Historical Plaque Properties

 

Herbert Wesley Baker - Dentist
91 Daly Avenue
1913

Herbert Wesley Baker was the third generation of his family to live in Stratford. His grandfather Henry Baker Sr. was born in England and emigrated to Canada as a young man. Sometime around 1845, he married Thomasine Burnard who had also been born in England. The couple had nine children before the 1861 census was taken in Stratford. Henry Sr., a blacksmith by trade had moved to Stratford where he set up shop as a wagon maker as well as plying his trade as a blacksmith. His business was located on Erie Street near Cambria. The building also housed the family’s home.

 

Henry Baker Jr., Herbert’s father, who was born in Stratford in 1848 also took up blacksmithing. He married Ethalinda Mills from Norfolk County in 1873. In the 1881 Stratford Directory it is noted that Henry Jr. was in partnership with John Morris in Baker & Morris Co. Carriage Makers and Blacksmiths located on the corner of Wellington and St. Patrick streets.


Henry Jr. and his family lived on the south side of Daly Terrace as it was then known. In the early 1900s, Henry Jr. Ethalinda and two of their children moved to Humboldt, Saskatchewan. After a few years, they returned to Stratford and bought several lots on Daly and built the house at number 89.


Herbert W. Baker was born on Daly in 1875. He would spend most of his life there! Following his early education in Stratford, he attended university in Buffalo and then went on to the Chicago College of Dental Surgery and the Royal College of Dental Surgeons on Toronto. He graduated from Toronto in 1906 and set up his dental surgery at 94 Wellington Street. While in school, Dr. Baker was a well-known athlete both in Canada and the United States. He excelled in both hockey and lacrosse.


In 1913 he married Mae Victoria Wyatt and moved into the house at 91 Daly which had been newly built by his father. Sadly the couple had a still born child within a few years of their marriage but went on the have two more daughters, one in 1918 and one in 1920.


Much of Dr. Baker’s time was spent in community service. He was a member of the Board of Park management, a member of City Council for a year, a member of the Board of Trade and was on the executive of the Stratford Hockey Club for 15 years. He also served on the board of directors of the British Mortgage and Trust Company and eventually became vice-president in 1949 until his death. He was also a member of a number of Stratford’s service clubs.


Mae Victoria died in 1949 and Herbert in 1964. They are buried in Avondale Cemetery, also the resting place of Herbert’s parents and grandparents.

 

Stratford’s Baker Street is named in honour of Dr. Herbert Baker and his brother Manley who attended Queens University as a student, professor and finally as the curator of the university museum and archives.