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Alberta, Past and Present, Historical and Biographical
Vol 2
Hon. Perren E. Baker, B. A., M. P. P.

One of the most important offices in connection with the government of Alberta is that of minister of education, which is filled by Perren E. Baker, whose thorough preparation and unquestioned ability have well qualified him for his responsibilities. He was born at Blenheim, Ontario in 1877, his ancestors having been in America prior to the Revolutionary war, and having taken part in that memorable struggle. His father, Rev. Albert C. Baker, was born at Brantford, Ontario, his mother was Sarah Gillies, daughter of Rev. Archibald Gillies,—a native of Scotland, for many years widely known throughout the English speaking counties of Quebec,—and Lucy Ives, whose grandparents were among the first settlers in southeastern Quebec, having journeyed by packhorse through the woods from Hartford, Connecticut, to make their home on the beautiful shore of Lake Mernphremagog about the close of the eighteenth century.

Perren E. Baker received his early education at Sarnia, Ontario, and completed his high school course in Quebec, where he spent two years as a student at the Feller Institute, a preparatory school. In 1900 he was graduated from McMaster University, Toronto, from which he won the B. A. degree. In 1905 and 1906 he took postgraduate work at the University of Chicago, remaining in Illinois for several years, until led by the lure of the land, he returned to his native country in 1909, and took LIP a homestead in southern Alberta, thirty-six miles south of Bow Island.

If there is one thing of which Mr. Baker is proud it is that he has himself, with oxen and horses, broken some hundreds of acres of land and has seen his enterprise growing year by year until he now holds one thousand nine hundred and twenty acres, one thousand two hundred of which are under cultivation and producing wheat where a few years ago there was nothing but the wide empty prairie. In 1921 he was chosen to represent his riding of Medicine Hat in the Alberta legislature, and in August of that year he was appointed minister of education, in which capacity he is now acting. He is resourceful in meeting the various problems which arise in connection with the duties of his office, and is actuated by a spirit of progress which takes cognizance of all improved educational methods. Loyal to the trust reposed in him, he is putting forth earnest and effective effort to place the standards of education in the province upon a high plane. He holds high standards of official service and his personality is such that he inspires the respect and esteem of those with whom he is associated.

Mr. Baker has been married twice, his first union being with Miss Laura B. Randall, whom he wedded in 1905 at Grimsby, Ontario, and whose death occurred in 1916. They had three children: Albert T., who was born in 1907; Elizabeth E., born in 1912; and Andrew R., born in 1916. For his second wife, Mr. Baker married Miss Edna Brown, at Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1920.


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