Virgil A. Bird

VIRGIL A. BIRD has long been one of the live business factors in the Town of Bern. He is a native of Northeastern Kansas and his people were among the pioneers of Doniphan County.

Mr. Bird was born near Severance in Doniphan County September 3, 1869. His ancestors were New England people, and in that section his grandfather, Isaac Bird, spent his life. The Bird family came originally from England, and became Americans in Colonial days.

George Bird, father of Virgil A., was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, in 1834, and is still living, at the age of eighty-three, in Denton, Kansas. Reared and educated in Connecticut, he came out to Kansas in the territorial year of 1858. He settled as one of the pioneers in Doniphan County, was married in that county, and gradually developed and improved a homestead and had a successful career as a farmer. He still owns his farm of 160 acres 2 1/2 miles north of Severance, but retired some years ago. Politically he is a republican. He is a surviving veteran of the great war between the states. He served three years in the Seventh Kansas Cavalry and was with that regiment in General Sherman's army on its march to the sea. George Bird married Emma Davison, who was born in New York State in 1841. Of their children Virgil A. is the oldest. Wilbur S. is a carpenter still living with his parents. Effie May, who died in a hospital at St. Joseph, Missouri, married Charles Harless, a farmer now living in Oregon. Stella Irene is the wife of Linn Harless, a farmer in Doniphan county. George, the youngest of the family, occupies the old homestead and manages the farm.

Virgil A. Bird attended the rural schools of Doniphan County and grew up on his father's farm to the age of seventeen. Then after a year in Campbell University at Holton he began his business experience in 1887 in a general store at Severance. He was with that firm for eleven years and in 1898 he removed to Bern and became a factor in the business enterprise of the village as a restaurant proprietor. He was in that line for twelve years and in 1910 became office man for A. L Scott, and after one year was appointed manager of the A. L. Scott Lumber Company, which was incorporated in 1911. Mr. Bird has been responsible for the rapid growth and prosperity of this lumber firm and has acquired a large patronage throughout the district around Bern.

He has been prospered in a business way and besides his own home in East Bern he owns another dwelling house on East Main Street. Mr. Bird is a republican and is past chancellor commander of Bern Lodge No. 149, Knights of Pythias.

He married at Severance in 1895 Catherine F. Corcoran, of Severance. She died in 1896. In 1909, at Bern, Mr. Bird married Mrs. Eva (Cox) Lehman, daughter of P. W. and Mary Frances (Williams) Cox. Her parents live on their farm in Washington Township of Nemaha County. Mr. and Mrs. Bird have one child, Beverly Bernice, born December 22, 1910. There is also a step-son, Carl Lehman, who is now in the high school at Bern.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; transcribed 1997.
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