Laird, Burgett, Purgett
Samuel Laird and Delilah Albin
Compiled by Judy Griffin, 2007 - email address
Proposed Laird Lineage
Samuel Laird (1804 – 1871) + Delila Albin (1805 – 1877)
...... 2 Elias Laird (1825 – 1874) + Lucretia Pruitt (1827 – 1888)
.......... 3 Georgiana Laird (1848 - ) + David W. Montgomery
.......... 3 George W. Laird (1848 – 1901) + Sarah Emma Alexander
.......... 3 Barbara Laird (ca. 1849 - ) + Thomas Rowe
.......... 3 Samuel W. Laird (ca. 1851 - )
.......... 3 John W. Laird (ca. 1853 - )
.......... 3 Elias A. Laird (1856 - ) + Ida B. Coats
.......... 3 Daniel W. Laird (ca. 1857 - )
.......... 3 Delilah Jennie Laird (ca. 1859 - ) + Holmes
.......... 3 Alonzo Lincoln Laird (ca. 1861 - ) + Esthera Wallace (ca. 1863 - )
.......... 3 Rosabird Laird (ca. 1869 - ) + _?_ Adgates
...... 2 John Laird (1827 – 1874) + Phoebe Burgett (1833 – 1900)
.......... 3 Squire H. Laird (1854 – 1916) + Mary Jane Purget (1858 – 1918)
.............. 4 John Henry Laird (1877 – 1889)
.............. 4 Arthur Ernest Laird (1879 – 1889)
.............. 4 Aurora Floyd Laird (1883 – 1952) + Catherine Stone (1890 – 1967)
.............. 4 Vernal May Laird (1887 – 1948) + Jesse A. Reetz (1885 – 1945)
.............. 4 Emma O. Laird (1891 - ) + (1) Clarence Hinton, (2) Warren Martin
.............. 4 Omar Otis Laird (1893 – 1999) + Lola Shankland ( - 1953)
.............. 4 Nellie M. Laird (1896 – 1994) + William Martin
.............. 4 Leslie Keeley Laird (1902 – 1986) + Hilda Iola Hutchinson (1912 – 2005)
...... 2 James A. Laird (1830 – 1905) + Permelia Long (1831 - )
.......... 3 Marion W. Laird (1852 – 1922) + (1) Matilda Coats (1856 – 1903), (2) Mary Stewart Lute
.......... 3 Mary A. Laird (ca. 1852 - )
.......... 3 George William Laird (1854 – 1882) + Matilda J. Parks
........... 3 Clara Laird (1854 - ) + James C. Harrison
........... 3 Phoebe Laird (1858 – 1914)
........... 3 Albert R. Laird (1860 – 1933) + Tina Hoskins
........... 3 Charles Laird (1861 – 1888)
........... 3 Nora May Laird (1866 – 1952) + William Marion Smith
........... 3 Samuel Laird (aft. 1860 - )
...... 2 George William Laird (1833 – 1874) + Christina Beeker (1833 - )
........... 3 Orlyeia Ann Laird (1857 -)
........... 3 Leonard Laird (1858 – 1947) + Rebecca Hunt Sickler
........... 3 Charles Laird (1860 – 1860)
........... 3 Clarinda Laird (1861 - )
........... 3 Ida May Laird (1864 - ) + Joseph Holiday
........... 3 Elmyra Laird (1868 – 1870)
........... 3 Elmer Laird (1868 - ) + Eva Vencel
........... 3 Franklin H. Laird (1872 - ) + Adella Westfall
...... 2 Charles W. Laird (1835 – 1876) + Phoebe E. Harness (1833 – 1900)
........... 3 Marcan Laird (1860 – 1897)
........... 3 Samuel Laird (ca. 1865 - )
........... 3 Sarah Delila Laird (ca. 1868 - ) + John Anderson Linville
........... 3 Jasper Van Laird (1870 – 1944) + Laura Fleming
...... 2 Mary Jane Laird (1838 – 1904) + Lewis Burgett (1831 – 1893) see Burgett history
...... 2 Robert H. Laird (1841 – 1861)
...... 2 Laura Laird (ca. 1845 - ) + Henry Wolfe
...... 2 Amanda Laird (1848 – 1886) + Finley T. Coats
Samuel J. Laird was born on September 3, 1804 in Pennsylvania, and died on August 1, 1871 in Iroquois County, Illinois. He married Delila Albin on May 31, 1824 in Guernsey County, Ohio. (1) Delila was born on December 25, 1805 in Ohio or Virginia, and died on January 25, 1877 in Iroquois County, Illinois (see Albin history). Samuel and Delila had nine children: Elias, John, James, George, Charles, Mary Jane, Robert, Laura, and Amanda. Samuel and Delila were buried in the Amity Cemetery in Lovejoy Township, Iroquois County, in the Methodist Episcopal burying ground.
Delilah Albin first married Thomas Secrest on October 3, 1822 in Guernsey County, Ohio. (2) An undocumented sources states that Thomas Secrest was born in 1797. According to Paul Laird (no documentation), Thomas Henry Secrest died of alcohol poisoning in 1823. Their children are said to have been: John, James, George, and Charles. They are said to have had two sets of twins, both sets dying in early infancy. These children seem unlikely, even if there were twins as reported, since Delilah had been married less than two years to Thomas Secrest – at most fifteen months if Thomas died in 1823. A search for Thomas Secrest and his family has produced no information.
