Death of Alexander Baird:
Contributor: MargieW Created: 3 years ago Updated: 3 years ago
Alexander became partly paralyzed with a stroke before he passed away on 31 December 1914, at Mink Creek, Idaho, age 82, and was buried in Brigham City, Utah.
Obituaries of Alexander Baird:
“Alex Baird, Formerly of Brigham City, Dies in Idaho." Deseret Evening News. 2 January 1915: 8.
Brigham City, January 1 - Word was received here this morning of the death of Alex Baird at Mink Creek, Idaho, late last night by John E. Baird of this city. Mr. Baird was for many years a resident of this city and his family is now here.
Alex Baird was well known in early years as an amateur actor in Salt Lake City. After coming to Brigham City from Salt Lake in the early days, he followed his theatrical inclinations and for many years was a leader in the production of plays here.
One of the most notable events of his life was his service in the United States Navy. He joined the Navy in 1851 and served three terms. He was under Commodore Perry. For many years after leaving the Navy, Mr. Baird was a sailor.
He came to Utah in 1863. During his life in this city, he served in various public capacities. He was Deputy Sherriff of Box Elder County for many years and later served as night watchman for the city. Mr. Baird was the father of 22 children most of whom survive him. The body will be brought to this city for interment in the Brigham City Cemetery. Funeral services will be held Monday at 2 pm.
“Former Brigham Man Dies at Mink Creek, Idaho.” Box Elder Times. Brigham City, Utah. 7 January 1915.
Alex Baird Answers Last Call at the Advanced Age of Eight-Three Years.
Word reached this city the last of the week that Alexander Baird, one of the early settlers of this city, had died at Mink Creek of advanced age and debility. He was eighty-three years of age having been born in Scotland in 1832. At the age of fourteen years, he became a seaman and followed the life of the sea for many years after he came to America. Most of his experience on the sea was gained under the American flag and he had the honor of being one of the men in Commodore Perry’s famous expedition to Japan to open the ports of that country to our commerce. He served on American war vessels and narrowly escaped death when the battleship USS Alabama was sunk by the Confederates during the Civil War. He was released from service on that vessel only a short time before it was lost.
During the civil war, Mr. Baird came to Utah, and he lived in Brigham City during the late sixties. He later moved to Mink creek, Idaho, where he lived until the time of his death.
The body was brought to this city where funeral services were held in the Fourth Ward, Monday afternoon. He was the father of twenty-two children and is survived by fourteen of them.
“Alex Baird Goes to Final Rest.” Box Elder News. Thursday, 7 January 1915.
Just as the year 1914 was about to close, the Angel of Death summoned Alex Baird to his final rest and the tired and aged spirit gladly answered the summons. Mr. Baird passed away at his home at Mink Creek, Idaho, and the cause of death was general debility. For many years he had been too feeble to wait upon himself, and he often expressed the desire to be released from this earthly tabernacle, and be permitted to pass on to the other side where he had wives, children, and a host of friends.
Alexander Baird lived a remarkable Life. He was born at Paisley, Scotland, 10 January 1832. When but a boy of fourteen years of age, he heard Mormonism proclaimed by some Elders and became convinced of its truth. He joined the church and the following year went to sea, sailing about from port to port for three years. Then, he came to America and upon landing at New York, enlisted in the United States Navy. He reenlisted three times serving out three full terms. Through the efforts of his wife, his fourth enlistment was cancelled, and he remained at home. The USS Alabama, the ship on which he enlisted, was one of the first to be sunk during the Civil War and it occurred, just a short time after Mr. Baird secured his release.
In 1852, he accompanied Commodore Perry to Yeddo, Japan, on that remarkable expedition which opened the ports of Japan to the world. As the ship sailed into the harbor every man stood by his gun ready to open fire should any opposition be encountered, but the Commodore was gladly received and from that date, Japan has developed by leaps and bounds.
The following year Mr. Baird was back again to Japan with Admiral Faragut, and in succeeding years his service saw patrol duty along the coast of Africa watching for slavers. He visited practically every important shipping port of the world, and had a fund of reminiscences that would fill volumes.
He came to Utah in 1863, making a short stop at Salt Lake City. Then coming to Perry where he resided for some time and was called by President Lorenzo Snow to come to Brigham City and take charge of the dramatic activities that were then started. In this capacity, the name of Alex Baird became a household word for he was remembered and beloved by old and young for the splendid entertainment, which he helped to supply. All the older people will remember vividly, his interpretation of the father, the leading role, in that famous old temperance play, “Ten Nights in a Bar Room,” as well as other parts which he essayed in some good moral dramas, which were presented. He never tired of this work until age made such inroads upon his constitution as to make it a burden for him to get about. In later years, with a younger generation as his support, he presented some of these old-line plays.
Dramatics did not occupy all his time, however, for he served for many years as deputy sheriff under Sheriff Sheldon Cutler and also under Sheriff C. Loveland. He also served as city night watchman for twelve years. Mr. Baird possessed one strong qualification for this kind of work, he was fearless as a lion, and never did he cringe at the sight of danger, but just waded right in and performed his duty.
He had a love for the late President Lorenzo Snow that amounted to little short of abject devotion. It was said of him at his funeral that he would have willingly stood between President Snow and all the powers of hell in order to protect the life and person of his beloved President. By President Snow he was appointed to superintend ………g of the waters of Salt ………. they would flow down into ………. instead of overflowing the ……….ds which is now producing ………... He also superintended the planting of the double rows of shade trees from the CSL Depot to Main Street and in many other ways became involved with the foundation of the laying of Brigham City.
Note: Some parts of this newspaper article are illegible.
Later, he removed to Mink Creek, as some of his family was already located there. He continued to reside at that place until his death, with the exception of short stays in Brigham City. His health was better when he was up in the mountains and so his stays in this city were of short duration.
He had four wives, two of whom survive him. His children number 22, fourteen of whom are still living, 97 grandchildren, and 33 great-grandchildren.
The remains of Mr. Baird were prepared for shipment and funeral services were held at Mink Creek on Sunday. The body was then brought to Brigham on the morning train, Monday, and services were held in the Third Ward chapel.
The Stars and Stripes covered the casket and there was also a wreath of floral emblems. The services were in charge of Bishop D. P. Burt and eulogies were spoken by Bishop J. M. Keller of Mink Creek, E. A. Box, an old companion in the Dramatic Company, William Horsley, David Rees, Patriarch O. N. Stohl, James Olsen, Denmark Jensen, President Stohl and Bishop Burt. Each speaker bore testimony to the absolute fidelity of the deceased to those who presided over him in the priesthood. It was told how as a boy on the man-of-war surrounded by men who had no faith in his belief religiously, he declared unto them that God had spoken and restored His priesthood to the earth. Many incidents associated with his dramatic experiences and also as a peace officer were related as bearing on the sterling character of the man.
The musical numbers were the hymns, “Resting Now,” “Farewell, All Earthly Honors,” “O Grave Where is Thy Victory,” and “Home Sweet Home.” Between speakers Victor E. Madsen sang, “I Know that My Redeemer Lives.” The prayers were offered by J. W. Hopes and Nels Madsen.
A large company of relatives came from distant points attended the services. The remains were accompanied from Preston, Idaho, by the widow, Mrs. Maggie Baird, Bishop and Mrs. J. M. Keller, Mr. and Mrs. William Baird, Mr. and Mrs. August Bergquist, Mr. Lorenzo Baird, all of Mink Creek, Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Kofoed of Weston, Idaho. From Salt Lake came Mr. and Mrs. F. Zarbock, Albert Bailey, and son, John Bailey, who is a grandson of the deceased, and Joseph Baird, a son from Ophir, Utah. There were also numerous relatives from Willard in attendance besides many friends and relatives from this city. It should be stated that besides a large family, Mr. Baird leaves two brothers and one sister. He was the eldest of fourteen children.
Biography of Agnes Belle Baird Olsen
Contributor: MargieW Created: 3 years ago Updated: 3 years ago
"Biography of Agnes Belle Baird Olsen," written by Sherrie Ann Olsen Rubink; summarized from the book, "George A and Agnes Belle Baird Olsen, their Legacy of Testimony " https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/2283613?availability=Family%20History%20Library (2/16/2014)
Agnes Belle Baird Olsen was the faithful, loving, and hard working, mother of nine children. The daughter of immigrant parents, she was well acquainted with hard work. She worked while a young girl, as a farm laborer, while a young woman, as a nanny or domestic servant, and as a farmer’s wife, helping her husband provide for their family. Agnes was the wife of George A Olsen. She loved her family dearly and enjoyed caring for them. She had a deep and enduring testimony of the Gospel, avidly reading her scriptures daily, sharing her testimony with her family, and serving in many church callings.
Agnes was born 24 January 1880, in Brigham City, Utah. Her father, Alexander Baird, was a Scottish immigrant, and her mother, Margaret Ann Crompton was an English immigrant. She was the fourth of seven children. Alexander and Margaret Ann’s children were Lorenzo, Margaret (Maggie), Susanna (Susie), Agnes Belle, Alexander Crompton, Jessie Mary, and Grace Amelia. Her father, Alexander, married her mother, Margaret Ann Crompton, after his wife, Sarah Mary Theresa Delacy Baird died in childbirth. Alexander had five small children at the time of their marriage in 1874. They were; William Delacy, 10; Sarah Theresa, 8; Mary Ellen, 7; Peter, 6; and the baby, Martha Ann.
