Biography of Robert Baird
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Robert Baird, Warden of the county of Bruce, and the leading grain dealer in Kincardine, is a son of William and Margaret Baird, and was born at Picton, Upper Canada, June 4, 1832. His parents were from the county of Fermanagh, Ireland. Complying with the wishes of his father, Robert limited his mental drill to the common school; farmed in Prince Edward county until 1850, when the family removed to the county of Hastings, where his father bought a farm.
In December, 1855, our subject left home; came to Kincardine, then a village of something like 300 inhabitants; clerked in a store a few months; then went into the butchering and grocery business, in partnership with Robert Reed; and they subsequently took contracts for building bridges, roads, and harbors.
In 1859 Mr. Baird went into the grain business, and for three years bought on commission. Since about 1864 he has bought for himself, and has been the heaviest purchaser in the county, paying out, on an average, from $250,000 to $275,000 per annum for grain alone. He has also dealt in lumber, wood, real estate, farm mortgages, etc., speculating in anything that turned up, and being usually quite successful in his ventures. He owns a good deal of property in the county, as well as town, and has one of the finest residences in Kincardine his accumulations being the fruit of his own industry and careful attention to business.
Mr. Baird was in the village council one year, and has been reeve since 1869, and warden since 1872, having been elected to both offices most of the time, by acclamation. His services in the municipalities of the town and County, have been of very great value, he being full of public spirit. He was very active in the adoption of measures to bring a railroad to this point, and in securing harbor improvements, both so important to the town; and was one of the devisers of means for the erection of the town hall, school houses, and public buildings generally, being inclined to push municipal as well as his own private business. No man takes more pains to further the interests of the town than Mr. Baird.
He is a member of the Church of England; has held for years, and now holds, the office of warden of the church of the Messiah, Kincardine, and is one of those stable men who honor the christian name. He is kind to the poor, and a friend to everybody.
His political affiliations are with the Conservatives, and twice he has been their candidate, in the South Riding of Bruce, once for the Dominion Parliament and once for the Local, but the district is Reform, and he was defeated both times.
Mrs. Baird was Miss Louisa Newcombe, of Kincardine, formerly of Paris, Ontario, a young lady who was highly respected by all who had the pleasure of her acquaintance. They were married October 22, 1861. Their family consists of two children, a boy and a girl, both relatives of theirs, who are being well educated and highly cared for in every way that parents can bestow upon children.