Samuel and Delila owned land in Guernsey County, Adams Township, in 1825. (3) This land was deeded to a George Leard, but Samuel and Delila Leard paid the taxes. In 1827 they sold that land and bought a different section just south of the original land. When they sold the land it was recorded as owned by Samuel and Delila Leard, with George Leard as Assignor of the Deed. There was a George Leard living in Hancock County in 1840 and 1850. He was not found after that. George may have been the father or relative of Samuel. This George Leard also had some connection to a Robert Leard of Guernsey County, who married Elizabeth Braddock in 1825 – Robert could have been Samuel’s brother.
Samuel was a farmer and miller by trade, who provided supplies for the Corkonians and Downies (two groups of Irish laborers on the Erie to Wabash Canal) and timber for building the supports and locks. (4) Samuel and Delilah moved from Guernsey County, Ohio in 1839 and arrived in Findlay, Ohio (Hancock County) in August 1838. Samuel ran a sawmill just outside Findlay until 1840. He moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana about February 1840, where he also did lumber work for the Erie Canal project. The Erie Canal flowed from Lake Erie near Toledo to the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers near Evansville, Indiana. It flowed through Findlay, Ohio, Ft. Wayne, Indiana and Lafayette, Indiana. “Several astute businessmen associated themselves with the Wabash to Erie Canal. Among them are Harold Langlois, a builder of ferry ships and barges; Samuel Laird, a millright and farmer from Ohio, and Thomas Hamilton, a surveyor from Findlay, Ohio. Langlois made every barge used to construct the canal. Hamilton and his crew won the surveying rights for the construction on the Maumee River, while Laird seemed to buy property everywhere he went.” (5) Before moving from Findlay, Samuel Laird traded his two mills and 200 head of cattle for a section of land in Tippecanoe County, Indiana. (6) Samuel and Delilah moved to Lafayette, Indiana in 1841, where Samuel farmed his 640 acres, with the help of his four sons. This appears to be the land regarding which there was a lengthy 1844-45 court case involving Samuel. Samuel must have lost the case, he ended up paying out something over $800 regarding this court case from 1845 to 1850.
Laird Mill: (7) “One of the early mill sites of the county was situated on Burnetts creek a little southwest of the Tippecanoe Battle Field. It stood just above where the upper, or original dam of the Cooper-Scott Mill was later located; and was known as the Laird Mill. The water by which it secured its power was diverted from Burnetts creek by a log and brush dame situated a half mile above the mill seat. This plant was a crude affair, a mere shed, and it had but one set of buhrs, which was used to grind either wheat or corn. There was located here, also, and owned by the same person, a saw mill, one of those primitive affairs consisting of a straight blade that operated up and down. The mill was reached by a winding approach of its own, because it was not situated on a main route of travel but stood about a quarter of a mile east of the road that passed the other mill situated a mile further down Burnetts creek. This little mill, because of its isolated location and its inferior equipment, was run but a short time, soon being outstripped by the more accessible and larger plant further down stream. Because of its short duration its existence would long since have been obscured in oblivion but for the mute reminder conveyed by traces of the old race which resisted the changes of time so that its outline was discernible long after the building disappeared and had been forgotten.”
Land records from The Indiana Land Office show that Samuel Laird and his son Elias both owned property in Tippecanoe County in 1850. In 1852, Samuel traded his land, cattle, and a mill for two sections of farmland near Milford, Illinois. He moved to Milford in 1854 and his sons soon followed. Samuel owned over $27,000 in real estate holdings and Elias owned 80 acres worth about $200 and buildings worth $4,500. According to the Milford and Vicinity Sesquicentennial Souvenir Book 1830-1980, Samuel gave each of his sons 160 acres and each of this three daughters 80 acres or an equivalent, reserving 240 acres for himself. In May 1857, Samuel apparently was still trading land, this time in Iroquois County with a John Ra?er (possibly John Rosser/Rasser). (8)
Records show that Samuel owned 800 acres of land worth $32,000 in Iroquois County. His son Elias owned 160 acres. He traded for 120 of the acres and purchased the other 40 for $50.00. Son George owned 160 acres in Iroquois County for which he paid $200.00. Samuel acquired his land in 1852-53. Elias acquired his in 1852-54. George bought his land in 1850-54. Son James owned 160 acres he purchased privately in 1856. This family owned, as a unit, almost 850 acres in Iroquois County by 1860. In the 1860 census for Milford, a David M. Laird was enumerated in Samuel Laird’s household, age 26, born in Ohio. It is not known if this person is related to Samuel.
Samuel Laird died of consumption (tuberculosis) in 1871. (9) Just three years later, within one week in 1874, sons Elias, John and George died of typhoid fever. Samuel died intestate, Elias and Charles W. were appointed to administer his estate. Delilah also did not leave a will, James A. Laird administered her estate, valued at approximately $900. Her survivors were: James A., the heirs of Elias, heirs of John, heirs of George, heirs of Charles W., and daughters Mary Jane Burgett, Laura Wolf and Amanda Coats.
The children of Samuel and Delilah:
Elias Laird, see below.
John Laird, see below.
James A. Laird, see below.
George William Laird was born on June 30, 1833 in Ohio and died on September 24, 1874, Indiana, buried in Montmorenci Cemetery, Tippecanoe County. He married Christina Beeker on December 11, 1855 in Tippecanoe County, Indiana. (10) Christina was born on August 3, 1833 and died on June 11, 1923, buried in Montmorenci Cemetery, Tippecanoe County. Christina was in Bolivar Township, Benton County, Indiana in 1880, with their children. Orleya and Leonard were born in Illinois, all the rest in Indiana. It appears they moved to Indiana circa 1861. They had eight children: Orlyeia Ann, born May 2, 1857, died May 23, 1947; Leonard, born July 3, 1858, died May 23, 1947, married Rebecca Hunt Sickler; Charles, born January 9, 1860 and died the same day; Clarinda, born November 13, 1861; Ida May, born February 11, 1864, married Joseph Holiday; Elmyra, born August 22, 1868, died August 6, 1870; Elmer, born August 22, 1868 (twin), Married Eva Vencel; and Franklin H., born August 17, 1872, married Adella Westfall. There are a number of Lairds buried in Montmorenci Cemetery that may be the children of George and Christina: Leonard, 1858-1945; Rebecca H., 1865-1895, probably Leonard’s wife; Clara, born November 13, 1861, died May 23, 1947; Elmyra Laird, born August 6, 1870, died at age 1yr 11m 24da; Orleya, died January 15, 1888, 30 yr 8mo 13da.
