Partial Transcript: This is Steve Fricker. It is Thursday, July 22nd, 1993 approximately 10 a.m. I am talking with Squire Baker in his home, uh, in Manchester, Kentucky.
Segment Synopsis: Baker describes his personal background and does an overview of the Baker family history. Baker's grandfather came from North Carolina to Oneida, Kentucky. His grandfather had two families, one from a previous marriage, and one from a later marriage. Baker's grandfather split the land he was entitled in Oneida between the two families. He transferred land to his wife, Squire Baker's grandmother. At the time the size was several hundred acres. When she passed away in 1916, Squire Baker's grandfather divided the land seven ways between his children with the help of three commissioners. Squire's mother inherited a sizable portion. At the time, Squire Baker himself was 6 years old. He says he has lived on the farm since 1916.
Keywords: Children; Families; Gender and inheritance; Gender roles; Grandparents; Heritage farms; Inheritance; Land grants--Kentucky.; Land inheritance; Parents; Traditional farming--Kentucky.
Subjects: Agriculture--Kentucky; Family farms; Family history.; Inheritance and succession.; Land grants.; Oneida (Ky.); Traditional farming.
Partial Transcript: Uh, how i, how is inheritance with the family farms in this area generally handled, with, with other farms?
Segment Synopsis: Baker graduated high school in 1930 then attended college at Eastern Kentucky University in 1931. He never finished his degree, however, since he went into military service for World War II. During 1942 Baker served on a B-17. Baker’s plane was shot down during a bombing mission over Düsseldorf, Germany. Baker survived but was captured. He was held captive in a concentration camp in Austria for 540 days. At that point he and others were evacuated out of the concentration camp. They spent a month on the road escaping out of Russian territory and into the U.S. line. Unbeknownst to Squire Baker, back home his friends entered Squire's name into a county election for county clerk. When Squire Baker returned from the war he became a county clerk and continued as county clerk for 36 years.
Keywords: Bombing; County clerks; Deeds; Elections; Enlistment; Local government; Military service; Pilots; Planes; U.S. Army; WW2; WWII; Wills; World War II
Subjects: Agriculture--Kentucky; B-17 bomber.; Concentration camps; Düsseldorf (Germany); Eastern Kentucky University; Education.; Family farms; Family history.; Oneida (Ky.); Traditional farming.; World War, 1939-1945--Prisoners and prisons; World War, 1939-1945--Veterans.
Partial Transcript: When we were talking you said you went to Eastern, uh, uh, and did you, uh, did you teach after?
Segment Synopsis: Baker details his extensive job history from before his military service. Baker first taught in a one-room school house, Brown Mission, for one year. When he was unable to secure a teaching job for the following year Baker moved to California and joined the Civilian Conservation Corps for a year. Afterward Baker returned home to Oneida, Kentucky to re-do a required teaching certificate. When the bomb hit Pearl Harbor Baker was working on the police force. At this point Baker decided to join the army. Baker has not taught since before the war, as when he returned he became county clerk. Baker also discusses his community in Oneida (which he estimates has about 300 people) and his family including his wife, Evelyn, whom he married in 1947, their 5 daughters and 1 son, and their 11 grandchildren.
Keywords: Children; County clerks; Elections; Families; Grandparents; Heritage farms; Local government; Military service; Parents; Traditional farming--Kentucky.; U.S. Army; WW2; WWII; World War II
Subjects: Agriculture--Kentucky; Eastern Kentucky University; Family farms; Family history.; Oneida (Ky.); Pearl Harbor (Hawaii); Traditional farming.; World War, 1939-1945--Veterans.
Partial Transcript: Tell me a little bit about the farm itself. Wh, what, what's the farm like?
Segment Synopsis: Baker shares a wealth of details about the crops and livestock raised on his family farm, from when he was a child into adulthood. During Baker's childhood his father worked on the farm. Baker's father would clear timber. He farmed the land with a pair of mules and a single plow. Baker's father grew corn, oats, and sometimes soy beans. Baker's father also made efforts toward conservation by growing cover crops. Like Baker, his father also joined the military, serving 3 years in the Philippines during the Philippine Insurrection. In addition to raising crops on the farm Baker's father also raised livestock. Baker recalls as a child accompanying his father and his uncle on trips to the market where they would sell their hogs. Baker's father raised cattle, horses, mules, and for a time sheep. Their neighbors often helped. Their neighbors would help when it was time to slaughter the hogs or when it was time to spin wool from the sheep. Baker recalls they also had cattle, including milk cows that provided milk. Baker's mother would churn the milk into butter.
