WILLIAM C. BAIRD, rancher and public-spirited citizen of Canyon City, is, though not a native son by the narrow margin of three months, a typical Texas product in all other essentials and characteristics, and one of the most thoroughly practical and successful cattlemen, having experienced all the ups and downs, hardships and pleasures, of that fascinating pursuit, through all its departments, since he first climbed into the saddle and helped make his first round-up, something like a third of a century ago. Energetic, diligent, a shrewd manager and director of affairs, he has deservedly prospered in his private business, and as a public-spirited citizen has accomplished much that pertains to the substantial growth and progress of his adopted town and county.
Born in Hickman county, Tennessee, October 17, 1853, where his parents, S. M. and Sarah (Totty) Baird,were also natives, he was when a babe of three month taken to Texas, the family home being located in Cooke county. In that then new country his father developed a farm, and some years later moved to Grayson county, but finally located in the northeast corner of Wise county, where he died in 1888, and his good wife has also passed away.
Farming pursuits were the principal theme of Mr. Baird’s early life, but almost as early as he can remember he was also associated with the cattle industry. Reared for the most part in Cooke county, he there began to learn the cattle business, for which he showed a natural aptitude, and he was soon a full-fledged cowman. With his brother, Ed Baird, he secured employment as a cowboy with the well known cattle firm of Gunter and Munson. In the early eighties Ed Baird came up to the Panhandle with the Gunter and Munson outfit, and in 1884 William C. also came up and joined him. Gunter and Munson’s ranch was the well known “T Anchor” ranch, which then embraced an immense tract in the central Panhandle, their headquarters being on Palo Duro creek near where Canyon City now stands, and the old log house at the headquarters is still standing at the head of the canyon. Mr. Baird has followed the trail all over this country, and, beginning at the bottom, he has advanced to his present position of prosperity by his own energetic efforts and capable business management. In 1891 he quit working for others and with his brother Ed established the Baird ranch in Randall county ten miles west of Canyon City, which is one of the representative ranches of the county, and they raise and handle large numbers of cattle each year. In addition to the ranch Mr. William Baird himself owns half a section on the creek adjoining the town of Canyon City, and this is his homestead. He has been very successful since going into business on his own account, and is recognized as one of the substantial, reliable men of his county.
Mr. Baird took a prominent part in the organization of Randall county, in July, 1889, and he was one of the first county commissioners. At the present time he is a school trustee, and has taken an active part in the erection of the fine twelve thousand dollar public school in Canyon City, and is one of the typical spirits who have made Randall county a model educational center. He is a member of the Christian church.
Mr. Baird was married in Grayson county to Miss Nannie Baird, and they have three children, Alvis, Clyde and Clara.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. I, pp. 324-325.