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Below is a family biography included in the book, Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published by Chapman Publishing Company in 1895.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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GEORGE L. BAIRD, one of the representative mercantile men of Center View, is a native of Illinois, and was born in Albany, Whiteside County, July 21, 1859. Coming to Missouri, however, when a mere child, this state has been the scene of his trials and triumphs, and justly claims him as her own. He was the son of George W. and Libby H. (Henry) Baird, and was one of seven children, of whom six are still living.

George W. Baird, the father of our subject, was a native of the Buckeye State, where his birth occurred in 1827. He spent his early life in steam-boating, serving in the capacity of clerk on some of the principal steamers plying the Ohio River, and also filled that position on the lower Mississippi. Deciding to change his occupation, he emigrated to Kansas and launched into the nursery business, engaging in that work for about seven years. Finding himself very successful in that line, he came to Missouri, and, locating in Center View, continued in the business with great success until 1870, when he sold out and moved to Lebanon, remaining there until his death, which occurred August 11, 1872. He was a man of integrity, his word being considered as good as his bond, and in his death the community sustained a severe loss.

The mother of our subject survives her husband, and presides over the home of her son George L. Though advancing in years, she still retains her sunny, ready disposition to look on the bright side of things, and her home is one of peace and comfort. Beloved by all who know her, she is passing her latter days in the consciousness of a rest well earned.

The subject of this sketch was reared at home, and, as his educational advantages were cut short by the death of his father, he, in company with his brother, manfully faced the necessities of the case, and at the age of thirteen years assumed the responsibility of maintaining the family. Though the father left his family well provided for, the management of the estate was a great undertaking, and as the sisters had to be educated, that responsibility was added, too. The brothers assumed the obligation, and were successful in the undertaking. This early training taught our subject a self-reliance that he could otherwise not have acquired, and it has in a measure been the cause of his later successes.

At the age of eighteen years our subject learned the carpenter’s trade, and plied his plane and chisel for about eleven years, continuing, however, to make his home under the parental roof, except when called away by his work. During this time he acted as foreman of the building department of the Ft. Scott & Gulf Railroad, and later served in the same capacity for the Wyandotte & Northwestern Railroad for about two years, making his headquarters at Kansas City, and at Atchison, Kan.

Deciding to change his occupation, in the fall of 1887 our subject came to Center View, and, with the money he had saved, launched into the grocery business in this place. In this line his success was gratifying indeed, and so encouraging were his prospects that he decided to embark in general merchandising. Having gained the confidence of the people, he found it an easy matter to establish a paying business, and his prosperity was continuous until January 6, 1894, when a fire swept away his store and its entire contents. This was a great loss, the stock being insured for only about one-half its real value; but Mr. Baird was not discouraged, and before six months had passed on the site of the ruins the model store building of the village was in process of erection. In his new building he continues to serve not only his old customers, but many new ones, and all are treated with due courtesy and kindness.

Mr. Baird is yet a young man, and he looks toward a still more promising future. Realizing that energy and push are the price of success, he steadily presses forward, and his name is already prominent among those of the citizens of Center View. Politically he is a Republican of stanchest principles, and ever faithful to the support of his party. Socially he is identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of which he is a worthy member. All benevolent objects find ready sympathy in Mr. Baird, and he is much esteemed by all those with whom he has been brought in contact.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the Johnson County, Missouri portion of the book,  Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published in 1895 by Chapman Publishing Co.  For the complete description, click here: Johnson County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Johnson County, Missouri family biographies here: Johnson County, Missouri Biographies

View a map of 1904 Johnson County, Missouri here: Johnson County, Missouri Map

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