During her childhood, Agnes lived in the northern Utah communities of Brigham City, Honeyville, and Deweyville, where she had many friends. Agnes wrote: In my younger years, I was very happy, it seems I enjoyed most of my young life; but most of all, my young days living in Brigham City. When in my younger days, I played (acted) in many plays, and recited sometimes in the Brigham City Tabernacle, as my father (Alexander) was a good actor and taught many how to play (act). He taught me very much. Olsen, Agnes Belle Baird. “History of the Life of Agnes Belle Baird Olsen.”
Lorenzo Snow, Box Elder State President, called Agnes’s father, Alexander Baird, to organize the Brigham City Dramatic Association. These actors were called as missionaries to furnish suitable amusement for the people. This dramatic group was active for over twenty-five years. Forsgren, Lydia Walker. History of Box Elder County, 1851-1937. Brigham City, Utah 1930: 167-168. FHL #979.242 H2.
Agnes enjoyed giving dramatic readings and reciting poetry throughout her life. I remember some of the poetry, she could recite from memory, including; “The Raven,” by Edgar Allen Poe; “The Highwayman,” by Alfred Noyes; and the Scottish poem, “Young Lochinvar,” by Sir Walter Scott.
In 1888, when Agnes was only 8 years old, her father was tried and sentenced to six months in prison for the practice of polygamy. Her father, Alexander, had two wives at this time. This must have been extremely traumatic for a young child. She always kept a picture of her father taken while in prison on the wall of her home. When I wondered aloud, why she wanted to keep a jail picture on her wall, she patiently explained that she was proud of her father for being jailed for practicing his religion. She loved her father and would bare testimony that she knew that her father knew the gospel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was true, that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and that her father had been guided and blessed by our Father in Heaven.
Agnes remembered and shared some special testimony building experiences. She wrote: I was to a Young Ladies Conference in Brigham City, (when) Eliza R. Snow bore a strong testimony, and in her talk, she said that we need to prepare ourselves for the coming of the Savior, and I have never forgotten that talk as it had a great impression on me. I was in the mutual where the Snow girl was President and she told us of her visit in Heaven and returning to this life again. Sometimes I think that these things have helped me try to live a good life. Olsen, Agnes Belle Baird. “History of the life of Agnes Belle Baird Olsen.”
As a young girl, Agnes worked by picking vegetables and picking and wrapping fruit. When Agnes was 16, she went to Mink Creek, a small farming community in southern Idaho, and stayed with her married sister, Maggie, (Margaret Baird Hunsaker), helping her for one winter. It was in Mink Creek, while picking fruit that she first saw her future husband, George A Olsen.
Agnes went to Salt Lake City and worked as a nurse (nanny) for Mrs. Calvin (a railroad executive’s wife). In the Calvin home, she was a nanny for five children. She worked for this family for about 4 years, until she was 21. As a part of her work, she went on many long trips, traveling by rail with Mrs. Calvin and her family to Indianapolis, Chicago, and St. Louis. Although she enjoyed the travel, she said that she was always happy to return home.
Agnes Belle Baird was slender and short, about 5’ 2”, with red hair. Agnes and George A Olsen met at a dance in Mink Creek, Idaho. While she worked in Salt Lake City, they wrote letters. They would see each other whenever she visited her family in Mink Creek. They were married on Agnes’s 21st birthday, 24 January 1901, in the Logan LDS Temple. They made their home in the small community of Mink Creek where George was a farmer.
My grandmother, Agnes, told me that when she married my grandfather, George, she had a ready-made family. Agnes helped to raise some of George’s younger brothers and sisters along with her own children. George’s mother and father had passed away about 4 years earlier, leaving him and his older siblings with 10 younger children to care for.
Agnes’s life was busy. She cared for her family, helped on the farm, and worked in the LDS Church. She wrote: I have always loved my church and have always loved to work in the church, as I was a Sunday School teacher, a young ladies secretary, and a counselor to the Young Ladies, before I was married. I was always busy after I married and kept up my work in the church. Olsen, Agnes Belle Baird. “History of the life of Agnes Belle Baird Olsen.”
George and Agnes lived in three different homes before they purchased the Hyrum Bell place, located in the part of Mink Creek called Keller Town. This was a very nice home and my grandmother Agnes loved it. It was while living here that Agnes’s second daughter, Erminie, accidentally got her hand caught in a pulley and took off one finger and a half of another.
George and Agnes had nine children. Margaret Lena, Erminie Belle, Harley George, John Alexander, Grace Adra, Vester A, Vessie A (twins), Lavon Baird were born in Mink Creek, and Ariel Baird was born in Grace, Idaho. Agnes wrote: We were the parents of fine children, nine of them. All were born in Mink Creek, but one son who was born in Grace. I always had a fine life with plenty to do, as in my early-married life, I had some of my husband’s brothers and sisters living with us and having my babies so fast. When Lavon was born, I was sick. I had a bad leg (phlebitis) and was very sick, but God spared my life to raise my children. The same year, my dear husband was very badly hurt. When he was working on our farm, a derrick fork ran through his stomach. He was awfully sick. I really prayed and fasted for his return to his family. The Elders prayed for him each night till he came home to us again and raised his family before he was taken from us. Olsen, Agnes Belle Baird. “History of the life of Agnes Belle Baird Olsen.”
In the fall of 1916, George and Agnes sold their home and farm in Mink Creek, and moved about 30 miles north to Grace, where they purchased a farm. Agnes wrote: The year he (George) came from his sick bed, we moved to Grace, Idaho, where we had a very pleasant life. After I moved to Grace, I was put to work in many places in the church. At (different) times, I was in the Stake Sunday School, Ward Sunday School, Ward Sunday School teacher, Class Leader in Relief Society, and a Stake Genealogical teacher. Then, I was called to be President of the Ward Relief Society. Olsen, Agnes Belle Baird. “History of the life of Agnes Belle Baird Olsen.”
Dairying was Agnes and George’s main farm income. They also had a large garden and raised chickens, geese, and had some pigs and sheep. Agnes enjoyed working in her garden and caring for her chickens and geese. She picked, washed, and saved the down feathers from their chickens and geese. She made down-filled feather pillows and down-filled feather beds. I remember her wonderful homemade down-filled feather mattress. It was large, ever so soft, and rather lumpy. It was a giant pillow like a present-day beanbag chair, and was the softest, most luxurious bed. It was a special privilege for us grandchildren to sleep on it and sink down into its softness.
Agnes loved to crochet and was especially talented and skillful. She not only made the small traditional pieces like ‘doilies,’ etc., but she also made many large pieces of fine crochet cotton such as tablecloths and bedspreads. Her home was beautifully decorated with stretched and starched crocheted pieces including intricate bedspreads and tablecloths. One outstanding crocheted piece was a beautiful wall hanging of the Savior’s Last Supper. I guess that it was probably about 4 x 6 feet. Several times people offered her a several hundred dollars for it, but she always refused to sell.
On 6 December 1939, her son, Harley, my father, married my mother, Phyllis Johnson. After my parents married, Grandmother Agnes and Grandfather George purchased a home in the village of Grace about 2½ miles from their farm home and my father began to run the farm. He, Harley, and his younger brother, Ariel, eventually each purchased half of the Olsen farm.
Grandpa George, had a stroke and passed away, age 64, on 10 May 1941. Agnes passed away from a heart attack, age 74, on 25 November 1954. Two of her children preceded her in death; a son, Ariel, who passed away on 31 January 1944, age 24; and a daughter, Margaret ( Thomas), who was killed in an auto accident on 28 July 1950, age 48. Agnes and George are buried in the Grace Cemetery in Grace, Idaho.
My grandmother, Agnes, passed away when I was 14. When I was growing up my grandmother Agnes lived in the small town of Grace, Idaho, near my farm home. I often went to her home after school or after evening Young Women’s meetings. She loved to cook and her cookie jar was always filled with sour cream sugar cookies. They were soft and tasted so good. She loved gardening and had a beautiful garden and yard. She had many flowers and trees, which formed a border around her home and yard. I especially remember a large beautiful snowball bush in her front yard. Her home had a large front porch with pillars and a porch swing. I loved to sit on the swing and talk with her or read.
Grandmother Agnes was delightful to visit with. I knew that she read her scriptures daily and that she knew them well. Her scriptures were always out where I could see them when I visited her, and she was always marking or studying something. I especially remember her sharing her testimony with me. She truly believed in our Savior and His atonement, in the Prophet Joseph Smith, and the truthfulness of the restored gospel. She testified that it was through the power of the Priesthood that my Grandfather George was healed after his accident with the Jackson Fork. After my grandfather passed away, she missed him so much and was truly not afraid to die, because she looked forward to being reunited with him. She helped to build my growing testimony. I was impressed and still am with her strong testimony of the power of the resurrection. She knew without a doubt that we will live after this life.
