Pgs  719 and 720

 

Past and Present of Vermilion Co.

 

 

J. F. BAIRD.

 

 

The name of Baird has through long years been closely associated with agricultural interests in Vermilion County and he of whom we write is a representative farmer and successful business man, possessing excellent executive ability, keen discrimination and marked enterprise. He was born in Brown County. Ohio. On the 7th of September, 1852 and is a son of Joseph and Elizabeth (Baldwin) Baird, the former a native of Ohio and the latter of Kentucky.

They were married in the Buckeye state and are represented elsewhere in this work.

The father had learned the blacksmith's trade in early life and followed that pursuit in Ohio until 1865 when with his family he came to Illinois, settling in Vermilion County. Here abandoning his trade he turned his attention to agricultural pursuits and is now living upon a farm in Catlin township. He has been three times married and with him resides his third wife. Independent in politics he has never sought or desired the honors and emoluments of office for himself, but has ever been earnest in support of political measures which deemed him advance local welfare or- national progress.

In the schools of his native county J Frank Baird of this review obtained his education, pursuing his studies there through the winter months until he was ten years of age, while in the summer seasons he assisted his father in the work upon the farm. After putting aside his text books he gave his entire attention to farm work, first in the employ of others and then in operation of rented land. With the family he came to Vermilion county and on Christmas day of 1877, in Fairmount, was celebrated the marriage of J. Frank Baird and Miss Jessie Freemont Browning, who was born in Danville on the 4th of May, 1857, and is a daughter of George Browning, ~whose birth occurred in Derbyshire, England. After arriving at years of maturity and in the meantime becoming a resident of America he was married in Georgetown, Vermilion county, Illinois, to Miss Emily D. Booker, a native of Virginia, and a daughter of James and Ann (Throckmorton) Booker, the former a native of the Old Dominion. A brother of Mrs. Eaird's ' great-grandfather served as a soldier of the Revolutionary war. At the time of their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Browning became residents of Danville, where the former engaged in merchandising for two years. They then removed to Fairmount, which was their home until January, 1859.  Mrs. Browning then went to Ohio for her health, but in that month died and was buried at  Plattsburg near Springfield, Ohio. In 1860 Mr. Browning was again married, his second union being with Miss Mary Reiley, of New Albany, Indiana, a native of Posey county, that state, born February 23, 1838. Her parents,  Benjamin and Mary (Dalby) national progress. In the schools of his native county J. Frank Baird of this review obtained his education, pursuing his studies there through the winter months until he was ten years of age, while in the summer seasons he assisted his father in the work upon the farm. After putting aside his text books he gave his entire attention to farm work, first in the employ of others and then in operation of rented land. With the family he came to Vermilion county and on Christmas day of 1877, in Fairmount, was celebrated the marriage of J. Frank Baird and Miss Jessie Freemont Browning, who was born in Danville on the 4th of May, 1857, and is a daughter of George Browning, whose birth occurred in Derbyshire, England. After arriving at years of maturity and in the meantime becoming a resident of America, he was married in Georgetown, Vermilion County, Illinois, to Miss Emily D. Booker, a native of Virginia, and a daughter of James and Ann (Throckmorton) Booker, the former a native of the Old Dominion.  A brother of Mrs. Eaird's ' great-grandfather served as a soldier of the Revolutionary war. At the time of their marriage Mr., and Mrs. Browning became residents of, and Mrs. Browning became residents of Danville, where the former engaged in merchandising for two years. They then removed to Fairmount. which was their home until January, 1859. Mrs. Browning then went to Ohio for her health, but in that month died and was buried at Plattsburg near Springfield, Ohio. In 1860, Mr. Browning was again married, his second union being with Miss Mary Reiley, of New Albany, Indiana, a native of Posey County, that state, born February 23, 1838.Her parents, Benjamin and Mary (Dalby) Reiley, were both natives of England, were married in that county- and afterward came to the new world, locating first in Illinois. Subsequently they removed to Ohio and some years later returned to Vermilion County, where Mr. Reiley died July 9, 1897. His wife still is living and survives him and is living in Vance Township.  By his first marriage Mr. George Browning had three children:  Evangeline, Eva and Jessie F. the last named the wife of our subject. By the second marriage there were ten children: Harriett -Angeline, the wife of Smiley Baird, a resident of Homer, Illinois, and they have five children: Fannie B., the wife of Joshua Wragg. of Springfield. Ohio: George Harrison, who wedded Alice CluKton, who with their one child reside in Urbana, Illinois; Albert B., of Gibson City. Illinois, who wedded  Lucy Wilson. By whom he has one child: Walter, born in 1872 and died June 9, 1899 ; Mary B.. the wife of J. R. T. Barton, of Jamaica. Illinois, by whom she has one child;  Nevina, who is at home; Ruth. Who died in 1897, a twin sister of Nevina: J. Oscar, a resident of the state of Washington; and Ethel B., still with her parents.

After his marriage J. F. Baird of this review rented a tract of land which he continued to cultivate for six years. He then purchased the farm upon which he now resides, becoming the owner of one hundred and eighty-five acres, a valuable tract on sections 6 and 7, Vance Township.  Here he has a splendid residence, good barns, and all the equipments and accessories of a model farm of the twentieth century. He has placed his land under a high state of cultivation and everything about his place is neat and thrifty in appearance, indicating the careful supervision of the owner. The improvements upon his farm stand as monuments to his enterprise and are substantial evidences of his life of well directed labor.

The home of Mr. and Mrs. Baird has been blessed with three children: Earl Ray, w ho was born October 28, 1878, and assists his father on the farm; Emily Ethel, who was born -August 31, 1882, and died August 20,1883, and Pearl B., who was born November 14,1885, and is now an accomplished music teacher. The family attended the services of the Baptist church of which Mr. Baird is a member and fraternally he is connected with the Court of Honor and the Knights of the Globe, while in his political views he is a Republican, unfaltering in support of the principles of the party. The greater part of his life has been passed in Vermilion County, where he has gained a \vide acquaintance among the best classes of citizens. In his business interests he has prospered and although he started out in life for himself empty handed he has steadily worked his way upward, brooking no obstacles that could be overcome by honest and earnest purpose. Thus he has gained the place of affluence. Being to-day classed among the substantial agriculturists of his community.