Charles W. Laird was born on December 29, 1835 in Ohio and died on December 29, 1876. He married Phoebe E. Harness, who was born in 1833 and died on February 14, 1914. They had six children: Marcan/Marcus (born October 3, 1860 and died January 19, 1897), Samuel, Sarah Delilah, Jasper Van, Martha and Aaron. After Charles died, Phoebe married George Washington Luther on March 11, 1880. Charles’s son Jasper Van Laird married Laura Fleming in Kentland in 1893. They lived on their farm several miles south of Milford, on a part of the original tract of Laird farmland. They had six children: Gladys, married William Rapp; Lawrence, who married Fay Henderson, died in 1954; Harris, who married Kate Carter; Ray, who married Mary Howell, died in 1979; Paul, who married Mable Rush; and James Russell “Pete,” who married Phyllis Pinnick. James Russell Laird operated the last remaining 80 acres of the original tract of land purchased by Samuel Laird. Sarah Delilah’s husband, John Linville was a horse trader in Leginoir, Indiana; they were married in Milford in 1887. Sarah and John were divorced and Sarah then married Ed Lyons in Milford, who was killed shortly after their marriage.
Mary Jane Laird was born on October 16, 1838 in Ohio and died on April 04, 1904, buried in Amity Cemetery. She married Lewis Burgett (see Burgett history). Paul Laird stated that Mary Jane was born in Pleasant City, Ohio.
Robert H. Laird was born circa 1841 in Indiana and died in 1861. Robert served in the Civil War enlisting in Company E, 76th Illinois Volunteers in 1861. He was listed as dying from Typhoid fever, and is buried in the National Cemetery in Memphis, Tennessee. Paul Laird states that he died in the Battle of Memphis, not from his typhoid fever, on March 11, 1863. He received a medal for bravery posthumously by order of President Grant in 1876.
Laura Laird was born circa 1845 in Indiana. Laura married Henry Wolf.
Amanda Laird was born in June 1848 in Indiana and died on October 7, 1886. Amanda married Finley T. Coats on September 4, 1871.
John Laird (Samuel1) was born on July 14, 1827 in Ohio. He married Phoebe Burgett on March 27, 1851. Phoebe was born on November 28, 1833 in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, and died on February 12, 1900 in Milford, Illinois. They were probably married in Tippecanoe County. They moved to Iroquois County, Illinois in 1858, settling on Section 29, Milford Township, on the 160 acres of land that Samuel had given John. John died of typhoid fever on September 30, 1874 in Iroquois County – only 47 years old. Phoebe remained on the family farm for a while after John died. They had four children, but only Squire Hamilton Laird survived. Phoebe remarried after John died (see Burgett history). She married William M. Bicher, an insurance agent, on February 1, 1883 in Watseka. She then married Joseph Nelson Cupp on February 20, 1894 in Iroquois County. (11) There is a divorce record for Phebe Cupp and Joseph Nelson Cupp in Iroquois County. (12) Phoebe’s obituaries: (13)
“Mrs. Phoebe Laird, daughter of John and Catharine Burgett, and widow of John Laird, was born in Tippecanoe County, Ind., Nov. 28, 1833. She was married to John Laird, March 27, 1851. In the spring of 1858 they removed to Iroquois county and settled in Milford. Only one child, the only son, Squire H. Laird, three sisters in Indiana, and one brother, John Burgett of Woodland, survives her. Her death came as a great shock to the community and especially to her grand-daughter, Erma, who was alone with her at the time. During the day she had been unusually well and lively. Death found her well prepared and willing to go, leaving a blessed memory behind.” “Mrs. Phoebe Laird died at Her home in Milford, Monday Feb. 12, 1900, aged 66 years, 2 months and 14 days. Funeral services were held Wednesday the 14, with interment at Milford cemetery.”
Squire H. Laird (see below)
Charlotte Nancy Laird, born August 3, 1856, Iroquois County, died circa 1863 in Iroquois County.
Squire H. Laird
Squire H. Laird (John2, Samuel1) was born on February 15, 1854 in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, and died on June 3, 1918 in Iroquois County, Illinois. He married Mary Jane Purget on November 2, 1876 in Iroquois County. Mary Jane was born on January 21, 1858 in Madison County, Indiana, and died on September 11, 1916 in Iroquois County (see Purgett family history).