Biography of Margaret Ann Crompton Baird
Contributor: MargieW Created: 3 years ago Updated: 3 years ago
“Biography of Margaret Ann Crompton,” by Sherrie Ann Olsen Rubink; summarized from the book, “George A and Agnes Belle Baird Olsen, their Legacy of Testimony.”
Margaret Ann Crompton was a young cotton mill worker in Lancashire, England, when she heard the restored gospel and was converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In 1873, age 22, she immigrated to Utah with her mother, brother, and sister. After arriving in Utah, she met and married Alexander Baird, a Scottish widower with 5 children. She was a busy and loving mother, caring for and raising 12 children; 5 stepchildren and 7 children of her own. She was well acquainted with hard work. She was a cotton mill worker as a young girl, a homemaker, and a gardener. She not only lovingly served her family, but also willingly served others. She was often called upon to care for the sick and to help mothers during childbirth. She was always eager to share her testimony with her children, emphasizing her gratitude for the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Margaret Ann Crompton was born 22 August 1851, at Stony Brow Fold, Tottington Lower End, Bury, Lancashire, England. She was the daughter of Mary Crompton. British Church Membership Records for the Manchester Conference of the Tottington Branch of the LDS Church, indicate that Margaret Ann Crompton, father - William Masey (Massey), mother - Mary Crompton; born on the 22 August 1851, at Tottington, Manchester, England; was blessed, on 21 September 1851, by James Crawshaw. British LDS Church Membership Records: Book 761; p 31, line 7. FHL Film #415,446.
A grandson, Archie Baird, wrote: “The family lived at Edenfield. They were members of the Wesleyan Church.” Margaret Ann’s grandparents, John and Martha Greenhalgh Crompton, are buried in the Wesleyan Church Cemetery in Tottington.
Margaret Ann was converted to the LDS Church in her late teens. When Mormon missionaries came to her home and taught her family, they readily accepted the restored gospel. On 17 October 1868, when Margaret Ann was 17, she was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her younger brother, Thomas, was also baptized in 1868. The nearest branch was 5 miles away in Tottington, which meant the family had to walk this distance each Sunday to attend church services. The Crompton family embraced the gospel and tried to be faithful members of the church. Margaret Ann’s mother, Mary Crompton was re-baptized 9 May 1868, at Tottington, Lancaster, England, by Thomas Schofield. British LDS Church Membership Records; Tottington Branch, Manchester Conference, British Mission. Book 760; p 10, line 119. FHL Film #415,446.
After Margaret joined the church, she had an experience, which she often told her children when she shared her testimony. She was working in the Edenfield Cotton Mills. The cotton mill where she was working was two stories high and she was working on the top floor. While she was working, the floor gave way, and she and another girl, who was also a member of the LDS Church, fell through the floor with all of the machinery. Surprisingly, she was not injured. She was sure that she had been blessed and protected. She often told her children, she was certain that, “If I had not been a Mormon, I would have been killed.”
While working in the cotton mills, Margaret Ann met John Kendel, an engineer, and one of the bosses at the mill. They started seeing each other, fell in love, and were eventually married in the Parish Church of Edenfield, Lancaster, England.
John belonged to the Church of England. He promised Margaret he would join the Mormon Church; however, after their marriage, he forgot this promise. Family tradition tells us that his parents had warned him that they would disown him if he joined the Mormons. Every time the LDS Church was mentioned, an argument followed. The arguments ended when John slapped Margaret, knocking her down the stairs. Margaret did not dare mention religion to John again, but she never forgot her religion either.
One family tradition tell us that in the fall of 1873, when the Crompton family made ready to sail for America, Margaret secretly planned to go with them. She put on two of every item of clothing she could wear, went to Liverpool with her family to say good-by, and when their ship sailed, she simply forgot to get off the ship. Her husband had no idea that she was leaving him and going to America. However, she is listed on the ship’s passenger list, and she is listed on the LDS Church’s PEF Fund Ledger for 1873. Although she may have left her husband without telling him, she apparently planned and arranged to immigrate.
The Crompton family traveled on the steamship, Idaho, of the Guion Line, departing, 22 October 1873, from Liverpool, England, and arriving at the Port of New York, 5 November 1873. The transcontinental railroad, completed in 1869, carried the Crompton family to Ogden, Utah, arriving 14 November 1873. The Crompton family immigrated with the help of the Church’s Perpetual Emigration Fund. Mary paid 10 Pounds and Margaret paid 5 Pounds. PEF Fund Records show the family owed 36 Pounds.
Her daughter, my grandmother, Agnes Bell Baird Olsen wrote: “Margaret Crompton Baird … came to America on the ship, Idaho. She arrived here in November 1873, landing in Ogden, Utah, with her mother, Mary Crompton, a younger brother, and sister. When they were put off in Ogden, it seemed so far away from their home, that they were sitting on their bundles crying ... Olsen, Agnes Belle Baird. Life of Margaret Crompton Baird.
Archie Baird wrote: “They were supposed to be met by Thomas Schofield, a returned missionary, who did not come. About sundown, a man in wagon came by and seeing their plight took them to Brigham City and turned them over to Stake President Lorenzo Snow.”
Margaret’s family first settled in Brigham City, Utah. Archie Baird wrote: “President Snow found Mary and the children a place to stay and got her a job as a housekeeper for Alexander Baird, a widower with five children. About a year later, Margaret and Alexander Baird were married, on 18 December 1874. They were sealed in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 10 May 1875.
Alexander had five living children and had lost his wife, Sarah, 2 ½ years earlier, shortly after the birth of their seventh child. Alexander’s mother, Agnes Bell Baird, who lived in Perry, Utah, cared for his baby girl, Martha, born in 1872, for about 10 years after the death of her mother. Margaret had a son, Lorenzo Snow Kendel Baird, born 7 February 1874, who was later adopted by Alexander.
Margaret immediately became a mother to four of Alexander’s children along with her own baby. Alexander and Sarah’s children were; William, 10; Sarah Theresa, 8; Mary Ellen, 7; Peter, 6; and Martha, 2. Margaret and Alexander became parents of six additional children. There were five girls and a boy: Margaret, Susannah, Agnes, Alexander, Jessie, and Grace. This gave Margaret a family of twelve children to care for.
Margaret’s stepdaughter, Mary Ellen Baird (Keller), wrote: " My mother died when I was five years old while giving birth to my sister, Martha. The family then returned to Willard to be cared for by our grandparents until our father married Margaret Crompton. She was a good woman and we children loved her. She cared for us until we grew up. When Father and Margaret were married, the family moved back to Brigham City where I attended school until I was fifteen years of age (1882)."
Margaret and Alexander first lived in Brigham City, where three daughters were born. They were Margaret Ann (Maggie) Baird, 1875; Susanna (Susie) Baird, 1878; and Agnes Belle Baird, my grandmother who was born 24 January 1880.
In 1882, the family moved to Mink Creek where Alexander and his older sons cut rail ties floating them down the Mink Creek to Bear River and then on down to Brigham City. While they were living at Mink Creek, Margaret’s children, Alexander C., 1883, and Jessie, 1885, were born.
In about 1885, they moved to Thatcher, Idaho. The following year, 1886, the family moved to the Snake River country where Alexander worked for the railroad as a cook. They lived east of what is now known as Firth, Idaho. The year after that in 1887, they moved to a dugout in Deweyville, just north of Brigham City, where Margaret’s youngest child, Grace was born.
Margaret’s husband, Alexander, was imprisoned for polygamy in 1888. He was sentenced 23 June 1888, spent 6 months in prison, and was released 23 December 1888. Just 10 days before Alexander was sentenced, Margaret gave birth to their seventh child, a girl, Grace Amelia Baird, on 13 June 1888. In addition to her new baby, Margaret had her own six children ranging in ages from three to 14 to care for. Two of her stepchildren, Peter and Martha were also part of Margaret’s family, all living in the dugout in Deweyville.
Archie Baird wrote: “While he was there (Alexander in prison), Margaret Ann had a hard time keeping the family in food and clothing. It was necessary for every member of the family to work and they had to work hard at any job they could get. Schooling was hard to come by and few of her children had very much.”
When Alexander returned from prison, he secured employment with Brigham City as jailor, night watchman, etc. and moved his wife, Christine, into the Jail Warden’s home. He and Christine lived there for the next ten years. Family histories tell us that Christine cooked for the prisoners in the jail.
Archie wrote: While at Deweyville, Margaret saw four of her children marry. All of her stepchildren were married by now. William, Mary Ellen, and Lorenzo were living in Mink Creek; and Peter and Martha were living in Logan. Sarah Theresa, the first child to marry, lived at” … Slatterville, Utah. Her daughter, Margaret, married and spent her life at Honeyville. Susannah married and lived in Salt Lake City.
Margaret lived in Deweyville in a dugout, from 1887 to 1899, then she moved to Mink Creek, Idaho. After polygamy was discontinued, Margaret, as well as many other women, struggled to provide for their families. Various family histories tell us that Margaret’s children worked at many different jobs and that they did not have the opportunity for much education.
