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Jessie Morris Laird, 91, a former Baker County resident, died Feb. 21, 2001, at Spokane, Wash.
A private service is planned for the interment of Mrs. Laird’s ashes.
Mrs. Laird was born on July 23, 1909, to Robert Lee and Martha Ann Morris on their homestead on Missouri Flat northeast of Baker City.
She had seven brothers, Ed, Rob, Jerry, Sam, Wayne Bill and Mack Morris, and five sisters, Christine Morris (who died as an infant), Eva Robinson, Jane Colvin, Louise Worrell and Myrtle Perkins, who all preceded her in death.
Mrs. Morris attended Baker City schools. She and her brothers and sisters rode to school in a cart drawn by their father’s dapple gray. Because there were so few automobiles at the time, they had to unhitch the horse and turn him away from oncoming Model Ts. Otherwise the horse would rear in fright. This caused them to be tardy many times. Mrs. Laird was a 1928 Baker High School graduate. She moved to La Grande to work in the bakery there.
It was in La Grande where she met and married Robert O. Laird on May 3, 1930. They lived at Cove where they had three children: Lewis, Lowana and Laurel Lee. In 1946, they purchased a 50-acre farm on Cricket Flat north of Elgin. She and her husband worked hard there to make the farm a success.
Mrs. Laird is remembered for her charismatic personality and hospitality as well as for being a loving mother and wife. Everyone was always welcome in her home. Her outstanding ability as a cook was enjoyed by all who visited or worked on the Laird farm.
Mrs. Laird nursed her husband through a difficult illness until his death in 1965 after 34 years of marriage. She leased the farm and returned to Baker City to be close to her loving brothers and sisters. She became an active member of the United Methodist Church and Rebekah Lodge.
She loved to entertain in her home as well as to sew, garden and be a grandma to her two beautiful granddaughters, Shelley and Tammy Salvage.
In 1989, Mrs. Laird moved to Spokane when it was not longer physically possible to live alone. She lived in a private care home until her death.
Used with permission from: The Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, March 2, 2001
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor