Hiram Jeremiah Baird

Submitted by Debra Baird

Hiram Jeremiah “Jerry” Baird was born in Calhoun County, Alabama, July 23, 1858, to George Washington and Amanda Emeline Dempsey Baird. He came to Winston County with his father and grandfather, Hiram Henry Baird, Sr. just before 1860, as war settled on the country.

Hiram Jerry was first married to Martha Margaret Channell, and lived near Houston. His children from this marriage were Homer Franklin, Ida, Leonard Blaine, Elmer Andrew, and Floyd McKinley Baird. His father’s sister, Maryanne Elizabeth Baird, was married to Martha’s older brother, Johnson Channell. Johnson served the Confederacy during the Civil War, while the Baird’s served Winston County and tried to remain with the Union, without fighting for either side. After Martha died in 1896, Hiram Jerry married Naomi “Oma” King, and moved closer to the Natural Bridge area, where her family had settled. Their children were William R. (Will), Ada, and Virgil T. Baird.

The Baird family includes a long list of patriots who were loyal to and served the United States, both as public servants and as soldiers. Hiram Jerry was the treasurer of Winston County from 1892 to 1900, and his father, George, was the county sheriff from 1877-1879. Hiram Jerry’s grandmother, Lucinda Norwood Baird, was the granddaughter of Joseph Underwood of Elbert County, Georgia, who served in Virginia during the Revolutionary War. Her mother, the daughter of Joseph, Elizabeth Underwood, and her father, Samuel Porter Norwood, of Abbeville, South Carolina, spent most of their lives in Cass and Carroll County, Georgia. Elizabeth’s brother, Judge William Henderson Underwood, was instrumental in representing the legal interests of the Cherokee Nation in Washington, during the early years of Georgia’s history. In fact, during one uprising, Elizabeth and her children were hidden in safety by some of the Cherokee’s, from their own tribesmen, due to William’s kindnesses to their people.

Hiram Jerry’s grandfather, Hiram Henry, was fond of telling stories about his father, Benjamin Washington Baird, who served in the War of 1812 for Georgia, and his grandfather, William Baird of the Waxhaw Settlement, South Carolina, who served during the Revolutionary War in that area. There is also a family story that this William Baird/Beard was sent to the American Colonies on a prisoner ship because of his very youthful fighting against the English at the Battle of Culloden, Scotland in 1746. He was only sixteen years of age at the time of the battle and barely eighteen when he managed to jump ship in the Maryland harbor, getting away before he became an indentured servant, sold by the English to plantation owners. He soon married Jean and moved on to the Carolinas about 1752.