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Biographies : United States  S - T

Baird, Samuel 1817 [ Farmer ]

The eldest son, of James Baird a native of New Jersey and Nancy Blair, of Harrison County. Samuel was born July 14, 1817. The early part of his life was spent upon his father's farm. Owing to the very poor educational facilities in his vicinity in those early times, he was obliged to commence his career in life with but a very limited store of knowledge. When twenty-one years of age, he was to purchase a small tract of land, on one of the tributaries of Twin Creek, and by his own labor the same was developed. From time to time he has added to his original purchase, until he now owns about 200 acres comfortably improved, and some surplus otherwise invested.
Samuel has been thrice married. His first union was with Emmaline Edwards daughter of Francis Edwards and Sarah Hutchinson of Harrison County. This marriage occurred on Oct. 28, 1838. She was born Feb. 17, 1821, and died Sept. 18, 1848. His second marriage was on June 12, 1849, to Eleanor Edwards, sister to his first wife; she was born on Oct. 12, 1818, and died June 1, 1865. His third marriage was to Leah Conrad, who was born in 1824, and is a daughter of Benjamin Conrad, a native of Virginia, and one of the early settlers of Harrison County. Samuel Baird has five living children. By the first wife there are two sons, James T. and Francis E.; by the second wife there are two sons, Samuel P., and Russell B., and one daughter, Sallie. [ also see father James Baird and son Francis Ellis ]
History of Bourbon, Scott, Harrison and Nicholas Counties, Kentucky, Baskin & Co., Chicago, 1882.

Baird, Samuel 1841 - [ Farmer ]

Was born in Baltimore, Md., June 15, 1841, and was a son of George W. Baird and Eliza Merrell, deceased. His helpmate on life's journey was Clara Town, the nuptial knot being tied Jan. 1, 1866, in Bedford, Mich. She was a native of Ohio, where she was born Feb. 23, 1846. Three children were born to them, Minnie, Gertrude, dec., and Daisey, dec. At the age of 19 years, like many other boys of this country, he responded to the president's call for troops to put down the Rebellion. He was engaged in farming when he was enrolled Aug. 26, 1861, as a private in Co. H. Merill's Lt. Horse Cav. July 4, 1864, he was furloughed for sixty days and returned to duty at end of time. He was on special service from 1861 to 1865, except the three months spent in Arkansas under Gen. Davis. He was granted his honorable discharge Sept. 19, 1865, at Nashville, Tenn. He had two brothers in service, Matthew, who was taken prisoner and confined in Andersonville six months, and Robert, who was sick and sent home where he died. Our subject has a pension, and his address is Delton, Mich.

Baird, Dr Samuel John 1817-aft 1884 [ Minister of Religion and Author]

He is the son of the Rev. Thomas Dickson Baird, and was born at Newark, Ohio, in September, 1817. In 1839 he took charge of a school near Abbeville, South Carolina and subsequently opened a Female Seminary at Jeffersonville, Louisiana. He studied theology in the seminary at New Albany, Indiana, and finished his literary training which had been interrupted by feeble health at Jefferson College some years before, at Centre College, in 1843. After being licensed to preach, he devoted three years to the missionary work in the presbytery of Baltimore, in Kentucky, and in the southwest. For three years he was pastor at Muscatine, Iowa, then pastor at Woodbury, New Jersey until 1865. After resigning this charge, under a joint commission from the American Bible Society and the Virginia Bible Society, he labored as their agent in Virginia. In 1884 he resided at Covington, Kentucky. He is the author of "The Assembly's Digest," and a number of well-written volumes, beside several articles contributed to the Danville, Southern and Princeton Reviews.
Enclyclopedia of the Presbyterian Church in the United States, Alfred Nevin, Presbyterian Encyclopedia Pub Co., 1884.

