Biography of Ira H. Baker
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

IRA H. BAKER. Taking the real measure of human life, not in length of years, but in experience and accomplishment, the career of the late Ira H. Baker was singularly rich and full. While death came to him at the age of forty one, he had succeeded in proving his value in business and in realizing the ideals of a beautiful and strong manhood. His friendships brought him in contact with many of the best known citizens of Cleveland, both among his own and his older contemporaries.

He was born at Chagrin Fails, Ohio, May 26, 1881, and died May 4, 1922, only child of Charles A. and Flora Melissa (Kelly) Baker. He was a boy of bounding vitality, a natural athlete, popular among his schoolmates and proficient in his serious work. The Cleveland Central High School athletics already centered around him for several years. He pitched for the baseball team and played quarterback and was captain of the football team.

For three years after leaving high school he was employed by the Brown Hoist Machinery Company. With this practical experience he entered Case School of Applied Science to complete his technical education as a mechanical engineer, graduating in 1906. At Case his athletic prowess realized all the prophecies made of him in high school, and his individual attainments contributed a great deal to the prestige of Case School in athletic circles in those years. He was one of the staff of pitchers and captain of the baseball team, but it was his skill and leadership as quarterback on the football team that brought him the greatest measure of fame and made the Case team one to be respected by all the colleges and universities of Ohio and the Middle West. He was captain of the eleven in his senior year. After graduating he kept up his interest in athletics at Case, his loyalty as an alumnus proving an inspiration to the coaches and managers. As a young business man he took up golf, and was accounted one of the best amateurs in the Cleveland district. He belonged to the National Golf Association, and was elected president of the Cleveland District Association in 1921, the year it was organized. In earlier years he was also interested in boxing.

After graduating from Case in 1906, Mr. Baker went to the DravoDoyle Company as manager, but subsequently he organized the mechanical engineering firm of Baker, Dunbar & Company, which, since his death, has continued under the same title. During the World war Mr. Baker was one of the prominent contractors and construction engineers in the Cleveland district. He was a captain of the American Protective League during the World war.

He was a charter member of the Cleveland Athletic Club, was a member and director of the Shaker Heights Country Club, and in college was a Phi Delta Theta. He was a former president of the Case Alumni Association, was active in the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce, and at all times exemplified the qualities of the clean sportsman and high minded citizen.

The late Mr. Baker married, November 28, 1912, Miss Inez Q. Phillips, who, like her husband, was an only child. Her parents, Charles Sawteel and Emma Jane (Quirk) Phillips, represented old time families at Cleveland. Her father, who became a horticulturist, was born in a log cabin on Doan Street, on ground subsequently used for a race track. Mrs. Baker, whose home is at 2851 South Park Boulevard, Shaker Heights, is the mother of three children, Melissa, born in 1913, Jane, born in 1919, and Ira H., Jr., born in 1921.

A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924

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