LaSalle County

Christopher Baker


Funeral services for Aged Resident To Be Held From Evangelical Church. Christopher Baker, aged 96, possibly Streator's oldest resident, died at his home, 122 La Salle street at ?:10 o'clock yesterday afternoon, his passing being attributed to an attack of influenza which he suffered a week ago, coupled with the infirmities of old age.

Funeral services will be conducted in the Evangelical church at 2:30 o'clock Sunday afternoon, with burial following in the family lot in Riverview cemetery. Friends may call at the home for 11 o'clock tomorrow morning until the hour of the service.

The son of Mr. and Mrs. Christian Baker, Mr. Baker was born in Meersdorf, Baunschweig, Germany, October 24, 1842. At the age of eleven he was brought to America by his parents, making the trip across the Atlantic in a sailing ship, the ocean "liners" of that day. It required 12 weeks to make the trip. On occasion it seemed that the destination would never be reached, the wind driving the ship back over its course for days at time. Mr. Baker never tired of relating those experiences which made such an impression on his youthful mind. They arrived in this community ?? years ago, and it was Mr. Baker's pleasure to see the wilderness hereabouts, grow into a thriving town with factories and mines employing hundreds of people. Hardscrabble was a place of several store building.

His father was one of five brothers who married five sisters, all of whom came to America and Illinois to seek their fortune. All were farmers.

The marriage of Christopher Baker and Amelia Eberhard occurred in Mary, 1867 in the Old Evangelical church which was located two miles east of Streator. It was this church that the Baker family was instrumental in establishing after settling on the rich farms in Otter Creek township.

Mr. and Mrs. Baker became the parent of seven children, only three of whom are left, including Emeline Werner, Jesse E. Baker and Clayton L. Baker, the latter two of Otter Creek township. Fred Baker died in 1926/8 and three other children died in early childhood.

Mr. Baker retired from active farming 44 years ago when he moved to Streator, residing for many years at 611 S. Bloomington street. He later built the La Salle street home where he lived at the time of his passing. Living with him have been his son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. H. C. Werner.

Mr. Baker is the last of his immediate family. He leaves in addition to the above, ten grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Mrs. Baker died four years ago. He has been affiliated with the Evangelical church since the age of 14 and was deeply concerned about its welfare at home and in the missionary field.

Source: Streator Daily Times-Press, Friday, March 3, 1939

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