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Commemorative Biographical Record of the County of Kent, Ontario
George M. Baird

GEORGE M. BAIRD, the present clerk of Harwich township, and one of its most highly esteemed citizens, is a descendant of one of the earliest settlers in the County of Kent.  The Baird family is of Scotch extraction, the great-grandfather, William Baird, being a native of that land, where he married and reared the following children:  William, James, David, Bessie and Margaret.

William Baird (2), grandfather of George M., was born in Ireland, where he died.  He married Margaret Campbell, daughter of James Campbell, and they had children:  David, James, William, Elizabeth and margaret A., all deceased.  After the death of Mr. Baird his widow married Samuel Arnold, of Ireland, who also left her a widow, and she then came to Ontario, where she died in 1874.

William Baird (3), father of George M., was born in 1822, in Ireland, and on September 2nd, 1848, located in Morpeth, Ontario.  There he followed shoemaking for seven years and then settled at Blenheim, where he continued to work at his trade for 15 years, after which he settled on a farm in Harwich township, three miles east of Blenheim, and there he died January 1st, 1899.  In the following October his widow removed to Blenheim, where she still resides.  Her maiden name was Jane Meredith, and she was born April 20th, 1829, a daughter of George and Mary (McMurry) Meredith, and a granddaughter of Joseph Meredith, the latter of whom was born in 1776, in Ireland, and died at the age of 96 years.   The children of George Meredith were:  Mary, Ann, George, Joseph, William, Hannah and Jane, the latter being the only survivor.  Jane Meredith married William Baird June 12th, 1851, and their children were:  George M., Margaret Ann, Elizabeth Jane, Mary Louise (deceased), Hannah Sarah (deceased) and Nellie M.

George M. Baird was born April 8th, 1852, at Morpeth, and received his literary education in the public schools of Blenheim and the Toronto Normal School.  For three years he taught in the public schools of Harwich township and then took a business course at London, Ontario.  He then carried on the farm for a few years, after which he accepted the position of accountant in a private bank at Blenheim, where he continued five years.  His official life began in 1888, when he was appointed treasurer of Harwich township, and in 1898 he received his present appointment, that of township clerk; his services have contributed very much to the efficiency of the management of township affairs.  In addition to attending to his official duties, Mr. Baird is engaged in the fire and life insurance business. 

In 1878 Mr. Baird married mary H. Rowe, daughter of Lewis G. Rowe, one fo the very early settlers of the township, and two sons and one daughter wer born to them, of whom Lewis, the oldest, only survives.  he has been thoroughly educated in the local schools and the Collegiate Institute at Ridgetown, and is a graduate of the Ontario College of Pharmacy.  Politically Mr. Baird is a Prohibitionist, and in religion he is a Methodist.  Fraternally he is a member of the I.O.O.F., and is an ardent Royal Templar.  He is an enthusiastic lawn bowler.


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