Merced Sun Star

July 19, 1936


Following a gradual decline due to infirmities of advanced age, William N. Baker, one of the oldest residents of this county, passed away last Friday evening at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Maude Keester, at 215 Twenty-third street.

Funeral services were held in the Welch & Griffin chapel Monday morning with the Rev. Finaly D. McMartin of Sisseton, South Dakota, officiating in the absence of his brother, the Rev. David McMartin, pastor of the Central Presbyterian Church. Vocal solos were rendered by Louis Farone, with Mrs. Douglas Ewan as accompanist. Following the services the remains were taken to Modesto for interment in the Baker family plot in the I. O. O. F. cemetery. Serving as pallbearers were James Rife, Louise Farone, Elmer B. Maze, Rufus Balaame, Albert Maze and J. C. Clary.

Mr. Baker was born in Missouri in 1853 and accompanied his parents across the plains to California in 1864. The family settled first in Stanislaus county to engage in farming and stock-raising, and in the fall of 1868 moved to Merced county, locating first in the Hickman section and moving to Snelling two years later. As a young man, Mr. Baker conducted a store in Merced Falls for a few years; then he resided for about five years in Modesto, where he served as Justice of the Peace.

In 1887 he moved to Delano, Kern county, residing there about seven years, and then moving to Santa Ana. A few years later he returned to Merced County and was engaged in farming in the Arena section until about ten years ago, when he retired and came to this city to reside. Mr. Baker was well known, especially among old-time residents of Merced and Stanislaus counties, and was respected and esteemed by all.

Surviving relatives are three daughters, Mrs. Grace Parr of Beverly Hills, Mrs. Edna Baalame of San Francisco and Mrs. Maude Keester of Merced; three sons, Dr. W. A. Baker, Merced City Councilman, and Walter and Elmer N. Baker of Santa Ana, and a sister Mrs. J. E. Clary of Merced.

Contributed by: Carol Lackey