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BLAST FROM THE PAST - City's second oldest citizen dies

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:44 PM

May 21, 1907

The top stories in the Evening Herald on this date 100 years ago:

James Baker passes away

In the death of James Whipple Baker, which occurred at his home, No. 126 East Main Street Sunday morning at 5 o'clock the city lost its second oldest citizen in point of residence. Mr. Baker had lived in Norwalk for 88 years and the only person who can claim a longer residence is Theodore Williams, who was born in this city about 88 years ago, the two being warm friends from their youth.

Mr. Baker, the son of Timothy and Eliza Baker, was born in Fairfield, Herkimer County, N.Y., May 11, 1819, and came to Norwalk where his parents took up their residence when he was four months old.

During his residence in this city he was prominent in the business, social and church world. He was engaged in general trade in a building at the south east corner of Main and Woodlawn Avenue and later entered into a partnership with a Mr. Jennings, under the firm name of Baker & Jennings, the store being moved across from the original.

The firm existed at the time when Milan was the second greatest wheat center in the world, farmers driving for 50 and 60 miles past his door to that town to sell their wheat.

Mr. Baker was a faithful member of the Baptist Church for 71 years, holding many responsible positions during that time.

On August 7, 1843, he was married to Arathusia Berry at Fredonia, N.Y., who died in this city Dec. 20, 1882. November 4, 1886, he was married to Mrs. Anna R. Pendleton, who survives.

Dr. Patrick near death

Dr. H.W. Patrick, who makes daily trips from his home in this city to his office in Elyria, had a narrow escape from serious injury if not death while alighting from the L.S.&M.’s steam train at 9:06 Saturday night.

When the train approached the depot in this city Dr. Patrick walked to the front of the smoking car ready to alight when the train should come to a standstill. The train was moving very slowly and he descended to the lowest step where he stood a moment. When he believed the train had stopped, the surroundings being dark and the train perfectly noiseless, the doctor stepped to the platform, still holding to the handrail of the car. The train had not stopped, however, and by clinging to the rail he was pulled forward from his feet, falling between the platform and the tracks.

Finding himself in this dangerous predicament before he hardly knew it himself and had just about arisen to his knees when he was struck by the brace rod and knocked down. Not being in any danger of being injured by the car wheels, the doctor hastily concluded that it was better for him to remain prostrate where he was than to attempt to get up, thereby possibly subjecting himself to greater danger.

He lay motionless until the train came to a full stop, which was not until nearly two car lengths had passed him. Aside from the shock to his nervous system he has not as yet felt any serious inconvenience from the accident.

Will celebrate 3rd anniversary

The local aerie of Eagles will celebrate its third anniversary tomorrow night with a banquet and an elaborate invitation. Twelve candidates have offered themselves as victims to add to the happiness of the occasion.

The aerie was formed three years ago with less than fifty members, it having grown rapidly since having now an even hundred and fifty. The men to be taken in tomorrow will make a total of 162.

At this meeting the members will also formally dedicate and accept their new seven hundred dollar electric piano, which was installed a short time ago.

The festivities tomorrow evening are in charge of a committee composed of the following members: Frank Stoll, Ed Cook, Ed Thorn and Geo. Picker.

Dies after long illness

Mrs. Catherine McGinn died at her home, No. 79, State Street, this morning at 3 o’clock after an illness of several months with stomach trouble. Mrs. McGinn was in her fifty-fourth year, having been born in County Cavan, Ireland, Dec. 8, 1854. She was married in the old country to Patrick McGinn and came with him to this country in 1884, when about 30 years old.

Eight children, six girls and two boys, and one grand child survive. The children are Beasy, Mary, Catherine, Helen Marguerite, Gertrude and Arthur of this city, and James of Indianapolis, Ind. The grandchild is Geraldine McGinn, daughter of James.

— Compiled by Andy Prutsok

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