Randolph  County,  Indiana

Oscar  R.  Baker

            In  Prof. Oscar R. Baker, superintendent of the city schools of Winchester, Indiana, the people of this locality have a man whose training and ability fit him for the work he is so efficiently carrying on in all of its branches. He is a man who believes that education is essential to industry, to efficiency, to comfort and to tolerable existence; that the modern world cannot produce, distribute or exchange without education. It is recognized, he claims, that economic problems have their social and political aspects, and, he asks, can we make men efficient in industry without teaching them anything else. True it is that the mechanical progress of humanity is the result of education and the cause of further education, and hence the great need of a thorough training in the formative period of life. In all of his work Professor Baker keeps these theories well in the forefront, and his pupils show the result of his contentions. Professor Baker was born at Centerville, Indiana, September 21, 1854, a son of  Jacob and Viletta (Swain) Baker, he born in the vicinity of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and she in that of Eaton, Ohio. The paternal grandparents, Jacob and Mary Baker, natives of Pennsylvania, moved at an early day to Dayton, Ohio, where he worked at his trade of a shoemaker, and his son, Jacob, followed the same calling. The maternal grandparents were  Ira and Jennie (Shideler) Swain, natives of Ohio. In 1850 the father of  Professor Baker came to Centerville, Indiana, but he died at Green's Fork, this state. Graduated from a local academy, at the age of eighteen years Professor Baker commenced to teach school, and for two years was so engaged in the rural districts of Wayne County, Indiana, after which he was made principal of the public school at Green's Fork, Indiana. Then, leaving the schoolroom, he was connected with the drug business for six years, first at Williamsburg and later at Knightstown, both in Indiana. He then accepted the principalship of the high school at Knightstown, and held it for five and one half years, after which he came to Winchester, and, after serving for three years as principal, was made superintendent of its city schools, in which capacity he is still serving with dignified capability. His schools show the effect of his work, as well as the pupils, and he is able to obtain whole-hearted cooperation from his teachers. In 1872 Professor Baker was married to  Miss Mary Aydelotte, born at Campbellstown, Ohio, a daughter of  Jonathan Aydelotte, of Ohio. The following children have been born to Professor and Mrs. Baker:  Viletta Ellen, who is professor of Latin at Ball's Teachers College;  Frank, who is a traveling salesman, residing at Winchester;  Kate, who is a high school teacher, the wife of  Howard BrooksWynona, who lives at Cincinnati, Ohio, the wife of  Robert S. Montgomery, manager of the Chevrolet plant; and  Paul T., who resides at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, service representative of the Chevrolet Automobile Company.  Professor Baker is a member of the Presbyterian Church, of which he is an elder.  While he has always given the Republican party a loyal support, he has not cared to come before the public for office.  Fraternally he belongs to the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, the Modern Woodmen of America, the Order of Ben Hur, and professionally his connections are those, which he maintains with the National Education Association, the National Superintendents Association, the Northern Indiana Superintendents Association, the Indiana State Teachers Association and the Indiana Town and City Superintendents Association.  The Rotary Club has in him one of its active members.  Both he and Mrs. Baker stand high in public esteem, and their home, at 322 East Franklin Street, is one of the cultural centers of Winchester.
Unidentified book.
Typed by Lora Radiches  
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