he passed away.

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  • Created by: kelly greer
  • Added: 3 Nov 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 43883840
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Ernest Baker (2 Jan 1872–10 May 1971), Find A Grave Memorial no. 43883840, citing Kohlerlawn Cemetery, Nampa, Canyon County, Idaho, USA ; Maintained by kelly greer (contributor 47183199) .