Early Evansville Portraits And Biographies
From History of Vanderburgh County, Indiana
by Brant & Fuller

L. M. Baird

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L.M. BAIRD, produce and commission merchant at No. 220 Upper Water street, was born in Spencer County, Ky., September 22, 1831. His father, Stephen Baird, a Virginian, early moved to Kentucky, there married Mrs. Sarah Pierson, nee McDonald, a native of that state, owned a plantation worked by slave labor, and was prosperous. Selling his farm, he distributed some of his slaves among his children, took some to Vigo County, Ind., whither he moved, and gave them their freedom. Purchasing a tract of land near Terre Haute, he settled there in 1833, and remained until his death which occurred six years later.

Seven years after his father's death, at the age of fifteen the subject of this mention accepted employment as a clerk, and remained so engaged in various positions until October, 1851, when, yielding to the excitement caused by the rich discoveries of gold on the Pacific coast, in company with Robert N. Gilmore, he he went to California by New York and the Isthmus. Returning to Terre Haute in the spring of 1853, he entered the clothing store of Samuel Mack, where he remained until the beginning of the next year, when he embarked in the clothing business for himself at Worthington, Green County, Ind. At this place, on Christmas day, 1856, he was united in marriage to Miss D. H. Blount, who, two years later, passed away, leaving a little daughter six months old. In May, 1859, he was married a second time, to Miss Ann E. Blount, a sister of his first wife.

It was in April, 1861 that he moved to Evansville. After traveling about a year in the interest of Roelker, Blount & Co., he accepted a situation as book-keeper with W. M. Aikman & Co., at 220 Upper Water street, remaining in that capacity until the summer of 1865, when the firm failed in business, Mr. Baird buying the stock, etc. In September, 1865, he formed a co-partnership with George H. Start, under the firm name of Baird & Start, which was dissolved after nine years of successful operation. For fourteen years past the business has been continued by Mr. Baird alone, thus making more than twenty-six years of occupancy of the same building, first as bookkeeper and then as proprietor.

Industry, integrity and wise management have been the chief factors in building his prosperity. The fruits of his efforts embrace, not only the commodities purchasable with money, but also the more valued comforts which a good reputation and a high standing in the community afford. In politics he is an ardent republican, always ably championing the principles of that party. During the campaign of 1888 as a clear and forcible card-writer, he contributed largely to the success of the triumphant party. He is a prominent member of the Masonic order, having attained the degree of Knight Templar.

Mr. Baird's second wife died in January, 1873. She was the mother of nine children, five of whom died in infancy. On December 25, 1873, his marriage to Mrs. Mary Peterson occurred. She was the mother of two children at the time of his marriage, since which six more have been born.