Significant People of Lumber & Shingle

Photo courtesy Lawrence E. O’Donnell

Fred K. Baker

Born in Fleming, New York, on January 5, 1861, Fred Baker came to Everett in 1901 and founded the Ferry-Baker Lumber Company. The Ferry-Baker mill took over the plant of the former Rice Lumber Company on the Snohomish River. After selling his Ferry-Baker interest in 1909, he lived in Bellingham. Baker returned to Everett in 1913 to build the Fred K. Baker Lumber Company mill at the foot of 12th Street on the bayfront. In 1916 he sold a controlling interest to William M. Hulbert, and the firm was later reorganized as the Hulbert Lumber Company. Baker left Everett in 1920 to operate an Oregon mill.

Long active in the Republican Party, Baker returned a few years later to serve as director of the State Department of Public Works under Governor Roland Hartley of Everett. He achieved local notoriety in early 1957 by outliving a Manhattan Life Insurance Company policy he bought in 1899. He received a $5,000 check from the company, the full face value of the policy. Proud of his American lineage, Baker could also note that the overlapping lives of his grandfather, Dr. Abel Baker, who was born in 1789, and his own spanned the entire 170-year history of the United States. In fact, he could trace his American lineage to Reverend Nicholas Baker, who came to Massachusetts from England in 1635. Fred Baker died in July 1957 at the age of 96. He was praised by the Everett Herald as “a vibrant link between this community’s present and its past… and one of the few pioneers who lived to see the dreams of the early arrivals in this area come true.”