Squire’s farm was inherited from his father, and, in fact, at one time Squire had inherited two farms. It was good farmland with Sugar creek running through it. It had an artesian well (spring) and that was where milk and cream and perishables were kept since no one had electricity or refrigerators in those days. Squire was a lover of horses but he also had a tendency to drink too much. During those times he would loan money and sign notes, consequently losing part of his inheritance when he had to make good on the notes. According to Hilda Laird, Squire Laird’s parents owned three nice farms, but Squire drank and lost two of them. Hilda also stated that Squire was a partner in a shoe store in Milford. The store went broke around the time of his daughter Nell’s birth. Nell was born in town. The house in town may have been inherited from Mary Jane’s father Henry Purget. Squire and Mary Jane moved into town (Milford) on Main Street, not too long before they died. Mary Jane was a very industrious woman and evidently kept the family on an even keel. Before his last son’s birth, Squire took the Keeley Cure for alcoholism at Dwight, Illinois. He named his son, Leslie Keeley “Joe” Laird, after the cure and never drank after “Joe’s” birth. In his will, Squire left an estate of about thirty three thousand dollars. A considerable sum in 1916, and remarkable because Squire was known for loaning money to others and is said to have lost a great deal of money this way. Squire’s will was dated less than a month before he died. His granddaughter, Marjorie Laird Lucier lived on the family farm in 1997. Squire’s full name was probably Squire Hamilton Laird. Squire’s biography: (14)
“Squire H. Laird, a prominent and valued citizen of Milford Township, who carries on general farming on sections 29 and 30, was born near Battle Ground, Ind., on the 15th of February, 1854. His parents were John and Phoebe (Burgett) Laird, the former a native of Ohio, and the latter of Indiana. They had a family of four children, but our subject is the only one now living. The parents came to Illinois in 1858, when Squire was a lad of only four summers, and settled in Iroquois County. Mr. Laird [John] secured a farm in Milford Township, about four and a half miles southwest of the village of Milford. To its cultivation and improvement, with characteristic energy, he devoted his time and attention until his death, which occurred in 1873; He was a highly respected citizen and took an active interest in all public affairs, giving his support to every enterprise calculated to prove of public benefit. His wife still survives him, and for about sixteen years continued to reside on the old homestead. In 1889, however, she removed to Milford, where she is now living. Squire Laird, whose name heads this record, is still living on the home farm, having known no other home since he was four years old. During his boyhood he aided his father in the cultivation of the land in the summer months, and in the winter season attended the common schools, where he acquired his education. As a companion and help-mate on life’s journey he chose Miss Mary Jane Purget, daughter of Henry and Lydia (Mustard) Purget, of this county. Their union was celebrated November 2, 1876, and was blessed with a family of five children, but only three are now living. John Henry, the eldest, born December 5, 1877, died on the 25th of August, 1889; Arthur Ernest, born December 24, 1879, died on the 30th of October, 1889; Aurora Floyd, born October 26, 1883; Vernal May, May 19, 1887; and Emma O., August 7, 1891, are still with their parents. In his political affiliations, Mr. Laird is a Republican, but he has never been an office-seeker. However he has held the office of School Director for the long period of eighteen years, doing efficient service for the cause of education, which finds in him a warm friend. He ever takes an active interest in all that pertains to the welfare of the community, and is found in the front rank in support of its worthy enterprises. He is public spirited and progressive, and is an honorable, up-right man, who has the confidence and good-will of all with whom he has come in contact. Those who have known him from boyhood are numbered among his stanchest friends, which fact indicates the honorable, upright life he has lived. Himself and wife hold an enviable position in social circles, and are well worthy of representation in this volume.”
Squire’s obituary (no date, no name of newspaper): “Milford Citizen Dies After Long Illness. Squire H. Laird, Prominent Retired Farmer, Succumbs to Bright’s Disease. Squire H. Laird, a resident of Milford township for the past fifty-eight years, passed away at his home in Milford on Monday, September 11, after being confined to his bed for eight months with Bright’s disease. He was the son of John and Phoebe, Burgett laird, and was born near Lafayette, Ind., February 15, 1854. When he was four years of age his parents removed to Iroquois county, where the father acquired a farm about four and one-half miles southwest of Milford. The son assisted his parents in the operation of the farm during his boyhood, and attended the rural schools where he secured his education. Upon the death of his father, which occurred in 1873, Mr. Laird took over the management of the estate for his mother, which duty he performed well until her death in 1900, at which time the property passed to him. On November 2, 1876, Mr. Laird was joined in wedlock with Miss Mary Jane Purget, daughter of Henry and Lydia Purget of Iroquois county. The union was blessed with eight children, two of who, John Henry and Arthur Ernest, answered the call of death in 1889. The surviving children are Floyd A. Laird of Chicago; Mrs. Vernal Reetz, Lewiston, Montana; Mrs. Erma Hinton, Watseka; Omar Laird of near Milford; Nellie of Watseka and Leslie at home. Actively interested at all times in the betterment of the community in which he resided, Mr. Laird was a valued and honored neighbor. Selfishness was foreign to him, and he was widely known for his generosity, those (unreadable word) always finding in him a helpful friend. For nearly twenty years he assisted the cause of education in the district which bears his name by serving efficiently as director. His business integrity was never doubted. Those who had known him for many years were numbered among his staunchest friends, which fact indicates the upright life he lived. Two years ago, hoping that he and his wife might enjoy their declining years on the fruits of their labor, Mr. Laird retired from active farm life and moved to his property in Milford. it was just a few short months later that he was stricken with that which proved to be his last illness. Although his suffering was great during his long sickness, he was ever patient, and when he realized that the end was near, he said to his life helpmate that he did not fear death, but that it was hard to leave his loved ones. Funeral services were held at the Milford Methodist church Wednesday forenoon at 9:30, conducted by Rev. Brown. Special music was furnished by Mr. and Mrs. G. Edward Arnold of Watseka. A large number of friends and relatives gathered to pay their last respects to the honored dead, and the floral offerings were numerous and beautiful. Following the sermon, the funeral party proceeded to Amity cemetery, where the deceased was laid to rest beside his mother and sons. The sympathy of the entire community is extended to the bereaved family in their great loss.”
Squire’s probate record, dated October 16, 1916, Iroquois County, Illinois stated that Squire H. Laird died September 11, 1916 in Milford, Iroquois County, Illinois; that he was married once to Mary Jane Purgett. It listed these children:
John Henry Laird, died 25 August 1889, age 12 years.
