Doctor O. P. Baker of Fillmore County

Doctor O. P. Baker first visited in this neighborhood with “Joe” Shaub who, at that time was a buyer of grain on the Burlington Railroad track. After visiting for some time the Doctor found it necessary to go two miles out of town to the Willard Payne place to eat and sleep. During that visit he bought a quarter section of land one mile east of town, then went back to Morrison, Illinois, and told the merchants there what he had seen around Exeter, and as a result of the descriptions given regarding this country and its possibilities of development; he sold five farms without their ever coming to look at them.

In February of 1874 he built a house on the farm he had bought, and a neighbor thought the country was getting too thickly settled; so he sold his eighty acres and left for the west. In September of that year he brought a party of 275 land seekers from Illinois, and although that was the grasshopper year, he sold five farms in one day. Then again in September 1875 he brought another party numbering 265 persons and succeeded in locating 230 people within sixteen miles of Exeter.

The Doctor advertised these Nebraska lands extensively, and though at that time a nonresident, he did a great deal to help settle this country. He moved here in 1880 and has made this his home ever since, and being a Dentist he commenced practicing his profession and did the first dentistry that was done in Exeter. He continued in the business here about thirty-two years, when, owing to failing eyesight, he sold out, having worked continuously in his profession for forty-six years.


Pioneer Stories of the Pioneers of Fillmore and adjoining Counties, by G. R. McKeith, Press of Fillmore County News, Exeter, Nebraska, 1915.

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