The children worked at any job they could get. Grandmother Agnes remembered picking vegetables, and picking and wrapping fruit. She eventually became employed as a nurse (nanny) when she was about 16. She worked and lived in Salt Lake City until she married. Susannah (Susie) probably went to Salt Lake City first and found work before Agnes. Jesse’s biography states that when she was about 13 years old, she went to Salt Lake City, lived with her older sister, Susie, and worked for people in their homes as a nurse (babysitter) and as a servant (house help) staying there until she married, age 20.
I admire Margaret. She not only had a very strong testimony and but was also able to plant this testimony and her love for the gospel of Jesus Christ in the hearts of her children. Her children survived this trial, and stayed active in the LDS Church! From Grandmother Agnes’s example, we learn that they grew up with faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ, and with a deep love and respect for their father.
In Mink Creek, Margaret’s first home was a dugout on the hillside of Birch Creek. In the 1900 Census, she lists herself as a farmer. In Mink Creek, Margaret had cows, chickens, a good orchard, and a large garden. Her three youngest daughters married and lived close to her. She spent a lot of time helping her children and anyone else who needed help. Later she moved to a nice little home in the Mink Creek village.
My grandmother, Agnes wrote: “She was a very good mother to us all, as times were not so plentiful in those days. She was a very good mother…; for I have heard those children, (her stepchildren) tell what a good mother she was to them.”
In Mink Creek, Margaret took care of her husband in his later years. Sometime around 1898, Alexander had pneumonia and together with the problems he had with varicose veins in his legs, he was no longer able to work. Apparently, he lived in Mink Creek intermittently for a few years and then eventually stayed in Mink Creek for about 12 years with Margaret caring for him. She was with him when he passed away in 1914.
In 1916, Margaret met John T. Pribble, and they were married 12 December 1917. He had a nice home in Brigham City. Family records indicate that Margaret and John Pribble were able to do the temple work for many of Margaret’s deceased family members. Mr. Pribble passed away in 1926.
Margaret was 73, and she went to live with her children most of the time, living with one and then another. She still had her home in Brigham City and would go there in the summer. Margaret passed away 18 April 1935, at Brigham City, Utah. She was laid to rest in Brigham City Cemetery beside her husband, Alexander Baird.
Margaret grew up in Tottington and Edenfield in Lancashire, England. She had the opportunity for very little education. Margaret started to work at an early age in a cotton mill in Edenfield. During the mid-1850, children as well as adults worked hard, long hours in the cotton mills in England. The English Census shows members of Margaret’s family employed as a cotton throstle skimmers, cotton rovers, cotton doffers, and cotton weavers. Margaret also worked hard to care for and raise her family of 12 children. She lovingly served others, and was often called to help with caring for the sick as well as helping during the childbirth.
Grandmother Agnes writes: “It seemed she was happiest when she was doing for others. As for me, I had nine children and my dear mother took care of me with them all. She was called many times to take care of the sick, and she also brought several babies into this world.
Margaret had a profound testimony and shared this testimony with her children. My grandmother, Agnes, often shared her testimony, saying that she knew the gospel was true, and that she knew her parents knew that the gospel was true.
Archie Baird, a grandson, wrote: “So, after a span of 83 years, the life mission of one of the greatest persons I ever knew was ended. She worked hard all of her life and still she was happy and contended with her life’s mission as she chose it. She had a great memory, and knew and loved all of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, and could call all by name. Her greatest love was of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and she loved all the prophets of the church and would always tell her children to listen to them. She said, ‘If I had my life to live over, there are a few changes I would make, but most everything that I did, I would do again. I am glad I came to America so my children could enjoy the blessings of this great land. We, the recipients of these blessings, have every right to be proud of this good woman and of the sacrifices that she made.’ ”
Excerpts from "Autobiography of Alexander Baird"
Contributor: MargieW Created: 3 years ago Updated: 3 years ago
Baird, Alexander. “Autobiography of Alexander Baird.” 1902. FHL Large Q Book, #921.73 A1 no. 20,
Robert Baird's son, Alexander, wrote: "I was born on the 10 of January 1832, of goodly parents, in the town of Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland. My father’s name was Robert Baird and my mother’s name was Agnes Bell. They were both of Paisley birth. Mother’s folks claim to be among the oldest settlers of Paisley. Her Uncle’s monument is at Vomberten (Dumbarton) Castle on the banks of the River Clyde – as the first whoever sailed a steamboat on said river. His name was Henry Bell."
Note: Henry Bell died at Helensburgh, Scotland, in 1830, age 62. A monument (obelisk) to his memory was erected the rock of Dunglass, a promontory on the Clyde River at Dunglass Castle, a few miles from Dumbarton Castle.
"Father’s father was an old soldier and was wounded in the battle of Bangalore of Great Britain. His grandfather was a fiery bearded old man something like his grandson – as I am of that nature. My mother’s father was of a quiet nature and of a religious turn. On his deathbed, he said that the true gospel of Jesus Christ was not on the earth then, but that his children’s children would see it established, as in the days of Jesus. This I have heard my father and mother speak of often." p 1.
'When I was about eight or nine years of age, my parents moved to a place, called Alna (Alva), some nine miles east of Sterling." p 2.
"Shortly after this, we came back to Paisley. I was then about thirteen or fourteen years of age.” p 3.
Excerpts from "Autobiography and Diary" of Peter Baird
Contributor: MargieW Created: 3 years ago Updated: 3 years ago
Baird, Peter. “Autobiography and Diary, July 1901-May 1919.” Church History Library, MS 6224 1.
Robert Baird's son, Peter Baird, wrote: "My father, Robert Baird, was born in Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland, 8 June 1909. My grandfather, John Baird in his youth was a solder in the British service. His mother, I believe, was left a widow in early life. Grandfather got wounded and pensioned for life. On his return from the East Indies to Paisley, he got married to Elen (Helen) Cochran, who bore him, I think, four sons and two daughters. Namely; John, Alex, James, and Robert; Mary married a man by the name of Love (Hector Love) who resided in London; Elen, the second daughter, died. My great grandfather, I think, was a mason as I have heard my father say that he helped to build the old Paisley Bridge, which crosses the Cart Rive."
"My mother’s name was Agnes Bell. She was born, I think, 13 December 1813. Her father’s name was Peter (Petter) Bell, he came, I think, from Galloway. His wife’s name was Mary Laird. Their family was born and raised in Paisley. They were buried in a graveyard somewhere near the head of Skiller’s wind. The Bairds in the auto kirkyard."
"My mother and father were married on the 21, January 1831. My sister, Mary, was married to Andrew Mcwhirther (McWhirter), 9 October 1857. Andrew, their first, was born 12 August 1858."
"As far as I can remember of my early life, I was born on 25 July 1839, in Houston, Renfrewshire, Scotland, a small village about three miles west of Paisley. I think I was about one year old, when my parents moved east to a town named Ava (Alva). I think in what is called Clawmaninshire (Clackmannanshire). I can remember this place. We lived near a glen or canyon. I used to play with a younger brother named John. The baby’s name was Elen. I remember Alex, my elder brother, had a swing-rope hung to a tree near where we lived, and boys and girls used to come there to have a good time. When about 5 or 6 years old, my parents again moved to a town about three miles distant by the name of Tallicoury (Tillicoultry). In this place, I learned the Lord’s Prayer. I remember my father’s family was all taken down with scarlet fever. There were five of us; Alex, Mary, Peter, John, and Elen. The three older ones pulled threw, but the two younger ones died. I can recollect about where their little graves were located behind a small rock house inside of the graveyard. After the fever left me, I was left a poor weak boy. I was troubled with a pain in my side very much. This condition lasted for some time."
"By and by my parents again moved west to Paisley. My father went first and left my mother living in a small house at the base of the Ochial (Ochil) hills. I remember my mother packing up and starting out to follow father. There was a neighbor man who came some of the way with us, towards Alawa (Alloa). We traveled by stagecoach and canal boat till we reached Glasgow. We found my father there. Still, I believe, we kept on the move till we reached Paisley as father’s work in Glasgow had given out."
"When we got there, I recollect of having seen Grandfather, John Baird, in company of his oldest son, my Uncle John. The first work I remember doing was milk selling. Grandmother Bell, I remember well, as she lived for some years after our return to Paisley. As people were poor, it was necessary for the children to get to work. I became a drawboy that was helping the weavers, to make Paisley shawls."
"It was in Paisley, that my parents first heard the Mormons, I believe my father joined the church about 1848, (1 August 1848). My father’s children were taken to the meeting and blessed. From Paisley, Alex ran away to sea to become a sailor. He got back in about 3 weeks about 1856 or 1857. My parents moved to Glasgow. I remember hearing Apostle John Taylor, also Robert Campbell, and Edward Martin in the Macnicks Hall, Calton, Glasgow. Polygamy was first preached there, I think in 1852. Something my mother did not approve of. Tithing was also was being pressed on the people. I was baptized in the Clyde about 1850. Soon after, my parents fell away from the Church and wandered about for ten years and during this time they joined themselves to a people who went by the name of Independents. Among this people, I became acquainted with a young woman by the name of Jessie McGilvary."