Arthur Ernest Laird, died 20 October 1889, age 10 years.
Floyd A. Laird (son), 519 West 66th Place, Chicago, Illinois. Floyd was Executor.
Mrs. Vernal Laird Reetz (daughter), Lewiston, Montana
Mrs. Erma Laird Hinton, mentioned in will as Mrs Emma Laird Hinton, (daughter), Watseka, Illinois
Omar Laird (son), Milford, Illinois
Nellie Laird (daughter), Watseka, Illinois
Leslie Laird (son), Milford, Illinois
The will of Squire H. Laird dated July 27, 1916, gave all his personal property to his wife, Mary Jane Laird. His son, Floyd A. Laird was named as executor. He gave the rest of his real estate to his wife Mary Jane Laird. Children named were Floyd A. Laird, Mrs. Vernal Laird Reetz, Mrs. Emma Laird Hinton, Omar Laird, Nellie Laird, and Leslie Laird.
John Henry Laird was born on December 5, 1877 and died of diphtheria on August 25, 1889.
Arthur Ernest Laird was born on December 24, 1879 and died of diphtheria on October 30, 1889.
Aurora Floyd Laird (Floyd A.) was born on October 26, 1883 and died in 1952. Floyd Laird married Catherine Stone on July 4, 1918. Catherine was born on December 11, 1890 in Chicago and died on June 30, 1967. They had two children, Robert (born 1920) and Marjorie. Robert came home from college and later committed suicide, also killing his mother (but see obituary). Robert may have had schizophrenia or other mental illness. Marjorie Laird married David Jordan, who was born in 1921 and died in 1963. Marjorie and David had three children: Cathy Jordan, Jacqueline Jordan, and Laird M. Jordan (born 1952, died 1989). After David died, Marjorie married Paul Lucier. Marjorie lived on the family farm when I visited her in the 1980s. Obituary: “July 12, 1967. “Mother and Son Found Dead in Farm Home Near Milford. Double funeral services were held Saturday for Mrs. Kathryn Stone Laird and her son, Robert, who were found dead Thursday at their farm home southwest of Milford. An investigation was being continued into the death of Mrs. Laird. The two were found dead Thursday by Iroquois County Sheriff Vernon E. Strough, Wayne Knapp, county coroner, stated that the son’s death was due to an apparent .410 shotgun wound. The shotgun was found on the man’s legs. Mrs. Laird was found dead in a bedroom near the kitchen where her son was found. According to Knapp, Mrs. Laird did not die from a gunshot wound. Knapp said Saturday that Dr. Albert Miller, Iroquois County pathologist, asked for at least a week to make a further study into the cause of death of Mrs. Laird. An autopsy was performed Friday. Outside the house was a trailer, loaded with an assortment of children’s toys, such as: little bongo drums, miniature record players and toy ear phones. The trailer was decorated with Christmas lights. Also in the trailer was an unicycle, a woman’s wig and stockings. A bamboo curtain ran across in front of the trailer. Strough stated that it looked as if someone might have changed into a costume and then came out in front of the bamboo curtain to perform. The Rev. Thomas Lindeman, minister of the Milford Methodist Church, officiated at the services at the Barker Funeral Home. Burial was in Amity Cemetery, near Goodwine. Mrs. Laird was born December 11, 1890, in Chicago. She was married July 4, 1918, to Floyd Laird, who died in 1952. The Lairds moved to their Milford home in 1943. Mrs. Laird is survived by a daughter, Mrs. Marge Jordan, West Palm Beach, Fla., three grandchildren and a brother, Irvin Stone of California. Robert Laird was born in Chicago on November 6, 1920. A graduate of Oak Park High School, he attended the University of Illinois.
Vernal Laird was born on May 19, 1887 and died on June 26, 1948 in Chicago, Illinois. Vernal Laird married Jesse A. Reetz on September 6, 1905. Jesse was born on February 15, 1885 in Dawson Park, Illinois and died on December 25, 1945 in Watseka, Illinois. Jesse was a farmer in Montana for a number of years, then a field man with the Milford Canning Company. According to Hilda Laird, Vernal divorced Jesse Reetz. They had three children: Leonard, Iva (“Jane”), and Thelma (“Hap”). Leonard Reetz married Betty _?_, who died in 1985. They had a son, Robert Reetz. Iva Reetz married Robert Hamilton. The family story is that Robert Hamilton’s sister, Polly Hamilton, was with Dillinger the night he died. Thelma Reetz married Gordon Wothe and they had a son Thomas Wothe.
A Polly Hamilton, was with Dillinger the night he died. Polly Hamilton gained fame in the 1930s due to her relationship with the gangster, Dillinger. Hilda Laird said that one of our family married the brother of “The Lady in Red.” Polly wasn’t the ‘Lady in Red.’ but she was Dillinger’s girlfriend at the time and was with Dillinger the night he was killed by the FBI. I did find it interesting that a John Hamilton was part of Dillinger’s gang. I suspect he was related to Polly. In 1979 a movie was made about the ‘Lady in Red.’ According to information on this movie, John Sayles wrote this depression-era gangster drama, loosely based on the real story of Polly Hamilton (renamed Polly Franklin for the film).
Erma O. Laird was born on August 7, 1891 and died in 1986 in Dallas, Texas, age 95. She was buried at Oak Hill Cemetery, Watseka, Illinois. Erma attended Grand Prairie Seminary, a private school of higher learning in Watseka. (15) Erma married Clarence Hinton and had one child, Gayle Winona Hinton, who married John Thomason. After Clarence died, Erma then married Warren Martin. Gayle adopted two children, Gloria Gayle (born about 1940) and Melanie (born 1942).