Baird, Samuel Probasco [ Navy Lieutenant - Lawyer ]

Son of Zebulon Baird and Martha Probasco, he was born in Lafayette and educated in the common and private schools of Lafayette until 1861, when he entered the United States Naval Academy, Maryland, remaining there four years. In 1865 he was graduated with honor and became a full-fledged midshipman in the navy of the United States. The following year he was ordered for duty as a midshipman on board the United States ship "Pensacola," and in 1867 for duty as an officer of the deck on board the United States ship "Resaca." Within a few months he became navigating officer of this ship and in less than a year its executive officer, and while on duty aboard the "Resaca" he was promoted from ensign to master and from master to lieutenant.
In July, 1869, he was ordered East, and, after a short leave of absence, was assigned duty at the Boston navy yard. Subsequently he served at Mound City, New Orleans and Key West on iron-clad duty. In 1871 he was ordered to the United States Naval Academy as instructor in seamanship and naval tactics. After filling the position one year, he obtained leave of absence and soon afterward resigned his commission as lieutenant in the navy in order to take up the practice of law in Lafayette.
Mr. Baird entered upon the practice of the law as a partner and under the guidance of his father. After the death of his father, in 1877, he practiced alone for ten years and then formed a partnership with W. DeWitt Wallace, which continued until the latter was elected judge of the superior court in 1894. Since that time he has carried on his practice alone. Mr. Baird has devoted himself to the law without reserve and has neither held nor sought political office. His practice has been principally in the courts of Tippecanoe and adjoining counties and in the supreme court.

In 1881, he married Elizabeth D. Rochester, daughter of the late William K. Rochester, Esq., of Lafayette. They had one child, a son, Rochester Baird. Mrs. Baird died on May 27, 1903. In 1906, Rochester Baird graduated from the Indiana University, receiving the degree of Bachelor of Laws, and was admitted to the bar by the supreme court and the United States district court for the state of Indiana. Following in the footsteps of his grandfather and father, he commenced and is now engaged in the practice of his chosen profession at Lafayette.
Past and Present of Tippecanoe County, Indiana, 1909, Vol. 2, pp. 568-570

Baird, Sarah J.

"Realizing that there are a number of “old settlers” in Johnson county, The Chieftain last week ran a few lines asking those persons who were here prior to the admission date, March 1, 1867, to make the fact known. There have been several to report: one being: Mrs. Sarah J. Baird and son, Tecumseh S. Baird, located here in the year 1866. Mrs. Baird’s husband, James O. Baird, deceased, brought his family here by team from Illinois. There were several families in the party, including those of the late Curry Bryson and others.
Tecumseh, Nebraska, Saturday May 12th 1917. No 19

Baird, Spencer Fullerton 1823–1887 [ Zoologist ]

Spencer Fullerton Baird

The third of seven children, was born in Reading, Pennsylvania on February 3, 1823 to Samuel Baird and Lydia McFunn Biddle. The family relocated to Carlisle, Pennsylvania following the death of Baird's father from cholera in 1833. Baird entered the local Dickinson College as a freshman in 1837, receiving his A.B. degree in 1840. Following graduation, Baird attended the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York for one year, but found that he had a dislike for the medical practice and returned to Carlisle to continue with his scientific studies. During this time, Baird married Mary Helen Churchill, and the young couple later had a daughter, Lucy Hunter Baird.
He was offered a teaching position at Dickinson College in 1845 as professor of natural history, and became popular among the students for his practice of taking them out into the field to study the natural world. He became chair of both the departments of natural history and chemistry in 1848. Throughout his time as professor, Baird continued to write on subjects of natural history, quickly becoming a respected ornithologist, zoologist, and naturalist. In 1850, Baird accepted a position as Assistant Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Reportedly two freight cars were required to transport his collection of birds, lizards, fish, skins, and skeletons, weighing a total of 89,000 pounds, from Carlisle to Washington. Upon the death of Joseph Henry in 1878, Baird succeeded him as Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. In addition to this post, Baird also served as Director of the National Museum from its founding until his death and as Secretary of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences. He was an early member of the National Academy of Sciences and served as a trustee for the Corcoran Art Gallery, Columbia University, and Dickinson College.

In 1871 Baird was appointed the first U.S. Commissioner of Fisheries by President Ulysses S. Grant, and he held that position until his death in 1887. This position led Baird to spend a great deal of time in Woods Hole, Massachusetts as he was responsible for overseeing the founding of the Marine Biology Laboratory there. Spencer Fullerton Baird died at Woods Hole on August 19, 1887 and was laid to rest at Oak Hill Cemetery in Washington, D.C.