"In the year 1862, father rejoined the church through Alex’s influence. I felt ashamed of him, so I commenced to study up Mormonism so I might lead my father back as I thought to descent society. But, the consequence was that, I was convinced of the truth and converted and re-baptized on the 11 of May 1862." p 17-18.
"I was married on the evening of 28 May 1863, in Liverpool, by Elder David M Stuart. Agnes, my sister, was married to Alexander Richardson, the same day and by the same elder … the next morning … (we) … got on the ship Sunneyshore (Cynosure) and started for America." p 1.
Biography of Robert Baird and Agnes Bell Baird
Contributor: MargieW Created: 3 years ago Updated: 3 years ago
"Biography of Robert Baird and Agnes Bell Baird," written by Sherrie Ann Olsen Rubink; summarized from: “Biography of Robert Baird and Agnes Bell Baird,” located in the book, “George A and Agnes Belle Baird Olsen, their Legacy of Testimony” https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/2283613?availability=Family%20History%20Library (2/16/2014)
Robert Baird was a Scottish LDS convert. Although Robert’s life was extremely difficult, he overcame the problems he faced. He not only struggled to provide for his family, but also to retain his budding testimony of the restored gospel. Displaced by the industrial revolution, Robert, a handloom weaver, struggled to find work and to provide for his family. Eventually, he became a master carpenter. When Robert heard the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, his heart was touched, he accepted it, and was baptized. However, Robert left the church, then later came back and was re-baptized. He ultimately gained a strong enough testimony that he left his homeland of Scotland and immigrated with his family, coming to Utah as a pioneer in 1866.
Agnes Bell Baird loved her husband and her family dearly and immigrated to Utah to be with them. Her son, Alexander, describes his mother as “good and kind.” She suffered incredible tragedy throughout her life! She lost seven of her 14 children as infants. We can scarcely imagine the heartbreak she must have felt when she buried two babies after an outbreak of scarlet fever. She lost her 19-year-old daughter, Elen, in Illinois, from measles while immigrating to Utah. Her 13-year-old daughter, Janet, almost died from the high fever. Two of her daughters, Mary McWhirter and Agnes Richardson, died as young mothers, ages 30 and 36. After her son, Alexander’s wife, Sarah, passed away after childbirth; she cared for his family, and then raised his infant daughter, Martha Ann, until she was about ten years old. Afterward tragically, she lived to see Martha Ann Baird Bailey die after her first child was born, when she was only 20 years old.
Robert Baird was born 8 June 1809, in Abbey Parish, Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland, the son of John Baird and Helen Cochran. Agnes Bell was born, 22 December 1812, in Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland. Her LDS Paisley Branch Baptism Record records her birthdate and parish. Family records record her birth date as 13 December 1813. She was the daughter of Petter Bell and Mary Laird. A parish record for Agnes’s birth has not been found. Robert and Agnes were born and raised in Paisley. They were married on 21 January 1831, in the Laigh Kirk or Low Church, in Paisley. Robert was 21 and Agnes was 19.
Robert’s father, John Baird, was born 19 December 1770, in Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland, the son of John Baird and Isobell Wilson. John Baird, was a soldier in the British service. He was wounded in the East Indies, and received a pension for the rest of his life. John Baird married 23-year-old Helen Cochran, after he returned from his military service in India, on 14 May 1796, in Abbey Parish, Renfrewshire, Scotland. Helen Cochran was born 8 January 1773, in Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland, the daughter of Alexander Cochran and Helen Lang. Robert, his father, John Baird, and his grandfather, John Baird, were handloom weavers. Robert’s mother, Helen Cochran Baird, passed away in May of 1820, when Robert was only 11 years old. She was buried in the cemetery of the Abbey Parish in Paisley.
Agnes Bell was the daughter and youngest child of Petter Bell and Mary Laird. Petter Bell’s parish baptism record has not been found. Mary Laird, daughter of John Laird, weaver, and Mary Barr, was born on 15 January 1771, and baptized the 17 January 1771, in the Abbey Parish, Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland. Agnes’s parents, Petter Bell and Mary Laird, were married 26 August 1791, in Abbey Parish, Renfrewshire, Scotland.
Robert and Agnes were married in Paisley. They were living in Paisley when their children, Alexander and Mary, were born. By 1839, they had moved to the little town of Houston, where their son, Peter, was born. According to family records, they lost three infants before Peter was born. Robert and Agnes were not wealthy, but they were ambitious. Robert was a handloom weaver during the time of the industrial revolution. With machines producing larger quantities at lower cost, handloom weavers could not produce and sell enough weaving to feed their families. Robert and Agnes found it necessary to move wherever Robert could find work. Eventually, they settled in Glasgow.
Sometime after 1841, the Baird family moved about 48 miles to Alva, in Clackmananshire, south of the Ochil Hills. They, then, moved another two and one-half miles to Tillicoultry, also in Clackmananshire, at the southern tip of the Ochil Hills. Tillicoultry was known for its woolen mills. Robert may have worked there as a weaver in the woolen mills. While living in Tillicoultry, in about 1844, they lost their two youngest children, John and the baby, Elen, who died from scarlet fever. Their daughters, Agnes, and a second daughter they named Elen, were born in Tillicoultry in 1845, and 1847.
After Robert’s work ended, he found work in Glasgow, and the family followed him. Because Robert’s work ended in Glasgow as well, and they moved back to Paisley.
While living in Paisley in 1848, Robert heard the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and joined the Mormon Church. Robert, worked with John Burnside at the Barr and McNabs’ Foundry, where John, who was a Latter-day Saint, converted Robert and baptized him on 1 August 1848. Robert and Agnes’s children were blessed in the LDS Church. Agnes and her oldest son, Alexander, were baptized into the Mormon Church about six weeks after Robert on 18 September 1848. Their oldest daughter, Mary, was baptized on 22 July 1849.
Robert and Agnes were industrious and tried to keep their children in school. However, it was common in those days, for children to work as soon as they were old enough. They were to work in learning any trade they might like. Alexander became interested in the sea and became a sailor. From his personal journal, we learn that he ran away from home because he wanted to be a sailor, probably about 1846 or 1847. After some difficult experiences, he returned home. His mother, fearing that he was dead, had suffered greatly during his absence. He still wanted to be a sailor. In December of 1848, he sailed for New York, this time, with his father’s permission.
Peter worked first selling milk, next he worked as a weavers assistant or drawboy making Paisley shawls, and then in a factory where Brussels carpets were made. Peter attended night school after his work in the factory was completed. Eventually, Peter became an apprentice and learned the carpentry trade like his father. Peter was baptized in the Clyde River in the later part of 1850, and was confirmed 1 January 1851. Robert’s family moved to back to Glasgow in about 1852, where they lived until they immigrated in 1866.
Robert and Agnes’s oldest daughter, Mary, married Andrew McWhirter, 9 October 1857. Mary, her husband, Andrew, and their two children were living in Glasgow in the 1861 Scotland Census.
Robert and Agnes lost their baby, James, sometime in the 1850’s. Their youngest child, Robert Bell, was born in Glasgow in 1855. Being members of a new church was very difficult. There was a great deal of pressure and persecution against the Mormons. Peter Baird wrote: “Soon after, my parents fell away from the Church and wandered about for ten years and during this time, they joined themselves to a people who went by the name of Independents.” Robert and his family fell away from the LDS Church. When Alexander returned to Scotland with his wife, ten years later, in 1861, he found his parents and their family had left the Mormon Church. They welcomed him, but told him that they did not want any Mormons living in their home.
Alexander bore witness of the gospel to his family. Alexander’s father, Robert, was soon re-baptized, as was his brother, Peter, but his mother, Agnes, could not accept the gospel at this time. Peter Baird wrote: “In the year 1862, father rejoined the church through Alex’s influence. I felt ashamed of him, so I commenced to study up on Mormonism so I might lead my father back as I thought to descent society. But the consequence was that, I was convinced of the truth and converted and re-baptized on the 11 of May 1862.”
Alexander went to work on a commercial ship and left, his wife, Sarah, with his father’s family. After Alexander returned to Glasgow, he became anxious to immigrate to Utah to be with the Saints in Zion. He worked very hard weaving mats to get the money needed. By this time, Alexander and Sarah had two small children, Agnes and Alexander. Alexander, also, agreed to work aboard ship to help pay for his passage.
Robert and Agnes’s daughter, Agnes, was baptized in the LDS Church on 6 August 1862. Alexander’s brother, Peter, and his sister, Agnes, accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ, and they were anxious to emigrate with Alexander. They planned to emigrate with their sweethearts, Jessie McGilvary and Alexander Richardson.
In the spring of 1863, the three couples and Alexander’s two children left Glasgow and traveled to Liverpool. Their mother, Agnes, was very unhappy when three of her children; Alexander, Peter, and Agnes, immigrated. She said that she wished that Alexander had never come back to Scotland, for he had ruined her family by taking by two of her children to Utah with him. Alexander told her in the name of Jesus Christ that she and her family would go to live in Utah. Peter writes that when they left: “My mother was crying and my father stood outside of the door and shook hands with me, A. Richardson, and Agnes and said, ‘God bless you!”
