City of Green Bay
City Home Office Hours Contact Us
Mayors of Green Bay
W.C.E. Thomas
Francis X. Desnoyers
H. E. Eastman
Burley Follett
E. H. Ellis
Henry S. Baird
Nathan Goodell
M. P. Lindsley
C. D. Robinson
James S. Marshall
Anton Klaus
Alonzo Kimball
Dr. C. E. Crane
F. S. Ellis
J. C. Neville
J. H. M. Wigman
W. J. Abrams
Charles Hartung
Arthur C. Neville
James H. Elmore
Frank B. Desnoyers
Simon J. Murphy, Jr.
J. H. Tayler
Dr. Robert E. Minahan
Winford Abrams
Elmer S. Hall
Wenzel Wiesner
James H. McGillan
John V. Diener
John S. Farrell
Alex Biemeret
Dominic Olejniczak
Otto Rachals
Roman Denissen
Donald Tilleman
Harris Burgoyne
Thomas Atkinson
Michael Monfils
Samuel J. Halloin
Paul F. Jadin
James J. Schmitt

 

 

 

 

Henry Samuel Baird
(1800-1875)

H.S. Baird

Mayor H. S. Baird
1861, 1862

Henry Baird was born on May 16, 1800, in Dublin, Ireland. In 1805, his family migrated to America, settling in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As a youth, he was educated in common schools. Having an interest in law, he entered the law office of S. Douglas in Pittsburgh at age eighteen. For the next four years, he worked at various law offices in Pennsylvania and Ohio, finally acquiring a position in Cleveland at the office of Reuben Wood, who became Governor of Ohio in 1850.


In 1822, suffering from ague ("1. a fever of malarial character attended by paroxysms which occur at regular intervals. 2. A chill, or state of shaking, as with cold") and fever, he moved to Mackinac Island, Michigan Territory, to recover his health. While there, he taught school. Although intending to return to Ohio, Baird noted the opportunities for a lawyer in a frontier area and decided to remain. He was admitted to the bar in 1823 of a newly created district of Michigan Territory, comprising of all present day Iowa and Wisconsin. He moved to Green Bay in 1824 where, before a special session of Territorial Judge James D. Doty's court held October 4, 1824, he became the first professional lawyer in what is now Wisconsin.

Baird Law Office

Baird Law Office, 1836. It was located on Main
Street near Monroe Avenue. It is now preserved
and on display at Heritage Hill State Park in Green
Bay.
Go to Heritage Hill web site.
Neville Public Museum of Brown County

On August 12, 1824, he married Elizabeth Therese Fisher, a native of Prairie du Chien, who was raised in Mackinac and attended Baird's school. Because of her varied knowledge of the area, her Indian ancestry, and her ability to interpret for Baird's French clientele, Mrs. Baird contributed much to his success in law and politics. Their home was the center of Green Bay social life for many years. The Bairds had four children, Eliza A., Emilie Virginia, Elinor, and Louise Sophie.

Baird was prominent in Indian affairs and often critical of government actions regarding them. In 1830, he was a negotiator for the Winnebago and Menominee tribes in land sales. He served as secretary to Henry Dodge at the treaty at Cedar Point in 1836, was commissioner at the treaty of Buffalo Creek in 1838, and was Secretary to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, William Medill, at the council held at Lake Poygan in 1848.

His political career began in 1836 when he was elected as a Whig to the Wisconsin Territorial Legislative Council. He served as president of its first session, which began its meeting at Belmont, Wisconsin, on October 25, 1836. In December 1836, Governor Henry Dodge appointed him Attorney General of the Territory, a

Baird Home
Baird home was originally built in 1836, the wings
to to sides and the porch were added in 1844.
Neville Public Museum of Brown County

position he held until 1839. He was a delegate from Brown County to the first Wisconsin Constitutional Convention in 1846, serving on several committees. In 1853, he was the Whig candidate for governor. In this year also, he was elected President of the Green Bay Borough board, becoming Mayor of Green Bay for two terms in 1861 and 1862. Finally, he served as Draft Commissioner for Brown County during the Civil War.

In addition to his legal and political interests, Baird supervised the sale of the Astor family property in Brown County from 1862 until his death. He also served as agent in other real estate transactions. He was elected Vice-President of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin in 1862. In 1871, Baird and his wife were in charge of relief work for victims of the Peshtigo Fire. In 1874, he was one of the organizers of the Kellogg National Bank in Green Bay.

Kellogg National Bank

Kellogg National Bank, 1875. It was located on the
northwest corner of Washington and Pine Streets.
Neville Public Museum of Brown County

Baird died on April 30, 1875, and is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

H.S. Baird's Gravesite
Baird's gravestone overlooking the river, located
in Woodlawn Cemetery.
See a closeup view of inscription>>