JOHN BAIRD, one of the progressive and up-with-the-times farmers of White River township, was born near New Madison, Darke county, Ohio, November 21, 1824. His father, John Baird, a native of Pennsylvania, was born July 28, 1775. He was first married in Pennsylvania to Mrs. Sarah Lee, a widow, and three children were born to them. Sarah, James, and Elizabeth. After the decease of this wife he moved to Ohio and settled near Columbus, was married to Miss Jane Ballard, and immediately moved to Darke county and entered a quarter section of government land, where he lived, died and was buried. His profession was that of a wagon-maker, and in all kinds of wood work was a skillful mechanic for those early days. His mother, Mrs. Martha Baird, came with him from Pennsylvania; his grandfather, John Baird, died in that state, and the grandmother died in Ohio at the advanced age of eighty-five years. The father of the second John Baird, Jr., in his day used to make wooden mold boards for ploughs and truckle wagons. By his second wife he had four children, Indiana, Fanny, Rebecca and John -John, the youngest, and of whom we shall write, being the only one remaining of the children of the first and second wives. His father died August 7, 1833, aged fifty-seven years. He died of cancer in the nose. The son remembers the father well, although but nine years old at the time of his decease. The father was a great hunter and had many thrilling narratives to relate of his adventures. He was a stanch Presbyterian, and once whipped his namesake for whistling on Sunday. He was justice of the peace twelve years previous to his death. He was a prominent man in his county for that early day and in good circumstances.
John Baird, Jr., remained in the old home until he was twenty-one years of age, attending school in the winter months. Arriving at his majority, he left home to learn the brick laying trade with Jason Downing, who married Rebecca, his youngest sister, September 21, 1848; he was married to Sarah Ann Woodbury, daughter of Nathan P. and Susannah (Jennings) Woodbury, all natives of Ohio. His wife was born February 7, 1829, and in this marriage thirteen children were born; the oldest died in infancy: Nathan James, born June 14, 1851; Lindzy, born August 16, 1852; Charles, born July 10, 1854; David F., born April 22, 1855; Michael, born October 6, 1856; William, born October 26, 1857; Fanny, born December 19, 1858, Susannah, born February 13, 1860; Elizabeth J., born June 14, 1861; John Baird Jr., born July 23, 1863; Melinda, born January 11, 1866, and of this number seven now are living. Mr. Baird worked at brick laying at intervals for eighteen years in connection with farming. By purchase and inheritance he became the possessor of forty-two acres of the old home place, where he lived until August 30, 1870, at which date, with his family, he came to Randolph county, where he has since remained engaged in farming. He has been administrator of numerous estates in Ohio and this county, but has never aspired to any office, being too busy with the affairs at home. In politics he is a straightforward republican, but before the Pierce administration voted the democratic ticket, but the Missouri compromise disgusted him. It is interesting to hear Mr. Baird relate his adventures with wild animals in early pioneer days -especially with wolves -and the winter firesides are made more pleasant by these tales of the times that tried men's souls.
A PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF DELAWARE AND RANDOLPH COUNTIES, IND., A.W. Bowen & Co., 1894