Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Joel Weaver “J. W.” Baker (1864-1933)

Telegraph operator, municipal official.

Born on 18 July 1864 to Van B. Baker (c1842-?) and Martha Baker (c1844-?), he was raised at Claysville, Washington County, Pennsylvania. He immigrated to Canada in 1892 and settled at Winnipeg, working for the Canadian Pacific Railway as Assistant-Chief Telegraph Operator (1892-1906).

A supporter of public ownership and economic administration of civic affairs, he was elected to the Winnipeg Board of Control in 1907 and also sat on the Exhibition Board Committee. In 1908, he was given a commission as Provisional Lieutenant of the 90th Regiment.

On 12 September 1894, he married Eliza Augusta Maude “Maude” Jones (1867-1854) at Winnipeg and had a son, Lincoln Thompson Baker (1896-1951). The family resided at 311-6th Avenue North (1892), 326 Ellice Avenue (1896), and 394 Kennedy Street (1906). His interests included “all manly sports,” specifically curling and baseball. He was a prominent member of the IOOF.

In 1909, he and his family moved to Melville, Saskatchewan where he took employment at the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway headquarters before re-settling to Vancouver, British Columbia in 1911 and working as a telegraph operator.

He died at Vancouver on 19 April 1933.


1870 US Census,

1901, 1906, and 1911 Canada censes, Library and Archives Canada.

Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Death registration, British Columbia Vital Statistics.

Henderson’s Winnipeg Directories, Peel’s Prairie Provinces, University of Alberta Libraries.

“September weddings,” Manitoba Morning Free Press, 13 September 1894, page 1.

“Births,” Manitoba Morning Free Press, 31 January 1898, page 7.

“Controller Baker,” Manitoba Free Press, 12 December 1906, page 10.

“The nominations,” Manitoba Free Press, 4 December 1907, page 13.

“Military matters,” Manitoba Free Press, 22 February 1908, page 20.

“Joel Baker at Melville,” Manitoba Free Press, 26 June 1909, page 16.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 16 March 2014

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