A typical pioneer, a staunch man, a patriotic citizen, and as wise and fearless a frontiersman, as entered these wild regions years since, the subject of this sketch is rightly placed with the leading and prominent men of this part of the state. He was born in Schoharie County, New York, on May 11, 1839, being the son of Joseph and Sallie A. (Gifford) Baird, the father being a milling man, died in 1864, while the mother was born in Gilbosh, New York, and died at the age of seventy-five, in 1891. In 1849 the family removed to Broome County, New York, where our subject was educated.

On April 1, 1861, he left New York City for San Francisco, arriving there on the twenty-fourth of the same month. The news of the outbreak of the Civil War had preceded him by pony express. He labored in a bakery for one year and on April 1, 1862, started for Lewiston, which he reached mi June 15, 1862. He with four companions bought a boat at The Dalles and sailed to Lewiston, fishing and hunting enroute. He was soon on the road to Elk City, but stopped at Newsome, twenty miles this side and mined there, also operating a hotel for four years. In 1871 he bought the express business from Lewiston to Elk City, and the next year put on a stage to Florence and Warren, m 1874 he was elected sheriff of old Nez Perces County and served for three consecutive terms and in 1882’was reelected. In 1885 Mr. Baird sold horses in Montana and went to Washington, D. C. to see Cleveland inaugurated and visited his old home.

In 1886 he sold more horses in Montana, then made another trip to Washington and secured the position of United States marshal for Idaho. He served two years and nine months and then gave place to Dubois, letting the latter have the one year and three months and in Cleveland’s time this same man turned against our subject. In 1889 Mr. Baird bought a hotel on St. Regis River in anticipation of the railroad. In 1893 he again took the Elk City stage and in 1894 he went into mining, having now large interests in Buffalo Hump. Thunder Mountain, and other places, while he has also bought and sold many farms.

In September, 1872, at Mount Idaho, Mr. Baird married Miss Alice, daughter of James and Katherine (Crusin) Odle, pioneers of the west. To this happy union there have been born the following children: Edna, at home in Lewiston; Lewis, at home assisting father. Mrs. Baird was born in Rosenburg, Oregon, and has two sisters and one brother, Mrs. John Rice, Emma Rice, and George. Mr. Baird has two brothers and two sisters; Lewis. William, Sarah Langdon, and May Avery.

Mr. Baird has taken thirty-two degrees in the Masonic order and was a charter member of the Mt. Idaho lodge. He is an active worker in the realm of politics and is ailed with the Democratic Party, being deeply interested in its success. He attends the County conventions and is always alert for the advancement of the Jeffersonian principles. Mr. Baird is also a member of the Pioneer Association, being one of the real builders of the Nez Perces Country.

Back to: Nez Perce Biographies

Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903