Biography of William Baird

William Baird is the owner of a fine and well-improved farm of eighty acres situated on sections 21 and 22, Bunker Hill Township, where he has resided since 1864. He has made his home in the county since 1846, coming here from Crittenden County, Ky., where he was born on the 22d of July, 1823. His father Simon Baird, was a native of South Carolina and his parents, Hugh and Mary (Gibson) Baird, were born on the Green Isle of Erin. When young they crossed the Atlantic to America and were married in South Carolina, where for many years they made their home. In the Revolutionary War Hugh Baird served as a faithful member of the Colonial Army and participated in many hard fought engagements. His death occurred in South Carolina, after which his widow with her youngest son, James Baird, emigrated to Randolph County, Ill., where she died when past the age of eighty years. She was a member of the Covenanters’ Church, as was also her husband.

Simon Baird, father of our subject, was the eldest of three sons, and he and his brothers, John and James, are all now deceased. In the usual manner of farmer lads he was reared to manhood and when he had attained to mature years he was married in South Carolina, where his first wife died. Subsequently he emigrated to Kentucky, where he was untied in the holy bonds of matrimony with Mrs. Sarah (Masters) Bracy, a native of Pennsylvania, and a daughter of Jesse Masters. Her father was a Frenchman, her mother born in New Jersey; some years after the marriage they, with their children, joined a colony of about sixty people who in a very early day emigrated Westward and settled in New Madrid County, Mo. A few years later Mr. and Mrs. Masters died there at a ripe old age. It was in New Madrid County that Miss Sarah Masters grew to womanhood and married Solomon Bracy, with whom she afterward removed to Kentucky, settling in Crittenden County. her husband died leaving four children and in a subsequent year she became the wife of Simon Baird, by whom she had three children: James, who resides in Talmadge, Mo., at the age of seventy years; William, of this sketch; and Samuel who resides on a farm near Plainview. he is married and has two children. The year 1846 witnessed the arrival of Simon Baird and his family in Woodburn, Macoupin County, Ill., where the husband and father spent the remainder of his days. He died at the home of our subject at the age of seventy-seven years. Mrs. Baird survived her husband some time and went to live with her son James in Madison County, where she died when passed the age of three score years and ten. Both Mr. and Mrs. Baird were members of the Methodist Church and were highly respected people whose death was sincerely mourned by many friends.

Not unlike the manner in which farmer lads usually pass their time, William Baird spent his boyhood days. he was a young man of twenty-two years when he came to Macoupin County, and under the parental roof he remained until his marriage, which was celebrated November 14, 1850, when Miss Abigail Jones became his wife. She is a native of Bunker Hill Township, and was born April 13, 1831, on a farm which she now owns. Her parents, Simon and Dorothy (Starkey) Jones, were both born in Madison County where they resided until after their marriage, when they removed to Macoupin County, here making their home until called to the home beyond. Mr. Jones, who was born in 1811, and was of Welsh descent, passed away in 1850. His wife who was born in 1812 died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Baird, on the 13th of September 4, 1889, in the faith if the Baptist Church to which her husband also belongs. They were parents of ten children, six of whom are yet living and are married and have families.

Mrs. Baird is the eldest of the family and in this county has spent her entire life. Eight children graced the union of our subject and his worthy wife, but they lost four. the living are Elizabeth F., wife of Charles Wayne, who resides on a farm in Morgan County, Ill.; Joseph G. who married Miss Cornelia A. Adams and is living in Dorsey Station, Madison County, where he follows farming; Emily A. at home; and Charles A. who wedded Miss Minnie L. Adams, who died eleven months after her marriage. Edward C. died at the age of three years; Amanda J. at the age of three years; Ada F. at the age of thirteen; and Jesse F. was killed by a bolt of lightning when a lad of fifteen years.

Mr. Baird, his wife and children are all members of the Missionary Baptist church of Bunker Hill, and are worthy and respected citizens of this community, having many warm friends throughout the surrounding county. he and all of his sons are Democrats. His life work has been farming which he has followed with good success. Until recently he was owner of two hundred acres of fine land but a short time since disposed of one hundred and twenty acres.

He has a pleasant home; a good barn, the largest improved machinery and all other conveniences of the model farm and his well tilled fields give evidence of the care and management of a thrifty and industrious owner.

Source: Chapman bros. Portrait and biographical record of Macoupin county, Illinois. Chicago: Biographical publishing company, 1891.

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