William Baird, M. D., one of the pioneer physicians of Kansas and a director and stockholder of the Bank of Fulton, Fulton, Kan., first saw the light of day in Hocking county, Ohio, April 13, 1836, a son of John and Catharine (Smith) Baird, both natives of Ohio. William's mother died while he was still a young boy but his father remained at the family homestead and made Ohio his home until a few years before his death. The boy received his elementary education in the district schools of his native state and then entered Otterbein University of Franklin county, Ohio. On Aug. 11, 1862, he enlisted in Company E, Ninetieth Ohio infantry, and two months after joining the army he was detailed for hospital duty, serving as nurse and in the dispensary in the regimental, brigade and division hospitals until his discharge, June 13, 1865. He was in the South during the Atlanta campaign and served wherever there was severe fighting or sickness. After being mustered out of the service he came to Bourbon county, Kansas, and began the practice of medicine at Barnesville, but within a short time returned to Ohio, and entered the Eclectic Medical Institute of Cincinnati, where he graduated in 1872. Dr. Baird returned to Barnesville and within a year or two purchased a forty-acre farm of unbroken prairie, which he improved, and carried on agricultural pursuits in connection with his medical work for over thirty-one years. In 1896 he decided to rent his farm and moved into the town of Fulton, where he has since been engaged in the practice of his profession exclusively. At different times the Doctor has added to his homestead until he now owns 235 acres of the finest farming land in Bourbon county, all of which he rents. When Dr. Baird came to Kansas the land in Bourbon county was wild; there was not a bridge across any of the streams and Fort Scott was only a village. He has seen the county settle up; watched Fort Scott become one of the first cities of the state and the "Great American Desert," of which this great state formed a part, become one of the leading agricultural sections of the Union. The Doctor has made a great success of his profession, and of his business ventures as well, so that he has accumulated a comfortable fortune. He is one of the stockholders and a director of the Bank of Fulton, which is a sound and progressive institution. His fraternal associations are with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in which he has filled all the chairs in the subordinate lodge. He is also a member of the Rebekahs, and has membership in Fulton Post, No. 497, Grand Army of the Republic. Dr. Baird has always voted the Republican ticket and was elected coroner of the county by his party, but resigned as he did not care to assume the duties of that office. In 1902 he was elected a member of the state legislature for the 1903 session and served on the following committees: Education, penal institutions, public lands, and state historical society.
In Ohio on March 10, 1861, Dr. Baird was united in marriage with Olive Rierson, and to them one sonShermanhas been born.Pages 1231-1232 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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