Dr. Thomas Callum Baker was born on Wolfe Island, Ontario on the 18th of April, 1857. Dr. Baker was the 3rd of 6 sons born to John Baker and the former Mary Dawson. His parents were farmers and his siblings were; Michael, John (who died at the age of 11 months), James (who died at the age of 2 months), Frances and Joseph.
Dr. Baker received his medical training at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He graduated M.D.,C.M. in 1888. According to the 1892 Ontario Medical Register, Dr. Baker joined the College of Physicians and Surgeons on the 30th of October, 1890.
According to the 1891 census, Dr. Baker was residing in Chatham. Also on the 1891 census it is recorded that his father was born in Ireland, and his mother was born in Ontario. He was listed in the 1895,1897 and 1900 Farmers and Business Directory as practicing medicine in Chatham. In the 1895 Farmers and Business Directory, it states that Dr. Baker was on the Board of Health. He was also listed in the 1896 Chatham City Directory, with an office located on Fifth St., near Wellington Street.
Around 1901, Dr. Baker had moved to Arnprior, Ontario and by 1908, Dr. Baker was practicing medicine in Stayner (Simcoe County), Ontario.
On the 16th of December, 1908, Dr. Baker married Harriett ‘Hattie’ Honsberger in Niagara Falls, New York. Mrs. Baker was born in Creemore (Simcoe County), Ontario on the 23rd of January, 1871. She was 2nd of 10 children born to Isaac James Honsberger and the former Joanna Newman. (Previously, her father had been married to Mary Newman and they had 2 children; Catherine A. Honsberger and George Valentine Honsberger. After Mary Honsberger died of diphtheria in 1867 at the age of 24, Isaac Honsberger married her sister, Joanna Newman). Mrs. Baker’s parents were farmers and her siblings were; Mary Elizabeth Honsberger, Edward J. (who died at the age of 2), Allen Richard Honsberger, William Franklin Honsberger, Helen Augusta Honsberger, Thossie Alexandra Honsberger, Frances Pearl Honsberger, Edith Irene Honsberger and Maida Muriel Honsberger.
Mrs. Baker was a widow when she married Dr. Baker. She was married to Dr. John Honsberger (same last name as her maiden name. Dr. Honsberger was the son of Abraham Honsberger) on the 10th of October, 1894 in the tiny community of Banda, Nottawasaga Twp., (Simcoe County) Ontario. Dr. John Honsberger died on the 16th of June, 1906 in Staynor. He was 39 years old at the time of his death and he was buried at Christ Church Cemetery in Banda, Ontario. Mrs. Baker and her first husband Dr. John Honsberger had 4 children together. Their first child was a daughter named Joanna Marie Honsberger who was born on the 16th of February, 1897 in Welland County, Ontario. Joanna died on the 2nd of March, 1904 at the age of 7. The second child, a baby girl was stillborn on the 4th of November, 1899. Their daughter Martha Daphne Honsberger was born on the 30th of April, 1901. A son named John Honsberger was born on the 16th of November, 1906….5 months after Dr. Honsberger died. It is unknown if baby John survived infancy.
On the 22nd of October, 1909 Dr. and Mrs. Baker welcomed a son named Frederick Honsberger Baker (born in Staynor). In 1912, Dr. Baker was practicing medicine in Grimsby, (Lincoln County) Ontario when another son, named Herbert Thomas Baker arrived on the 4th of May. A daughter Harriett Muriel Baker was born in 1915.
According to the 1921 census Dr. Baker resided or was staying at a hotel located on Jasper Avenue in Edmonton, Alberta. Mrs. Baker and the children were living near Vineland Station (Lincoln County). Mrs. Baker listed her occupation as a fruit grower and she was living on her own farm. Dr and Mrs. Baker both listed their status as married on the 1921 census.
Dr. Baker died in 1922 in Empress, Alberta. Mrs. Baker died on the 15th of September, 1945. Just 4 months later, their son Frederic Honsberger Baker died on the 15th of January. Mrs. Baker and her son were both buried at Victoria Lawn Cemetery in St. Catharines, Ontario.
*Dr. Baker’s brother, Dr. Michael Baker practiced medicine in Denver, Colorado.
**Mrs. Baker’s cousin, Dr. Curtis Richard Newman is also featured on the Chatham-Kent Physician Tribute website.