Keywords: Acres; Butter; Cattle; Conservation; Corn; Cover crops; Dairy; Ducks; Eggs; Growing; Hens; Hogs; Horses; Livestock; Markets; Milk; Milk cows; Mules; Oats; Philippine Insurrection, Philippines, 1899-1902; Plows; Sheep; Slaughter; Soil; Soy beans; Wood; Wool
Subjects: Agriculture.; Children; Crops.; Families; Grandparents; Heritage farms; Oneida (Ky.); Parents; Richmond (Ky.); Traditional farming--Kentucky.
Partial Transcript: Did, uh--when your, when your father died did you take over farming operations full time or...?
Segment Synopsis: Baker took over farming operations after his mother and father's deaths. He switched the farm from raising mostly corn to raising mostly hay and tobacco. He allotted 2-3 acres specifically for tobacco. Currently (at the time of this interview) the Baker family farm raises tobacco, alfalfa, and cattle. Baker also discusses changes within the community of Oneida. Baker says that in the past, members of the community were very willing to help each other out. If a farmer in the community was sick neighbors would band together to help out by tending to the fields, hoeing corn, or whatever other work needed to be done on the farm. They called days when this took place "work-ins". Typically the male neighbors would do the outdoor work and the female neighbors would work indoors making dinner or bringing water out to the field. Typically this happened during the spring, when corn really needed to be plowed. Baker's family would help out other families in this fashion, when it was necessary. Generally, neighbors were not compensated financially during "work-ins" as there was a mutual understanding that the only compensation received would be a home-cooked meal.
Keywords: Acres; Brush; Cattle; Community; Corn; Hay; Hoes; Plowing; Plows; Rocks; Tobacco
Subjects: Agriculture--Kentucky; Crops.; Family farms; Family history.; Inheritance and succession.; Oneida (Ky.); Traditional farming.
Partial Transcript: What about, uh, uh, recreation? What did you, your brothers and sisters do for recreation when you were growing up?
Segment Synopsis: Baker talks about how he and his siblings did not have a lot of time for recreation. However, when they did have time, they would swim and fish over the weekends. Sometimes they would see a tennis match. For the most part, their recreation was their work. On the farm they would play on the riverbanks or in the fields. They would play with each other, their neighbors, or most often their cousins. At the time in Oneida it was common to socialize with family and neighbors. Some of the social events Baker participated in as a child were family reunions, going to church, and going to the houses of other family members or neighbors. At school Baker and the other school children would play baseball using a ball and bat the children made themselves.
Keywords: Baseball; Basketball; Childhood; Children; Cousins; Fields; Fishing; Playing; Recreation; Riverbanks; Swimming; Tennis; Tennis matches; Weekends
Subjects: Agriculture--Kentucky; Families; Family farms; Family history.; Games.; Oneida (Ky.); Traditional farming.
Partial Transcript: The family farm in which you grew up, how did it compare to other farms in the area?
Segment Synopsis: Baker finds that the size of his family farm during childhood was comparable in size to other family farms in the area. Most of the farms in the area were small. Baker's farm got electricity just before 1940. Most of the farms in the area got electricity at that point. While growing up, Baker's family did not have electricity or running water. They fed their livestock while carrying kerosene lanterns to light their way. They also used a gas well on their property (as of 1933) to help heat things up. The gas company allowed Baker's family to freely use gas from the well in exchange for drilling rights. Baker says that while they did without electricity earlier during his childhood, that having electricity ultimately ended up helping the farm especially when it came to having a washing machine. Baker also talks about water on his farm. They would fetch their water from a 30-foot dug well. Baker also talks about the house he stayed in as a child, a 2-story log house. His childhood home was torn down during the late 1930s.
Keywords: Butane; Electricity; Energy; Families; Fireplaces; Gas lanterns; Gas lights; Gas wells; Heat; Heritage farms; Houses; Inheritance; Kerosene; Kerosene lanterns; Land grants--Kentucky.Children; Land inheritance; Livestock; Log houses; Parents; Traditional farming--Kentucky.; Washing machines
Subjects: Agriculture--Kentucky; Families; Family farms; Family history.; Oneida (Ky.); Traditional farming.