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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.

BAKER, Martha

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Photo courtesy: First Congregational Church

BAKER, Martha. (Dubuque, IA-Dubuque, IA, Feb. 1962). A charter member of the YOUNG WOMEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION (Y.W.C.A.) Baker, the daughter of Frances McNear BAKER, was a member of the organization's first building committee. She was also a founder of the DUBUQUE VISITING NURSE ASSOCIATION and for many years was the teacher of the infant class at FIRST CONGREGATIONAL UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST. (1)

In 1892 Baker was a founding officer of an industrial school for little girls established by the CHARITY ORGANIZATION. (2) In 1906 she joined Mrs. Herbert Adams in encouraging residents to make the exterior of their homes as attractive at Christmas as the interior. The two women encouraged people to keep their shades up, place a lighted candle in the window, and decorate with greens on the night before Christmas. (3)

In her later years, Baker fondly remembered a kiss she received at the age of three from Ulysses S. Grant at an annual charity ball given to raise funds for the HOME FOR THE FRIENDLESS, renamed MOUNT PLEASANT HOME.

Photo courtesy: First Congregational United Church of Christ

Martha Baker's home and property were willed to the church at the time of her death. Her residence was replaced by the addition of an educational wing to the church.



1. "Caught on the Fly," Dubuque Herald, December 28, 1875, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18751228&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

2. "Girls' Industrial School," Dubuque Daily Herald, February 20, 1892, p. 4

3. "Will Introduce Old-World Custom," Telegraph-Herald, December 20, 1905, p. 3

Linwood Legacies Self-Guided Tour. Online: http://www.linwoodcemetery.us/about/history/