Nellie M. Laird was born on December 10, 1896 and died on January 3, 1994 in Arlington Heights, Cook County, Illinois. Nell married William Martin. They had no children and were divorced.
Omar Otis Laird (“Toad”) was born on April 29, 1893 in Milford, Iroquois County. He married Lola Shankland. They had two children, Helen and Margaret. Helen Laird married John Elkin and they had four children: Steven Elkin, Joseph Elkin, Alan Elkin, and Susan Elkin. Helen died in the early 1970s. The SSDI lists a Helen Laird (Elkin), died December 23, 1992. Margaret Laird married Lowell Griffin. They divorced and Margaret married _?_ Smith. Omar died at age 105 on January 20, 1999 in Florida and was buried in Hoopeston, Vermilion County, Illinois. Omar’s obituaries: “Omar Otis Laird. Born 29 April 1893 in Milford, Illinois. Died 20 January 1999, Harborside Health Care, Rockledge, Brevard County, Florida at age 105. Occupation: Care Taker, Boy scouts of America. Father, Squire Laird, Mother, Jane Purget. Buried Floral Hill Cemetery, Hoopeston, Illinois. . . . “ In memory Omar Laird Rockledge - Omar Otis Laird, 105, a former caretaker for Boy Scouts of America in Illinois, died Wednesday, Jan. 20, at Harborside Rehabilitation Center. Mr. Laird was born in Milford, Ill. He came to Brevard County in 1993 from Danville, Ill. Survivors include his daughter, Margaret Smith of Rockledge; six grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren. . . .”
Florida Today, April 29, 1998. “Rockledge man marks 105th birthday today. Family, friends and fellow residents of Harborside healthcare in Rockledge will help Omar Laird celebrate his 105th birthday today with cake and a party at Harborside. Laird was born April 29, 1893, in Milford, Ill., married Lola Shankland (who died in 1953) and has lived at Harborside since May 1994. During his 105 years, Laird has been a farmer, worked at steel mills, been employed by General Motors and ran the Cherokee Council Boy Scout Camp in Georgetown, Ill., for 13 years before retiring in his mid-70s. Laird’s hobbies include playing cards and his harmonica, eating home-cooked food of almost any kind and smoking imported cigars. He has two daughters, the late Helen Elkin of Alvin, Ill., and Marge Smith of Rockledge; six grandchildren, two of whom live in Brevard County - Jim and Dick Griffin; 10 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.”
Resident Spotlight. (16) “Mr. Omar Laird is our oldest resident. He is 105 and will be 106 in April. He was born in 1893 in Milford, Illinois. He was raised on a farm so he did a lot of various chores along with his seven brothers and sisters to help his parents. He only completed 8th grade, but I’m sure he learned a lot more on the farm than in school. He was a sportsman and loved to fish and hunt. He married Lola Schankland on July 5, 1913 when he was 20. They were married for 40 years until she died in 1953. When Omar left the farm and moved to Danville, Illinois, he worked for General Motors for ten years and then went to Gary, Indiana, and worked in the steel mills for about two to three years. Then they moved back to Danville, Illinois, and he went to work in Georgetwon at a Boy’s Scout Camp for around thirteen years. He loved the outdoors, so he loved the job. He retired to a trailer park in Bismark, Illinois. Omar and Lola had two daughters, Helen and Margaret. They had six children, so Omar and Lola had six grandchildren, ten great grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren. Omar loved to play his french harp or harmonica and Lola played the piano. She never worked outside the house but did the cooking, cleaning, sewing, canning, etc. Omar also loved to play cards, euchre, pennyante poker and gin rummy were his favorites. He also loved his cigars. Margaret, his daughter, moved to Florida in 1954. After Omar had spent four years in a nursing home in Danville, Illinois, Margaret wanted her father closer to her, so he moved into Adare about five years ago. . . .”
Leslie Keeley Laird (“Joe”) was born on November 14, 1902 in Milford, Iroquois County, Illinois and died on October 20, 1986 in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Leslie Laird married Hilda Iola Hutchinson on August 20, 1932 in Woodriver, Illinois.
Elias Laird (Samuel1) was born on January 15, 1825 or 1824 in Ohio and died on October 2, 1874 in Iroquois County, Illinois. His tombstone reads: 2 Oct 1874, 49y 8m 18d. Elias married Lucretia Pruitt on April 4, 1847. Lucretia was born on March 4, 1827 in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, the daughter of John R. and Barbara (Beeker) Pruitt. In 1854 they came to Milford Township and “settled on Section 32, put up a shanty, fenced thirty acres of land and put in a crop of wheat.” (17) Elias mainly raised cattle. After Elias died, Lucretia kept the farm, but lived in Milford. She was a member of the United Brethern Church. Lucretia died on February 26, 1888, 59y 11m 26d. Elias and Lucretia were buried in Amity Cemetery. They had ten children: (18)
Georgiana was born on June 12, 1848 and married David W. Montgomery on February 24, 1870 in Iroquois County.
George W. was born on June 12, 1848, and died in October 1901. (19) He was buried in Amity Cemetery. He married Sarah Emma Alexander on January 10, 1883 in Iroquois County.
Barbara was born circa 1849-51. She married Thomas Rowe. There is a marriage entry for a Barb Laird and William Marston, February 24, 1875 in Iroquois County.
Samuel W. was born circa 1853. Forrest Laird has possible marriages to a Dora _?_ and a Malinda Archibald. There was a Tippecanoe County, Indiana marriage for a Samuel W. Laird and Linda Archibald, December 18, 1874. (20) Another researcher stated that Samuel W. married a Melinda Dora Archibald in Iroquois County and had children: Stella, Mabel and Greg. There was a Samuel and Linda Laird in Tippecanoe County, Indiana in 1880, with two daughters, Estella and Mabel, both born in Illinois.
