Baker, Oliver Edwin
- Richard S. Kirkendall
Baker, Oliver Edwin (10 September 1883–02 December 1949), geographer, was born in Tiffin, Ohio, the son of Edwin Baker, a merchant, and Martha Ranney Thomas. His mother had been a schoolteacher, and because he was a frail child she supplied much of his early education. After graduating from public school Baker went on to Tiffin’s Heidelberg College, where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in 1903 and 1904, specializing in mathematics, history, botany, sociology, and philosophy. In 1905 he earned a master’s degree in political science from Columbia University; from 1908 to 1912, after a year at Yale studying forestry, he did graduate work in agriculture at the University of Wisconsin, focusing on and mapping soils, climates, and agricultural production. During the summers he worked for the Wisconsin Soil Survey. Following a break from graduate school Baker returned to Madison to study economics, earning a Ph.D. in 1921 with a dissertation on land utilization. At the university two pioneering economists, Henry C. Taylor and ...