Baird, Rev. Thomas Dickson 1773-1839 [ Minister of Religion ]

He was the son of John Baird and Elizabeth Dickson, and was born near Guildford, County of Down, Ireland, December 26th, 1773. He was a student of the school at Willington, South Carolina of which Dr. Moses Waddel was the Principal, and for a time Tutor in the institution. He was licensed to preach the gospel by the Presbytery of South Carolina, April 8th, 1812, and was installed pastor of the Broadway congregation at the village of Varennes, in what was then the Pendleton district, in May, 1813. In connection with the duties of the ministry here, which he performed much to the satisfaction of the people, he conducted a large and popular classical school. In 1815 he became pastor of the church in Newark, Ohio, and continued to labor there as both minister and teacher, for five years. In 1820 he took charge of the church in Lebanon, Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, and continued to be a laborious and successful pastor until disabled, by laryngitis, for stated preaching.
Mr. Baird had an important agency in originating and sustaining those measures which resulted in the establishment of the Western Foreign Missionary Society, whose missions, being transferred to the General Assembly, constituted the basis of the operations of its present Board. In 1831 he took the editorial charge of the Pittsburg Christian Herald (in 1884, the Presbyterian Banner), and conducted the paper with acknowledged ability. He died January 7th, 1839. See also, his son, Rev. Samuel John Baird.
Enclyclopedia of the Presbyterian Church in the United States, Alfred Nevin, Presbyterian Encyclopedia Pub Co., 1884.

Baird, Thomas D. [ Farmer - Lawyer - Senator ]

Thos. D. Baird was born in Kentucky. After becoming of age he came to Crawfordsville, in this State, and commenced the practice of law there; got married and moved to this county and settled on Portage Prairie as a farmer. He came in the year 1832. He occasionally attended the courts and tried causes, but did not enter into general practice until 1837, when he went into partnership with John D. Defrees, who commenced practicing law here that year. Mr. Baird gave more attention to his farm than his profession and was not therefore a very profound lawyer, but he was an attractive speaker and a popular man. He was elected a Representative from this county in 1836, and Senator in 1837, which office he held until he died in 1842. If he had lived longer he would probably have been in Congress from this district. He had, as he deserved, the respect and confidence of the people.
History of St. Joseph County, Indiana Chicago, Chas. C. Chapman & Co. published in 1880.

Baird, Thomas Harlan 1787 [ Judge ]

Was born November 15,1787, in Washington, Penn. He was the third son of Dr. Absalom Baird and Susanna Brown, the latter a daughter of John Brown, architect. When quite young he was sent to a Latin school, taught by one of the pioneer classical teachers of that day in Brooke county, W. Va. He was called home by the sudden death of his father, and his education from that time had to be completed by his own earnest efforts and scholarly tastes.
He studied law, and was admitted to the Washington county bar in July, 1808, before he had reached the age of twenty-one. In 1818 he was selected as president judge of Washington, Fayette, Greene and Somerset counties, and continued to hold the position until 1838. During the ten years in which he practiced law he was intensely occupied in promoting by every means in power, the growth and progress of his native town. Like his father, Dr. A. Baird, he was always among the first to assist, by his hardly earned money and indomitable energy, any enterprise for that purpose.

He was a man who could not be bribed by flattery, or political offices of preferment. While on the bench his life was several times put in jeopardy, by men who resented his legal decisions when not given in their favor. An attempt was made by his enemies to have him impeached before the Legislature of Pennsylvania, for disbarring lawyer guilty of contempt of court, but they did not succeed. in spite of all their malignant and false accusations. Those who wish to ascertain the facts in regard to this case can consult the Legislative records of that day.
In 1854 an article appeared in a Philadelphia newspaper, in regard to his impeachment: "It is well known there was nothing shown in the investigation that could affect the standing of Mr. Baird, either as a judge or a gentleman. "Among the many charges brought against his, by his political enemies, when his name was mentioned for United States senator was that he was Pro-slavery. This falsehood is denied by the same writer, whom we again quote: " Judge Baird in all the relations of life has been a law-abiding, consistent and benevolent friend of the colored race, not an Abolitionist or Pro-slavery, but an American. By one single decision of his, given when on the bench of Washington and Fayette, he discharged from slavery perhaps twenty thousand slaves. [See the case of Miller vs. Dwelling, 14 S. & R. p. 442.]"