John W., born circa 1853. There is a tombstone record for a John W. Laird, son of Elias Laird, died December 11, 1866, 13 yrs. 8 mo. 17 days. (21)
Elias A. (possibly Elias Austin) was born circa 1854-55. He married Ida B. Coats on December 23, 1875 in Iroquois County. One researcher lists three unnamed children: one born April 28, 1879, one born April 6, 1882 and a son born August 20, 1885. In the 1910 census, their son Porter was age 16.
Daniel W. was born circa 1857.
Delilah Jane “Jennie” was born circa 1859. She married _?_ Holmes. There is a marriage record for a Jenny Laird and Charles Dailey, Jr., May 12, 1878 in Iroquois County.
Alonzo Lincoln was born circa 1861 in Iroquois County. In 1880 he was living with James A. and Barbara Pruitt, listed as a nephew. He married Esther A. Wallace on November 15, 1882 in Iroquois County. (22) Esthera was born circa 1863 in Vermilion County, Illinois. Her parents were Courland H. Wallace and M. M. Heetherington.
Rosa/Rosabird, born circa 1868. She married Lynn Adgates (undocumented). Lynn was born in Wichita, Kansas and they had a child, Frank (undocumented). There was a Bela Phillips Learned Adgate, born in 1864 who married a Rose, surname unknown. (23) Their son was Frank Amos Adgate. In 1920 Leonard and Rose Adgate were found in Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri, with their son Amos. In the Missouri state death record (online), a Leonard Adgate died on September 27, 1924, in Kansas City, wife Rosa. Leonard committed suicide using carbolic acid.
James A. Laird
James A. Laird (Samuel1) was born on May 30, 1830 in Guernsey County, Ohio and died in 1907. He married Permelia Long in 1852, near Layfaette, Indiana. Permelia is said to have been of at least part Indian blood. Permelia was previously married to William West in 1848, who died in 1851, about 14 months before Permelia married James. The West family owned property next door to Samuel Laird. James and Permelia moved to Iroquois County in 1856. They had ten children, but only seven lived to adulthood: Marion, George William, Clara, Nora, Phoebe, Albert and Charles. James and Permelia were buried in Maple Grove Cemetery, Iroquois County. James’ biography: (24)
“James A. Laird, a retired farmer residing in Milford, is a native of Ohio. He was born on the 30th of May, 1830, in Guernsey County, and is one of a family of nine children, whose parents were Samuel and Delilah (Albin) Laird, the former a native of Pennsylvania, and the latter of the Buckeye State. When a child, James removed with his father’s family from Findlay, Ohio, to Ft. Wayne, Ind., where they resided for a few months, and then removed to a farm near La Fayette, and the old Tippecanoe battle-ground. The father afterward traded for a large tract of land in Milford Township, Iroquois County, Ill., and removed hither in 1855. Dividing this land with his children, he gave to each one hundred and sixty acres. He was a prominent and influential citizen of this community, and his death occurred in 1871, at the age of sixty-six years. His wife survived him a few years and passed away on the 25th of January, 1877, at the age of seventy-two years. Of their six sons and three daughters only two are now living: James, of this sketch, who was the third son; and Mary Jane, who was married in the autumn of 1855 to Louis Burgett, a farmer who resides about four miles southwest of Milford, and is represented elsewhere in this work.
“When a lad of ten years, our subject removed to a farm, and in the usual manner of farmer lads, he was there reared to manhood. His education was acquired in the common schools. After attaining to years of maturity, he was united in marriage with Miss Permelia Long, daughter of William and Phoebe Long, of Ohio. By their union, which was celebrated March 4, 1852, ten children were born, of whom five are yet living: Marion W., born December 26, 1852, married Matilda Coats, on the 8th of march, 1873; Albert R., born February 7, 1860, wedded Tena Hoskins; Clara, born January 1, 1854, became the wife of James C. Harrison February 24, 1876, and they now reside in Kansas; Phoebe was born August 20, 1858; Nora, born February 5, 1866, is the wife of William Smith, a resident of Peoria, Illinois.
“About three years after his marriage, Mr. Laird removed with his family to this county, where he has now made his home for thirty-seven years. Locating on the farm which his father gave him, he engaged in agricultural pursuits until October, 1878, when he came to Milford, where he has since lived a retired life, although he has filled some public offices. During the first four years of his residence here he served as Deputy Postmaster. He was also Police Magistrate for eight years, and served as Coroner for four years. He discharged the duties of his position with promptness and fidelity, which fact insured his long-continued service, and won him the commendation of all concerned. Mr. Laird, his wife and daughter Phoebe, are members of the Methodist Church, and he is active in several civic societies. He belongs to Milford Lodge No. 168, A. F. & A. M.; Watseka Chapter No. 114, R. A. M.; and Atheistan Commandery No. 45, K. T. of Danville. He also belongs to the Good Templars and the Royal Templars, both being organizations for the promotion of temperance principles. Mr. Laird is a friend to all social, educational and moral interests, and does all in his power to aid in the promotion of those enterprises calculated to prove of public benefit. He is a public-spirited and progressive man, and is recognized as one of the valued citizens of the community. He is now serving as Justice of the Peace and Notary Public, and is also doing business as a real estate, insurance and collection agent.”
