Biography of Andrew H. Baird
Andrew Hugh Baird, Mayor of Paris for the last three years, is a son of Nicol Hugh Baird, Civil Engineer, and Mary Telfer nee White, and was born in Montreal, March 1st, 1834. Both parents were from Scotland. His father spent some time in Russia, as a Civil Engineer, coming to Lower Canada three or four years before Andrew was born. The latter was educated in private; at fourteen years of age left Montreal for Paris, where he became a clerk for Charles Whitlaw, the leading flour and grain dealer in that town. While the Buffalo and Lake Huron Railway was being built, about 1856-59, Mr. Baird was for about three years paymaster for that Company. From 1870 to 1878 he was in the lumber business, manufacturing as well as selling, and since October of the last named year, he has been in partnership with Mr. Whitlaw, already mentioned, in the manufacture of flour and in the grain trade, they being the leading men in town in that line. They manufacture about fifty thousand barrels annually.
Mr. Baird is a very active and efficient business man, and has done a great deal of solid work in the municipalities of the town of Paris and the County of Brant. He was in the town council for sixteen years and has been deputyreeve, reeve, and warden (1872; was eight or ten years in the School Board; has been Mayor since 1877, and has had much to do with shaping the municipal laws and enforcing them, and with improving the Public School system of that town, Paris being somewhat noted for the high grade of its schools. For several years he took an active part in the Volunteer system; attended the Military School; took a first class certificate, and retired in 1870 with the rank of Captain. He was at one time President of the Paris Mechanics Institute, and has a hand in all local enterprises of the least consequence.
Mr. Baird was the candidate of the Conservative party for the House of Commons in 1872, and of the Local Assembly in 1879, but living in a strong Reform district, was defeated both times.
His religious connection is with the Congregational Church. His moral character is unquestioned.
He is a member of the Masonic Order, and was Master of St. John’s Lodge, No. 82, in 1877.
The wife of Mr. Baird is. Cynthia, daughter of Horace Capron, of Paris, and niece of Hiram Capron, founder of the town. They were married October 24, 1858, and have five children, two sons and three daughters, Charles, the elder son, is a clerk in Toronto; the other four are at home, receiving a good drill in the local schools.