Alfred Hosea Baker and Annie Arminella Jones

Alfred (Fred) Hosea Baker
6.28.1875 - 10.9.1951

Spouse: Annie Arminella Jones
10.23.1875 Winchester - 7.24.1973

Marriage: 10.6.1897

Grave: Merrickville Union Cemetery

Alfred: John Leonard Baker and Emily Ann Lawrence
Annie: Alfred Jones and Elizabeth Liscomb

Dora Edith (Jackson), Sarah Ruth (Harrison / Cassel), John Alfred, Hubert Earnest , Ola Mae (Tuck), Albert Whitney, Estella Maude (Ferguson), James Borden, Elizabeth "Libby" Emily (Kinch / Rathwell), Broder Grant, Muriel Eileen (Cook)

Armie's Ancestors
Fred's Ancestors
Hand-written Family Record - source, Eileen Wood

Fred was born at Winchester and was a member of the United Church, and L.O.L No. 33. Armie was born in Winchester Twp as well. Armie had attended school until she was 13. She wanted to go on in school, but at that time she would have had to go to either Morrisburg or Smiths Falls to go to the next school level. Armie worked on the farm until she married Fred in Winchester Springs in 1897. Fred and Armie lived in the Winchester area before spending time in Saskatchewan in the first decade of the twentieth century.

014096-97 Alfred H. BAKER, 22, Farmer, Williamsburg, Winchester, s/o John L. BAKER & Mary LAWRENCE; married Annie A. JONES, 21, Winchester, Winchester, d/o Alfred JONES & Annie LISCOM; witn Albine CRIMMON, Winchester & Sarah JONES, Ormond, 7 Oct 1897, Williamsburg

Hubert Earnest Baker was born and died March 21, 1902.

John Leonard and Fred Baker took their families from Winchester, Ontario to Saskatchewan in May of 1903. They had been preceded by Andrew Baker, who arrived in Saskatchewan in July of 1902. They made the trip by train, stopping in Smiths Falls, Carleton Place, then on to Weyburn, Saskatchewan (founded in 1899), with nothing more than what they had in their suitcases and hands. John Leonard and Emily had two children, ages 9 and 11 (Morris Grant and Nora?) with them. John and Emily's family lived in a tent that summer and part of their stable in winter until March 1904 when they built a frame house 12'x14'. The Stable was of sod and frame and was 24'x40'. They did not break any land for crops in all the years they were there. They had 2 horses, 22 cattle and 8 hogs when they first went there. They had as many as 36 cattle later on. The patent for their land title was issued April 27, 1906. We don't believe they stayed there very long after they received title to their quarter section of land.

Fred and Armie made the trip with three of their own children: Dora, Ruth and baby John (born 1901). When they arrived in Weyburn they all lived in a shack, sleeping on the floor until they could get on to the land they were going to homestead, about 30 miles from Weyburn. [From a local Saskatchewan history (Prairie Memories: Creelman and District, 1905-1980, ISBN 0-9690427-0-1), there is a listing of "Pioneers to 1905". It includes "Fred Baker - SE 36-9-11".]

When they first got onto their 160 acre homestead, they lived in a cotton tent until they built a 16'x20' sod house in July. The property was "SE Quarter, Section 36, Township 09, Range 11, Meridian W2." That first season they broke 12 acres, but they weren't able to get either a crop or a garden in their own ground, so they rented some garden space from a neighbour so they could plant a few potatoes. Fred's focus was on plowing as much land as possible, so he could plant a crop in their second season. Lumber had to be drawn thirty miles to reach their land, and sold for $100 a thousand board feet, so their first home was a sod house, as they couldn't afford a frame house. A pair of sod houses was built, one for John and Emily's family, and one for Fred and Armie' family. They lived in that sod house for the entire time they lived on the homestead - eight years. The second year, they broke 30 more acres and cropped 20. They cropped 42 acres the third year. No record after that. They had two horses and 9 cattle by 1905. The patent for their land was issued April 25, 1906. If they were there 8 years, they must have returned home around 1910 or 1911. (John Leonard and Emily returned to Ontario after four years.)

