Joseph A. Baker was born on December 21, 1902 in Earlville, NY. His parents were Seymour and Annie Morgan Baker. He graduated from Earlville High School. He earned his BA Degree, in Chemistry, from Colgate University in 1923. Mr. Baker earned his Master of Arts Degree from Columbia University. In 1924, he married Edna Sprague.
Mr. Baker began his career with the Ilion School District, in 1923, teaching algebra. His superior qualifications led to his membership for six years, from 1936 through 1942, on the state committee for preparing math regents examinations. He initiated the Guidance Department, at the Ilion High School, during the early 1930's and he became a Guidance Counselor. He coached several golf and bowling teams and was yearbook advisor for 14 years. He also was as Vice-Principal of the high school. Mr. Baker was appointed Principal of Ilion High School, in 1950, and served until 1958.
He was a member of the First Baptist Church and active in church affairs. He was a member of Ilion Community Club and past president. He was also a member of Ilion Lodge 591 F&A M. He was a master of the lodge in 1946. He was a member, for twenty years, of the General Herkimer Council of Boy Scouts, serving as president for two years. He was presented with the highest award in the Council, the Silver Beaver. He was past president of the Ilion Conversation Club. Mr. Baker was an avid golfer and held the course record at Doty's Golf Course.
Joseph A. Baker died Wednesday, August 29, 1984. His funeral service was held from the Ilion First Baptist Church with interment in Armory Hill Cemetery. Mr. Baker was survived by his wife: a daughter Mrs. Marion Blann, of Ilion; two sons Robert of Marietta, GA. and Edward of Monroe, NY; a sister Mrs. Mary Knapp of Earlville; nine grandchildren; three great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
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