Biography of Hiram Baird
Rutland County, Vt. Biographies





BAIRD, HIRAM. The ancestors of the subject of this sketch were among the very early settlers in Rutland county. John Baird came into the town of Chittenden in the fall of 1792 and purchased two lots of land which now form a part of the estate of Hiram Baird. He had a son, also named John, who came into the town with his parents, and was the second son of the family. Earl Baird, the eldest of the children, removed to Castleton and thence west. Thaddeus, next younger than John, removed to Ohio a few years after the settlement in Chittenden and died there. David spent most of his life in Chittenden and died in that town. Thomas also lived and died in Chittenden. These sons of the pioneer were all respectable farmers of the town.

John Baird 2d, the father of Hiram, was also a farmer; spent his life in the town of Chittenden and died at the house of his son Rufus, about a mile from the old homestead. His first wife was Rebecca Pearson, daughter of Josiah Pearson, who came to Chittenden from Massachusetts; lived eleven years in that town, then a few years in Pittsford, returning to Chittenden, where he passed the remainder of his life. Mr. Baird's second wife was Harriet Kilburn, daughter of Simeon Kilburn, of Chittenden. His children were Hiram (the oldest and the subject of this sketch), Joel, also son of the first wife, and now living in Chittenden; Louisa, daughter of the first wife, married Daniel Noyes of Chittenden, who recently died, leaving his widow still a resident of that town; Lester L., son of the second wife, died at Gettysburgh while serving his country; Charles V., a farmer now living in Chittenden; Jane married M. L. Dow, and lives in Plymouth, Vt.

Hiram Baird was born on the 19th day of November, 1804, in Chittenden, on the farm where he now lives. His youth did not differ materially from that of all New England sons, born of parents who were striving to make homes for their families in the early years of settlement. His educational advantages were not extensive, being confined chiefly to attendance at the district school in winter seasons, and even this ceased when he was about seventeen years of age. He remained at home, sharing the burdens of the farm labors, until he was twenty one years old, when he hired out to S. Granger Sons, then operating the furnaces in Pittsford. Three months later he returned home and for two years worked the homestead farm with his father. Succeeding this period he worked the land where Rufus Baird now lives. In the mean time he had married, in the spring after he became of age, Miss Sally Morse, daughter of Jonathan Morse, of Lester, Vt. The tract of land which he first acquired comprised fifty acres, to which he afterwards added another fifty, and worked the tract for five years. At the end of this time, his father having sold the homestead farm, Hiram returned there and purchased it; the farm then contained one hundred acres. To this has been added three hundred acres more, which is now in possession of Mr. Baird and his sons.

Mr. Baird's wife died November 25, 1880. Their children have been as follows: Franklin, born November 6, 1830, died June 3, 1883. He married first Belinda Morse, and second Ida Goodfellow; they had three children (all by the second wife), who now live with their grandfather, Hiram. Franklin Baird was a man of prominence in the community, and possessed talents and capacity far above the average. He was almost constantly honored by his townsmen with offices of responsibility after he reached manhood. He was selectman two or three years; was town clerk and treasurer fourteen years, and held the office at his death, and represented the town in the Legislature in 1867-68. He, moreover, by his general public spirit and uprightness, gained the confidence and esteem of all who knew him.

The next child of Hiram Baird was Stephen S., born October 2d, 1832; married Mary Hewitt, daughter of Charles Hewitt, and lives in Chittenden, where he is a successful farmer; their children are one daughter, Nettie, who married Alvin Eggleston and lives in Chittenden, and one son, Horace, who still lives with his parents.

Hiram Baird is an example of the self made, successful men of Vermont, so many of whom are found in all communities of the State, men who, although they may never arise to eminence, chiefly on account of their surroundings and limited opportunities, yet reach a position in the estimation of their acquaintances which is at once enviable and honorable. Mr. Baird had only passed his majority a short time when he was placed in office, that of constable first; he then held the office of lister many years; was elected selectman several years; justice of peace a number of years, and finally declined further election; town agent and trustee of public money; represented his town in the Legislature in 1866-67, and in various other ways has been tendered evidences of the confidence of his fellow citizens. Mr. Baird has been a successful farmer and acquired a competence in that honored occupation, and now in his old age, still active in body and in almost perfect mental preservation, enjoys the review of a well spent life.

From:
History of Rutland County, Vermont
Edited by: H. P. Smith and W. S. Rann
D. Mason & Co., Publishers
Syracuse, N. Y. 1886


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