Judge Baird was of scholarly taste, and not only well versed in all knowledge pertaining to his profession, but was also a fine classic scholar. He had also studied Hebrew, and in the last few years of his life devoted much time to translating the Psalms of David, not for any purpose but his own pleasure. His home was to him the dearest place on earth, and after his retirement from the bench, upon which he was much against his will or inclination, persuaded by influential friends to remain several years longer than he otherwise would, he practiced law in the Pittsburgh bar, where he was engaged only in important cases. In 1848 he retired to his much loved home, at Harlem, his country seat on the Monongahela river.
In early life he was married to Nancy McCullough, by whom he had children as follows: Ellen B., intermarried with Dr. R. R. Reed, Washington, Sarah A., who married George Morgan, Washington, Penn.; Harriet N. Baird, Washington; Mary, intermarried with Joseph N. Patterson, Thomas H. Baird, Margaret W. Baird, residing at Washington, Penn.; Jane R., who was married to Charles McKnight, Sewickley, Penn., Susan C. and Emily G. Baird, who died in young womanhood many years ago.
Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania. Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893.

Baird, Thomas H. [ Lawyer ]

Thomas was born in Washington, Washington Co., Penn., December 17, 1824. He received his education at the common schools of the borough, and at Washington College, from which he graduated at the early age of seventeen years; and, having decided on following the legal profession, commenced the study of law in his father's office in Washington. [see Baird, Thomas Harlan ]. In February, 1846, he was admitted to the bar of Washington county, and at once commenced practice in partnership with his father, continuing (with the exception of a period hereafter referred to) until 1872 when he was elected district attorney, on the Democratic ticket in a Republican county, his opponent being John Aiken. During his term of service he was instrumental in securing the conviction of Briceland, for the murder, by shooting, of John Allenham. Briceland was found guilty after a lengthened trial, convicted, and sentenced to imprisonment for life.
In 1850, when T. McK. T. McKennan was appointed by President Fillmore, Secretary of the Interior. 'Mr. Baird was given the part of assistant chief clerk of the Census Bureau and was later honored by an appointment as clerk in the Department proper. Part of his duties were to prepare and file all papers relating to appointments and removals of officers, and among them he found some demanding his own removal on political grounds. These he filed in the regular way, the Department yielded to the demand, and decided on his removal, and he wrote out his own dismissal and came home. One month Afterward, however, he was recalled and promoted. Mr. Baird was ten years, in all, occupied in Government position at Washington. D. C., and then returned to Pennsylvania.

For some three years we next find him practicing his profession in Pittsburgh, after which he was engaged a time in the coal business on the Monongahela river. In 869 he opened a law office in Monongahela City, where he has since resided.
In 1849, while an attorney in Washington, this county Thomas H. Baird was united in marriage with Maria L King, daughter of Dr. Samuel M. King, who in 1820, came from Fayette county Penn., to Monongahela city, where he practiced his profession till his death in 1882. Two of his children are yet living in Washington county: Mrs. Baird and R. C. King, and two, Mrs. C. J. Mosely and Dr. C. B. King, are residents of Allegheny. Mr. and Mrs. Baird are the parents of two children, viz.: Frank E., an attorney at Charleroi, this county, and Maria Louise, wife of A. G. Mitchell, assistant engineer of the Monongahela division of the Pennsylvania Railroad, with residence in Monongahela City. The latter are parents of one little daughter, Maria Louise Mitchell.
Socially, Mr. Baird is a member of the Royal Arcanum, and in church connection is a Presbyterian. In 1886 he was nominated by his party for Congress, but the county proved too strongly Republican for him on that ticket, and he was defeated. Mr. Baird is a great reader, and in his profession keeps himself up to the times, having one of the finest and most complete law libraries in the county.
Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania. Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893.

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