The two young couples, Peter and Jessie McGilvary, and Agnes and Alexander Richardson, were married at Liverpool, 28 May 1863, just before leaving for America. They left Liverpool, emigrating in 1863, on the ship, Cynosure.
Alexander and his wife, Sarah’s two young children both came down with the measles on board the ship. Little Agnes died and had to be buried at sea. The baby, Alexander, died shortly after they landed and was buried in New York State. We can only try to imagine how heartbroken Sarah was.
They traveled on to Florence, Nebraska, by train, and then to Utah by wagon. They were members of the Thomas E. Ricks Company. Alex had never been around cattle and had a difficult time controlling three yoke of oxen. They arrived in Salt Lake City, 4 October 1863. Alexander and Peter moved to Brigham City, Utah. The three couples met with success after arriving in Utah and encouraged their parents to join them. Peter wrote his parents telling them how wonderful it was to look out his window and to see land that belonged to him.
Agnes and her husband, Alexander Richardson, lived in Salt Lake City, and moved to California in about 1872. She passed away in November of 1879, about 8 months before the death of her father, Robert.
In the spring of 1866, Robert and Agnes immigrated following their three older children. They left Scotland with their three younger children, Elen, Janet, and Robert Bell. They traveled to America, leaving Liverpool on 30 May 1866, aboard the ship, Arkwright, and arriving in New York City, on 6 July 1866. They traveled west arriving in Utah in the fall of 1866. Because documentation has not been found for their trek westward, they are listed as traveling with an unknown wagon company. Emigration records from the Liverpool Office of the British Mission list Agnes, Elen, Janet and Robert with their surname, Baird, misspelled as Beard on the ships passenger list. Robert is not listed on the passenger list. I believe he worked as part of the ship’s crew to help pay for their passage just as his son, Alexander, had done three years earlier.
Robert and Agnes Baird immigrated with the help of the LDS Churches Perpetual Emigration Fund. Robert Baird, Agnes, Janet, and Robert are listed on the 1866 section of the list of names of persons indebted to the Perpetual Emigration Fund Company, printed in 1877.
Robert and Agnes left their daughter, Mary, in Scotland. She had married Andrew McWhirter, 9 October 1857. Mary never immigrated to America. She had five children. Mary passed away on 26 December 1866, in Glasgow, the same year her parents immigrated to Utah.
While journeying to Utah, the girls, Elen, 19; and Janet, 13; became very ill with measles. Elen died and had to be buried in Mendota, LaSalle County, near Chicago, Illinois. Janet was also very sick with a high fever. Robert and Agnes were grief stricken as they left their daughter, Elen, buried by the side of the road. Janet lived but she suffered brain damage from the extremely high fever.
Peter Baird wrote in his Journal: “Father and mother came into the country, I think, in September; they lived with Alex for a while… My sister, Elen, died coming through the states with father and mother and was buried in Mendota (LaSalle County) near Chicago, Illinois.”
Upon arriving in Utah in the fall of 1866, Robert and Agnes joined their sons, Alexander and Peter, in Brigham City, Utah. They first lived with Alexander and his family. They moved south about seven miles to Willard, Utah, where Robert found work as a carpenter building homes. They were living in Willard, Utah, about 4 years later in the 1970 Census. Robert and Agnes eventually were able to purchase a strip of land on the east side of the road between what is now First South and Third South in Willard, Utah. Robert worked hard. He bought water rights, planted fruit trees and berries, and had a large garden of vegetables. Agnes lived on this property for the rest of her life, about 26 years.
Robert Baird died 7 July 1880. According to Peter Baird’s Journal, shortly after her husband, Robert’s death, Agnes was struck with paralysis on her left side (probably, a stoke). She was partly paralyzed and ill for the rest of her life. She passed away in 1896.
Agnes’s youngest son, Robert Bell Baird, and his wife, Ann Gwenthlyn Davis Baird, lived in a beautiful rock home at 195 West Center Street, in Willard, Utah. Robert Baird built this home. On the east side of this lot, there was a small brick home shaded by a tall black walnut tree. In this home, Agnes was cared for, for the remainder of her life.
Agnes was stricken with pneumonia, and died 29 February 1896, in Willard, Box Elder, Utah, age 83. She was buried beside her husband, Robert, in the Willard City Cemetery. Janet passed away 26 May 1931, and was buried near them.
Trail Excerpt from; Baird, Alexander, “Autobiography of Alexander Baird.” 1902:32.
Contributor: MargieW Created: 3 years ago Updated: 3 years ago
"I had a great time on the plains, I can tell you. When we got to Florence, I asked the captain I was to come to the valley with, for a team to drive, as we had some extra wagons coming along. They were new wagons. They were loaded with dried fruits. I got one to drive and three yoke of cattle. This was a job for an old sailor, you bet. I had never seen a yoke of cattle in my life, and knew as much about them as they did about me. In fact, they probably knew more. But, my brother, Peter, and the young men helped me to herd them along. I got along alright after I got the yoke up, but you bet that was a job and no mistake. Many a time I got them head and tail and it was a job to get them straight again. Sometimes the pin would work out on the road and one of us had to carry the yoke and trudge along for miles in the sand. Oh, I tell you, we were pictures.
We had a couple of guns in our wagon, one, an old English musket my father gave me before I left Glasgow. It would hold half a pound of small shot. So, we always had something extra to eat. My gun never missed if you had it loaded with small shot. It held so much that scattered or broadcast. I have killed as many as forty blackbirds in one shot. All you had to do was let drive east, west, north, or south and you were sure to hit something.
When we got to the Indian country, the captain would always want me to stand guard at night around camp. This was fun for me as I had been a man o'war so long and I liked excitement, and if I do say it myself, I knew not what fear was. Captain Rex (Ricks) was good to me because I was always willing to obey orders.
We arrived in Salt Lake City the twenty-fourth of October, 1863. I had made lots of friends on the road with the valley teamsters. One of them was Chester Southworth, a jolly fellow like myself, fond of his bitters and always in good humor.
Baird, Alexander, Trail Excerpt: Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel 1847-1868. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. http://www.lds.org/churchhistory/library/pioneercompanysearch/1,15773,3966-1,00.html (17 March 2011).
Trail Excerpt, from; Baird, Peter. “Autobiography and Diary, 1901-1919.” Church History Library, MS 6224: 1.
Contributor: MargieW Created: 3 years ago Updated: 3 years ago
. . . when we got to Florence we spent two or three days washing clothing and getting ridy for the plains; here we met with another lose, a halfe dozen pair of stokings were stolen from our sack which Jessie had knitted for me before leaving Glasgow[.] Alex drove a team and I used to help him and thereby we had a good time as we were lightly loaded.
We started to travel on the tenth of August, and made good time and I felt happy, as we had left Bablon behind on the Plains[.] (At one time) we came to a fork in the road and being ahead of the train we wandered and a few of us had to stay in the hills all night, the following day we were found and again made happy, we used to gather Buflo chips to cook meals with, when we got into the hills we would awake up some mornings, with the snow all over our beds as we slept under the wagon.
We landed in the valley on 4 October 1863. We came in on a Sunday, and camped on Immigration Square. We felt pleased to be at our journey’s end, still we were strangers in a strange land[.] We had no relatives or friends to call on, so we stayed in camp till Monday morning.
Baird, Peter. Trail Excerpt: Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel 1847-1868. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. http://www.lds.org/churchhistory/library/pioneercompanysearch/1,15773,3966-1,00.html (17 March 2011).
Biography of Alexander Baird
Contributor: MargieW Created: 3 years ago Updated: 3 years ago
“Biography of Alexander Baird,” by Sherrie Ann Olsen Rubink; summarized from the book, “George A and Agnes Belle Baird Olsen, their Legacy of Testimony” https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/2283613?availability=Family%20History%20Library (2/16/2014)
Alexander Baird was a Scottish convert to the LDS Church, an immigrant, and a pioneer, who loved adventure. He was a weaver and sailor as a young man. After immigrating to Utah, he worked as a general laborer, railroad hand, deputy sheriff, jailor, etc. He loved dramatics, organizing and performing in a dramatics troupe for several years. He was tall, about 5 feet, 8 inches, of stately build, with piercing dark eyes, light completion, and sandy red hair. He was a good husband and beloved father. Alexander was a witness for the gospel of Jesus Christ. He bore witness of the truthfulness of the gospel to his friends, to his parents and family, and to his children and grandchildren.
Alexander wrote: “I was born on the tenth of January 1832, of goodly parents, in the town of Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland. … I was the oldest of fourteen children. … My father’s name was Robert Baird and my mother’s name was Agnes Bell. They were both of Paisley birth. Mother’s folks claim to be among the oldest settlers of Paisley. Her Uncle’s monument is at Vomberten Castle on the banks of the River Clyde - as the first whoever sailed a steamboat on said river. His name was Henry Bell. Father’s father was an old soldier and was wounded in the battle of Bangalore (India) of Great Britain. His grandfather was a fiery bearded old man something like his grandson – as I am of that nature. My mother’s father was of a quiet nature and of a religious turn. On his deathbed, he said that the true gospel of Jesus Christ was not on the earth then, but that his children’s children would see it established as in the days of Jesus. This I have heard my father and mother speak of often.” Autobiography of Alexander Baird.” 1902.
