Visit the Sentinel Tribune website
September 04, 2013
Baker farm recognized as a Century Farm
Baker farm actually established several years before the Baker’s owned it
|Nancy and Dean Baker show the sign and cetificate they received for their Century Farm Designation.|
|Tom Merchant photo|
WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) -- Walnut Grove — Bruce’s great grandparents Melvin and Celia first moved to Walnut Grove from Annawan, Illinois. They came to Walnut Grove on the train in 1910 with their four children and livestock which came along in a cattle car on the train.
Baker was unsure how many children his great grandparents had, but he thought it was at least four. They purchased the land located on the south edge of Walnut Grove from a farmer who owned it.
The original farm site was located where Country View Estates is now located. The Bakers now live about a mile away across on the section on the opposite corner.
Baker said his grandfather Wilbur and his grandmother Bernice bought out the estate of Melvin and Celia around 1935. Bruce’s father, Clair, and his two brothers Donn and Miles became the next owners after Wilbur and Bernice’s estate was sold in 1984.
The farm Bruce and Nancy Baker live on now was jointly owned by the three brothers. Bruce's father Clair and his wife Betty had three other children, Brian, Barbara, and Brent.
Bruce and Nancy purchased the place they now live on from a cousin’s wife Mrs. Kevin Baker in 2010.
The Bakers have three sons Todd, Ryan, and Trent. Todd and his wife, Micara, live in New Market, and have three children Sophie, Eva, and Grant. Ryan and his wife, Marissa, live in Walnut Grove, and have one son Nolan. Trent and his wife, Kristy, live in Walnut Grove.
Bruce talked about his grandpa Wilbur. He said he was quite conservative — at that time things were not too good on the farm. They really had to struggle to make their payments on the farm. They really gave up a lot to keep the farm going — a lot of the things we take for granted now, they had to do without — there were no safety nets for them back then.
Wilbur was one of the last farmers in the area to give up using horses, even though he did have tractors. He also was one of the last to quit using threshing machines to thresh the grain in the late fifties, by that time most farmers had already begun using combines to harvest their grain.
Bruce said he has seen quite a growing gap of Ag knowledge between the rural and urban areas. He wonders if farmers are doing enough to tell the real story of agriculture. He noted that there is a lot of misinformation about farming that gets publicized by the urban media — the connection between rural and urban is getting much further apart.
The Bakers received their designation as a Century Farm through Redwood County. The Century Farm designation for the award is made by the Minnesota State Agricultural Society and the Minnesota Farm Bureau.
Bruce and Nancy hope when the time comes their boys will want to keep the continuity of the Baker family farm going into the future.
Baker said, “being born and raised on the farm I always figured I would eventually be on the family farm. I am happy that at least one or all of our boys will eventually come back to farm.”
The Bakers said their genealogy has lead them as direct descendants back to the Mayflower. Nancy is currently doing research and hopes to someday go farther into the family origins of the Baker name.
© 2013 Sentinel Tribune
Westbrook, Minnesota. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from STPNS