E. D. Baird, a representative of that type of public spirited business men who takes an active part in matters
of government and uses in the service of the people the sound judgment and knowledge of affairs acquired in business,
made an excellent record during his tenure of office as a member of the state legislature. He is cashier of the
North English Savings Bank and has no small influence in the management of the affairs of the Home Lumber Company,
being a stockholder, director and treasurer in that concern.
A native of Oneida county, New York, his birth occurred on the 2d of January, 1849, and his parents, Isaac W. and
Emma E. (Driggs) Baird, were also natives of the Empire state. Both the Baird and Driggs families were established
in New York in colonial times and representatives of both families served in the Continental army in the war for
independence. The father was reared and married in New York state and farmed there until 1814, when he removed
westward to Iowa. He preceded his family by several months as he desired to make things as comfortable as possible
before they took up their residence in this then new country. In the spring of 1811 they came to Iowa county and
the family home was established in a log cabin which the father erected upon his farm. He entered the land from
the government and his first step in developing his property was the breaking of the virgin prairie sod. At length
he had most of his land under cultivation, but there were other improvements to be made and he took pleasure in
adding to its value and attractiveness. In 1862 he enlisted in the Union army for service in the Civil war in answer
to President Lincoln's call for one hundred thousand men. As he was then thirty seven years of age he became a
musician in the Greybeard Regiment and until the close of the war he was at the front with that command. Upon the
restoration of peace he returned home and continued to reside upon his farm for about two years. At the end of
that time he removed to Marengo in order to give his children the advantage of better schools, and both he and
his wife continued to reside there until called to the great beyond.
E. D. Baird was but a youth when the family removed to Marengo and he attended the high school there, thus supplementing
the education acquired in the district schools. After leaving high school he taught for two years 'and subsequently
became deputy treasurer of Iowa county, serving in that capacity for eight years under both the republican and
democratic administrations, his retention in the office being a high compliment to his ability. For one year he
was deputy county auditor and in the November election of 1884 he was elected county clerk and his service in that
office was so acceptable that he was reelected, his second term expiring on the 1st of January, 1889. In May of
that year he organized the North English Savings Bank, which opened its doors for business on the 9th of May, 1889.
Mr. Baird has served as cashier of that institution during its entire existence and has been responsible for its
financial policy. Much of its continued growth and prosperity is attributable to his constant endeavor to safeguard
the interests of the stockholders and depositors and at the same time further the legitimate business expansion
of the community which the bank serves. He is a stockholder and member of the board of directors of the Home Lumber
Company, which owns and operates eight yards, and is an important factor in the direction of its affairs as he
is treasurer of the company. He is likewise connected with agricultural interests as he owns a farm of three hundred
and twenty acres in Keokuk county which his two sons operate.
On the 9th of November, 1886, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Baird and Miss Elizabeth A. Kinsman, of Sheffield,
Illinois. A native of England, she was brought to this country when a child by her parents and here grew to womanhood.
Mr. and Mrs. Baird have seven children living but were called upon to mourn the loss of one. Bessie E. is at home.
Josephine is the wife of C. G. Foster, of Simpson, Nevada. Isaac W. is farming in Keokuk county. William S. is
a clerk in the North English Savings Bank. Arthur E. is farming his father's land in Keokuk county in partnership
with his brother, Isaac W. Ruth and Edward D. are at home.
Mr. Baird has cast his ballot for the candidates of the democratic party since age conferred upon him the right
of franchise. In addition to the county offices which he has held he has served for seventeen or eighteen years
upon the board of education of North English and was the first mayor of that town after its incorporation. He was
at the head of the municipal affairs of North English for two terms and during his administration the interests
of the town were carefully safeguarded and a number of improvements inaugurated. In the fall of 1906 he was honored
by election to the state legislature from the fortieth district and as a lawmaker reflected credit upon his district
and party. He is quite well known in fraternal circles as he belongs to Triumph Lodge, No. 479, A. F. & A.
M.; Jerusalem Chapter, No. 72, R. A. M., of which he has been high priest; and Iowa Consistory, No. 2, A. &
A. S. R. He is a Mason not only in name but also in his daily life, exemplifying in his relations with his fellows
the principle of the brotherhood of man, and is equally loyal to the Methodist Episcopal church, of which he and
his wife are members. He is a trustee of his church and gives much time and thought to the formulation of plans
that will promote its welfare and no movement for the moral good of his community lacks his cooperation. He is
a man of varied interests and his well rounded character 'and broad mindedness enable him to accomplish much for
History of Iowa County, Iowa
And its People
By: James C. Dinwiddie
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Iowa County, IA
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