Alexander describes his father as “a very strict, free church man.” In about 1848, Alexander’s father, Robert, worked with John Burnside at the Barr and McNabs Foundry, where John, who was a Latter-day Saint, converted Robert. The Paisley LDS Branch was first organized in 1840. Paisley LDS Branch records show that Robert Baird was baptized on 1 August 1848, by J. Burnside. Alexander’s says that his father began praying night and morning. Alexander also believed in the LDS Church. Paisley LDS Branch Records also show that Alexander and his mother, Agnes, were baptized about 6 weeks after his father on 18 September 1848.
Alexander wanted to be a sailor. First, he ran away to be a sailor, and later with his father’s permission, he sailed for New York in December of 1848. He eventually landed in New Orleans in 1849, and later in 1850, he joined the United States Navy and served for 10 years until 1860.
According to the New Orleans Branch Records of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Alexander Baird, #159, was present when that branch was organized on 28 October 1849. In his autobiography, Alexander describes meeting Sam Campbell in New Orleans. Sam was planning to travel to Utah. Alexander traveled to St. Louis with Sam.
In St. Louis, Alexander met Grace Barr. Alexander and Grace fell in love, and were married 8 August 1850. Alexander wrote: “A Brother Roberts, who was then President of the St. Louis Branch of the Mormon Church, married us.” Baird, Alexander. “Autobiography of Alexander Baird.” 1902: 23.
Shortly after his marriage, Alexander enlisted in the US Navy and embarked with Commodore Perry on his first expedition to Japan. The Perry expedition was successful in setting up trade agreements with Japan. Alexander served on the 'Supply,' one of Commodore Perry’s armed store ships. The 'Supply' provided supplies for the 'US Courageous,' Commodore Perry’s flagship for the expedition. When Japan refused US entry, Commodore Perry anchored in Tokyo Bay for 6 months. Finally, the Japanese government allowed Perry and his sailors to come ashore. Surprisingly, the Americans then discovered that the “cannons that had been aimed at them from hundreds of vantage points” were painted artwork on paper.
From 1857, to April 1860, Alexander served as a non-commissioned chief petty officer aboard the U.S. Sloop of War, 'Vincennes,' as it sailed the African Coast to prevent slave ships from sailing to the United States and South America before the outbreak of the US Civil War. Alexander visited many seaports. As a child, Alexander attended school very little, but his extensive travel and his love for reading, gave him a good education.
When Alexander returned, he found his wife, Grace, thought he was dead and had married again.
Later, Alexander married Sarah Mary Theresa Delacy on 10 April 1860, in Boston, Massachusetts. After his marriage to Sarah, Alexander reenlisted in the US Navy. Sarah was unhappy because he had reenlisted without her (his wife’s) consent. She was able to have his reenlistment cancelled. This turned out to be most fortunate for Alexander. Shortly after Alexander’s reenlistment was cancelled, the USS Alabama, the ship on which he was to serve, became one of the first ships to be sunk in the US Civil War.
In 1860, Alexander returned to his homeland of Scotland with his new bride, Sarah. Alexander had kept his testimony of the gospel. When he returned to Scotland, he found his father’s family had left the Mormon Church. Terrible pressure was exerted against the Mormons in Scotland and as a result, Alexander’s father’s family had fallen away from the church. They welcomed him and his new bride, but felt that they did not want Mormons staying in their home. Alexander bore witness of the gospel to his family. Eventually, Alexander’s father, Robert, was re-baptized on 3 February 1862, as was his brother, Peter, on 11 April 1862. About a year after three of her children, Alexander, Peter, and Agnes immigrated to Utah, Alexander’s mother, Agnes, was re-baptized on 5 July 1864 in Glasgow.
After some members of the Baird family accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ, they were anxious to immigrate to Zion. Alexander wanted to emigrate and worked diligently weaving mats to earn the money needed. He also agreed to work aboard ship to help pay for his passage. In addition, he and his family received help from the LDS Church’s Perpetual Emigration Fund. Alexander made plans to immigrate with his wife, Sarah, and his two young children, Agnes and Alexander. Alexander’s brother, Peter, and his sister, Agnes, and their fiancés also planned to immigrate. In the spring of 1863, the three couples, along with Alexander’s two children left Glasgow for Liverpool. Alexander’s mother was not happy when her children, Alexander, Peter, and Agnes immigrated. She said that she wished Alexander had never come back to Scotland, for he had ruined her family by taking two of her children with him to Utah. Alexander told her in the name of Jesus Christ that she and her family would come to Utah to live. His parents; two sisters, Elen and Janet, and younger brother, Robert Bell Baird; followed three years later, immigrating to Utah in 1866.
Both Alexander’s brother, Peter, and his sister, Agnes, were married at Liverpool, 28 May 1863, just before leaving for America. Peter and his wife, Jessie McGilvary Baird, and Agnes, and her husband, Alexander Richardson, left Liverpool the day after their marriages, and emigrated with Alexander on the ship, Cynosure. A copy of the ship, Cynosure’s manifest lists Sarah Baird, 24; with her children, Agnes, 1; and Alexander, 5 months; and Peter Baird, 24; Agnes, 18; Jessie McGilvary, Peter’s wife, 23; and Alexander Richardson, Agnes’s husband, 22. Alexander Baird is not listed because he was not a passenger. He worked as a sailor to help pay for his passage.
The Cynosure’s voyage lasted 50 days. While en-route, the measles broke out on the ship and Alexander’s two children, Agnes and Alexander, contacted them. Alexander and Sarah’s little daughter, Agnes, died and had to be buried at sea. Their little son, Alexander, died after they landed in New York and was buried near Albany, New York. They traveled by train to St Joseph, Missouri, where they boarded a steamer and sailed up the Mississippi River to Florence, Nebraska. The Baird couples traveled with the Thomas E. Ricks Company. This company had about 400 individuals, when it began its journey from Florence, Nebraska. They departed on 10 August 1863, and arrived in Salt Lake City, on 4 October 1863.
Alexander and his wife, Sarah, settled in Perry, Utah. Alexander worked for James Young. While in Perry, Alexander put on a play. Box Elder Stake President, Lorenzo Snow, attended the play and called Alexander to Brigham City to organize a drama company. These actors were called as missionaries to furnish suitable amusement for the people, and their dramatic group was active for over twenty-five years.
Alexander, who was a weaver and sailor, was not a farmer. In the agriculture society of Pioneer Utah, Alexander found other types of employment, including work in the Brigham City woolen mills, outdoor work for the Brigham City Coop, Deputy Sheriff, work as a Railroad hand, etc.. Alexander worked for the railroad for a short time, working with a group who graded the railroad to Promontory and was present at the driving of the golden spike in 1869. Alexander, also, worked as Deputy Sheriff under Sherriff Sheldon B. Cutler who served in Box Elder County from 1860-1871.
Alexander and Sarah had five children in Utah. Shortly after the birth of their seventh child, Martha, Alexander’s wife, Sarah, died on 8 July 1872, leaving Alexander with 5 small children. Their youngest child, Martha Ann, was 10 days old.
Their daughter, Mary Ellen Baird Keller, who wrote her own autobiography, wrote about the death of her mother: “My mother died when I was five years old while giving birth to my sister, Martha. The family then returned to Willard to be cared for by our grandparents until our father married Margaret Crompton. She was a good woman and we children loved her. She cared for us until we grew up. When Father and Margaret were married, the family moved back to Brigham City where I attended school until I was fifteen years of age (1882).” Parkinson, Joyce Keller. James Morgan Keller Jr. and Mary Ellen Baird Keller, Their History and Legacy. 2001.
Alexander married Margaret Ann Crompton, on 18 December 1874. After their marriage, Alexander joined the small percentage of LDS Church members, who participated in plural marriage, and married his fourth wife, Christine Christensen. On 10 May 1875, both Margaret and Christine were sealed to Alexander in the LDS Endowment House in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Margaret was a busy mother and homemaker. She had her young son, Lorenzo Snow Baird, born 7 February 1874, and Alexander and Sarah’s five children to care for. In addition, she and Alexander had six more children. In 1882, Alexander obtained a contract to cut logs for railroad ties and moved all of his family to Mink Creek, Idaho.
Mary Ellen Baird Keller wrote: “At that time, my father acquired a contract to get railroad ties for the railroad company. We then moved to Mink Creek, Idaho, where father and my oldest brother, William, cut logs for railroad ties and floated them down Mink Creek to Bear River and on to Brigham City.” Parkinson, Joyce Keller. James Morgan Keller Jr. and Mary Ellen Baird Keller, Their History and Legacy, 2001.