That first year was tough, with little money or food. John Leonard ("the old man") worked at a livery stable to raise money for food and fuel for winter, while Fred worked on the railroad leaving Armie to milk the cow and take care of the kids. They had four horses to work the land and break the virgin sod. After the railroad had been completed, the CPR sold off some unused land for $9 an acre. Armie purchased the 160 acres (Land description NW-31-9-10-W2 ) at the corner of their own land from the CPR on April 26, 1906. They were fortunate to dig a good well on their land, as many adjacent farms had no good water. Several of the neighbours drew water from the Baker well for years.

Hubert died as an infant (1902). Ola (1904), Ab (1906), Estella (1908) and Jim (1909) were all born in Creelman, Saskatchewan. Health issues became a problem for Armie, and after eight years, they too returned to Ontario around 1910. Libby (1912), Grant (1915) and Eileen (1917) were all born in Mountain.

Mulloy School (S.S. No. 11) between c.1912 and c.1917
Back Row: [L]ena McLean, Laura [L]anoue, Ruth Baker, Lena Brown, [H]attie Campbell, Flowd Crowder, Rowatt Jones, John Jones
Middle Row:[H]innie Robinson, Ola Baker, Ro(?) Robinson, Dorothy Larmour, Lillie Hamilton, Nettie Belway, George Brown, Albert Baker, Willie Brown, Stanley Hamilton, James Baker
Front Row: Jessie Campbell, Estella Baker, Lola Belway, Elethia Colthart, Ruth Brown, Idena Jones, Dorothy Tompson, Willee Tompson, Robert Robinson, Lula Billings, Harold Billings, Paul Brisbois

After living near Winchester, the family moved to Merrickville in 1924.

Armie moved to Kemptville in the late 1950s, where she lived out the rest of her life.

The Bakers seemed to have a peculiar habit of including the names of prominent Conservative politicians in their boy children's names. Albert Whitney after Ontario premier from Morrisburg I think, James Borden after Robert Borden who made several tours through the west in early 1900s and already prominent before becoming official leader of opposition and PM in 19teens, etc. etc. Andrew Broder and hence doubly Grant, were named after a different Andrew Broder, "the Abe Lincoln of Canada", a son of Irish immigrants, educated in US but fell for a Winchester blossom and moved to Winchester in mid 1800s. He was a prominent merchant in Winchester, prominent in the Orange Lodge and the local Conservative party, serving as MPP briefly and MP. In later life, he accompanied Bordon on his western tours and according to the Ottawa Citizen,"was a thoughtful and instructive speaker."

The following three pictures are probably all from a single day in c.1916:

Fred and Armie c.1916

John, Albert, Jim and Grant c.1916

Fred and Armie and family c. 1916

Armie (Jones) Baker in conversation with Randy Weekes, c. 1971

The move to Saskatchewan and building a sod house ... (25 minutes)
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Life in the west - teachers, preachers and chinooks ... (20 minutes)
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1901 Mountain Census

1911 Mountain Census

Undated tintype from collection of Grant and Ann Baker

Alfred and Armie, with Ross Tuck and Eileen Ferguson, c.1936

Dora, Grant and Ruth

The family while Ruth and Charlie lived in Toronto.
Back - Irene, John, Stella, Ruth, Charlie, ? and Ola.
Front - Jim and Ab, Ruth's dogs. Taken at Fred and Armie's back door

1945 - Alfred Baker and Sons

1947 - 50th Anniversary

Armie and daughters

Fred and Armie's granddaughters - "Eileen F., Rhoda, Phil + (Roger or Gordon?) Cooke, Hazel, Muriel, Patsy"

Ruth, Armie and Ola

Armie Baker and Stella, September 1971

1970 - Armie Baker - 95th Birthday

Fred's obituary Annie's obituary
Fred's obituary, 1951, and Annie's obituary, 1973