Archie Baird, a grandson, wrote: “After her marriage to Alexander, Margaret lived in Brigham City for 6 or 7 years, and while there, three children were born. In the year 1882, the family moved to Mink Creek, Idaho, where Alexander and his older boys cut rail ties and floated them down Mink Creek to Bear River and then on down to Brigham City.” Larsen, Viola Barlow. Book of Remembrance, Mink Creek Idaho Ward 1871-1976. Baird, Archie. “Life of Margaret Ann Crompton.”
Archie Baird wrote: "Shortly after, Margaret’s daughter, Jessie Mary, was born, the family moved to Thatcher, Idaho. The following year the family moved to Snake River country where Alexander worked on the railroad as a cook. They lived east of what is known as Firth, Idaho. It was known as Sandpoint at that time. The year after that they moved to (a dugout in) Deweyville, a little place just north of Brigham City. Margaret lived here until the year 1899. While here, she gave birth to her youngest child, a girl, named Grace Amelia." Larsen, Viola Barlow. Book of Remembrance, Mink Creek Idaho Ward 1871-1976. Baird, Archie. “Life of Margaret Ann Crompton.”
Alexander took a contract to grub (dig) the willows out from the big Snow farm near Deweyville north of Brigham City in 1888. While he was working there, the officers arrested him for plural marriage. He was taken to Ogden and tried. He was sentenced to six months in the Utah State Penitentiary. He served from 23 June 1888, to 23 December 1888.
Just 10 days before Alexander was sentenced, Margaret gave birth to their seventh child, Grace Amelia Baird, on 13 June 1888. Margaret had six children of her own ranging in ages from 3 to 14 to care for. She was also providing a home for two of her stepchildren, Peter and Martha.
Archie Baird wrote: “While he was there (Alexander in prison), Margaret Ann had a hard time keeping the family in food and clothing. It was necessary for every member of the family to work and they had to work hard at any job they could get. Schooling was hard to come by and few of her children had very much." Larsen, Viola Barlow. Book of Remembrance, Mink Creek Idaho Ward 1871-1976. Baird, Archie. “Life of Margaret Ann Crompton.”
After his release, Alexander returned to Brigham City. He worked for Brigham City doing several different jobs, including Jail Warden. He, Christine and her five children lived in the Jail warden’s home for nine years from 1889-1898. Christine cooked for the prisoners in the Brigham City jail. Alexander had been cemetery sexton from 1877-1881. Now, he worked as a jailer and later as night watchman. He was working as a night watchman in 1890.
Margaret and her family lived in a dugout in Deweyville from 1887 to 1899, and then they moved to Mink Creek, Idaho. After the LDS Church discontinued polygamy, those men practicing polygamy had to choose one wife. Margaret was the wife that was, “set aside.” Some family members claim that they were divorced, but I have been unable to find a record to verify this. After polygamy was discontinued, Margaret, like many other women, struggled to provide for her family. We do not know how much Alexander was able to materially provide for their support. We do know that the children worked at many different jobs and we are told that they did not have the opportunity for education.
Archie Baird wrote: “While at Deweyville, Margaret saw four of her children marry. All of her step-children were married by now. William, Mary Ellen, and Lorenzo were living in Mink Creek; and Peter and Martha were living in Logan. Sarah Theresa, the first child to marry, lived at Slatterville, Utah. Her daughter, Margaret, married and spent her life at Honeyville, Utah. Susannah worked in Salt Lake City for some time and married on 13 February 1902.” Larsen, Viola Barlow. Book of Remembrance, Mink Creek Idaho Ward 1871-1976. Baird, Archie. “Life of Margaret Ann Crompton.”
In his later years, Alexander, obtained a fly shuttle and a loom, and together with his brother, Peter, he started a carpet weaving business. They were just getting started trying to make and sell enough carpets to turn a profit when Alexander became ill. Sitting for long periods most likely aggregated his leg ulcers. He apparently did not have the health to continue his weaving. Alexander also tried to start a tent and awning shop.
Alexanderina, wrote: "When he was about sixty-five years of age (1898), Alexander had a severe attack of pneumonia. It caused him to give up his public jobs, but being ambitious, he could not stay idle long. So he bought a fly shuttle loom and wove carpets and rugs for some time."
When Great-grandmother, Margaret, first returned to Mink Creek, she lived in a dugout type home on the side of a hill by Birch Creek with a sod roof. I understand that this type of home with one wall against the hill was cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Apparently, Alexander lived in Mink Creek most of the time from 1899, until he passed away in 1914. Mink Creek Ward records indicate that his church membership records were transferred back and forth between Mink Creek and Brigham City for the first few years and then he stayed in Mink Creek. (The dates are illegible.) Sometime about 1902, he wrote his autobiography while living in Mink Creek. He was also living in Mink Creek in 1907, when he applied for a Military Disability Pension.
Alexander’s military papers include the following information. His rank was Coxswain, which is a first class petty officer. He enlisted on 30 December 1851, and then again on 30 July 1857, at New York, and was he was discharged 10 May 1856, and again on 10 April 1860, at Boston. He was injured in August 1857, while serving on the receiving ship, North Carolina. His medical records contain information from the following ships: North Carolina, Supply, and the Vincennes.
Alexander wrote an interesting autobiography in 1902, while living in Mink Creek, Idaho. He became partly paralyzed from a stroke, before he passed away on 31 December 1914, at Mink Creek, Idaho, age 82, and was buried in Brigham City, Utah.
An evaluation of the records of Alexander Baird b 1827, Shettleston, Lanarkshire, Scotland.
Contributor: MargieW Created: 3 years ago Updated: 3 years ago
An Alexander Baird, baker, b 1827, in Shettleston, Lanarkshire, and his wife, Margaret, along with their children, Peter b 1853, Alexander b 1855, Margaret b 1860, and Jessie b 1862; have been located in 1861, 1871, 1881, and 1891 Scotland Census records; and have been suggested as a source for our Alexander Baird, b 1832, Paisley, Renfrewshire, and his wife, Margaret Crompton.
Extractions of these Census records have been added.
This is a different family from our Alexander Baird, b 1832, Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland:
•Alexander Baird was a popular name in Scotland in 1861. http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk shows there were 39 Alexander Baird’s living in Lanarkshire County in 1861.
•Alexander Baird in these Census records has a different birthdate, different birth place, a different occupation, and a different residence from our Alexander Baird.
oThe Lanark Alexander Baird was born in about 1828; while our Alexander was born, four years later, in 1832.
oThe Lanark Alexander Baird was born in Shettleston, in the county of Lanark; while our Alexander was born in Paisley, in the county of Renfrewshire.
oThe Lanark Alexander Baird is listed consistently over a 40 years as a baker; while our Alexander Baird listed himself as a weaver, sailor, railroad hand, and deputy sheriff.
oThe Lanark Alexander Baird lived in Scotland during his lifetime; while our Alexander immigrated to Utah in 1863, and lived the rest of his life in the United States.
The Lanark Alexander Baird’s Census records show:
Alexander Baird, 1861 Census, b abt 1817, Shettleston, Lanark, Occ Baker,
1871 Census, b abt 1828, Shettleston, Lanark, Occ Baker (Master Emp 2 men 13 boys)
1881 Census, b abt 1828, Shettleston, Lanark Occ Master Baker (Emp 5 men)
1891 Census, b, abt 1828, Shettleston, Lanark, Occ Baker,
Our Alexander Baird writes in his personal autobiography, “I was born on the tenth of January, 1832, of goodly parents, in the town of Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland. My father’s name was Robert Baird and my mother’s name was Agnes Bell. They were both of Paisley birth…”
•The Lanark Alexander Baird has a wife named Margaret. The similarity between the Tollcross Margaret and our Margaret Crompton ends here. They have different birth years, different birth places, and married their Alexander Baird’s at different ages, and passed away at different times. There is nothing in the Scotland Census Records to indicate the maiden surname of the Tollcross Margaret.
oThe Tollcross Margaret was born in 1824; while our Margaret Crompton was born, 27 years later, on 22 August 1851.
oThe Tollcross Margaret was born in Tollcross, in the county of Lanarkshire, Scotland; while our Margaret Crompton was born in Stony Brow Fold, Tottington, Lancashire, England.
oThe Tollcross Margaret married her Alexander Baird in about 1852, in Lanarkshire Scotland, judging from the birth of their first child; while our Margaret Crompton married our Alexander Baird, almost 25 years later, on 18 December 1874, in Brigham City, Utah, and was sealed to him in the Endowment House, on 10 May 1875, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
oThe Tollcross Margaret apparently died between 1881 and 1891 because her husband, Alexander Baird, is listed as a widower in the 1891 Census; while our Margaret Crompton died 18 April 1935, in Brigham City, Utah.
The Tollcross Margaret Baird’s Census records show:
Margaret Baird,1861 Census, b abt 1823, Tollcross, Lanark,
1871 Census, b abt 1823, Tollcross, Lanark,
1881 Census, b abt 1824, Tollcross, Lanark,
•The Lanark children were born in Scotland and are older than our Alexander’s children who were born in United States. There are many missing children.
Lanark Peter b 1853, Our Peter b 1868; Lanark Alexander b 1855, Our Alexander b 1882;
Lanark Margaret b 1860, Our Margaret b 1875; and Lanark Jessie b 1862, Our Jessie b 1885.