In 1853, James made an indenture for a seven year old John Finegin: “This indenture made this 29th day of October 1853 Between John Bernard Wiley Sims and James F. Benham Trustees of Tippecanoe Township Tippecanoe County and State of Indiana and exofficio overseers of the poor for said township of the one part and James Laird of the County and State above written of the other part. Wittnesseth that the said Overseers aforesaid have this day placed and bound to the said James Laird one John Finegin a minor child of the age of about seven years whose parents have abandoned and neglected to provide for the Support of Said child for and during the term of the minority of said child to wit from the present date until the said John Finegin arrives at the age of Twenty One years and the said James Laird agrees on his part to cause said apprentice to be taught to read and write and the rules of arithmetick to the double rule of three inclusives if practicable and to furnish said child in good clothing and support during his said appenticeship [sic] and at said apprentice arriving at the age of twenty one years, said James Laird is to give to said apprentice free of charge two entire new suits of clothing and a horse saddle and bridle worth one hundred dollars or one hundred dollars in cash. In testimony whereof we have hereto set our hands and seals this 29 day of October 1853. James Laird. Trustees: John Barnard, Wiley Sims, James F. Benham.”
Marion W. Laird was born on December 26, 1852 and died on June 16, 1922. He first married Matilda Coats and had six children: Oliver, married Nellie, moved to Portland Oregon; Lowell A., married Lena Waddelow; James Winfield died 1940, married Alice Mae Smith 1902; Cora, married George Austin; Ethel, married Albert Ellsworth, moved to Portland, Oregon; and Harry, married Grace, moved to Portland Oregon. Marion then married Mary Stewart Lute and they had four children: Marie Laird, born March 15, 1909, married Ivan Morris, resided Floral City, Florida; Forrest E. Laird, born on October 3, 1911, married Earlene Lloyd, lived Floral City after 1979; Leonard Laird, born June 18, 1913, married Bernice Reeder, resided Watseka; and Marion Laird, who died in infancy.
George William Laird was born January 1, 1854 in Tippecanoe County, Indiana and died on April 25, 1882 in Iroquois County (specific dates undocumented). He married Matilda J. Parks on November 25, 1875. They had three children: Bertha A., who married Samuel B. McMullen; Frank, who married Dora _?_; and James A., who married Leona _?_.
Clara Laird was born on January 1, 1854/56 in Indiana. She married James C. Harrison on February 24, 1876. They moved to Kansas.
Phoebe Laird was born on August 20 or 28, 1858 in Illinois and died on February 14, 1914. (25) She never married. When she died, Phoebe left her estate of approximately $3,000 to her brothers and sisters, a niece and two nephews (children of a son of her deceased brother James A.), and the trustees of the M. E. Church.
Albert R. Laird was born on February 7, 1860 in Illinois. He married Tena/Tina Hoskins on January 10, 1882. Albert died in 1933 (undocumented).
Charles Laird was born May 16, 1861 in Milford Township, and died on June 12, 1888, buried in Maple Grove Cemetery, Milford (undocumented).
Nora May Laird was born on February 5, 1866 in Milford, and died on June 18, 1952 in California. She first married William Marion Smith on September 1, 1881, and then _?_ Wirt.
James F. Laird was born circa 1869.
Other researchers list two additional children: Mary A., born on December 26, 1852 (possibly a twin of Marion?); Samuel, born on February 7 1860. However, the 1860 census lists a Mary A., female, age 7, but does not list a Marion. In 1870 the census lists Marion, male, age 17. These are probably the same person. If there was a son Samuel Laird born in February 7, 1860, he would have to have been a twin of Albert. There is a tombstone record for a son of James A. and Permelia Laird, son Samuel died February 10, 1863. (26)
1 Guernsey County Ohio Marriage Book A, page 218 of the same Marriage Book: Samuel Leard and Delilah Secrist “State of Ohio Guernsey County - I do hereby certify that I joined together in the holy estate of Matrimony Mr. Samuel Leard and Delilah Secrist of lawfull age. - Given under my hand seal this 31st day of May, 1824.” David Tulles, J.P. Filed and duly recorded.
2 Guernsey County Ohio Marriage Book A, page 173: Thomas Secrist and Delilah Albin “I hereby certify that on the Third day of October, 1822, I joined together in the holy state of Matrimony, according to Law, Thomas Secrist and Delilah Albin. Given under my hand and seal this 24th day of October, 1822.” Signed Elijah Thompson, J.P. filed October 24, 1822 and duly entered.
3 From: Paul A Laird, Subject: Re: Laird WorldConnect, Date sent: Sun, 19 Aug 2001. I think I found Samuel’s father. Samuel and Delila owned land in Guernsey County, Adams Township, in 1825. The land was deeded to George Leard but taxes were paid by Samuel and Delila Leard. In 1827 they sold that land and bought a different section just south of the original land. When they sold the land it was sold as being owned by Samuel and Delila Leard, with George Leard as Assignor of the Deed. There is a George Leard living in Hancock in 1840 and 1850. No sign of him after that. I suspect George was Samuel’s father. This George Leard also had some connection to Robert Leard of Guernsey County, who married Elizabeth Braddock in 1825. So Robert could have been Samuel’s brother.
4 From: Paul A Laird, 30 May 2000, to: LAIRD-L@rootsweb.com Subject: Re: [LAIRD] Genealogy trip. We had even more fun at the Tippecanoe County Historical Library in Lafayette. One article definitely links him to the Erie to Wabash Canal project. The article was written by a man who signed the article FGW, no name. He identifies himself as an auditor of the canal project and says “I stayed at the home of one Samuel J. Laird, a farmer and miller by trade, who provides supplies for the Corkonians and Downies (two groups of Irish laborers on the canal) and timber for building the supports and locks.”
5 Purdue Land College, Indiana Land Records and the Wabash to Erie Canal, 1873.
6 Paul Laird received this information from the Hancock County Historical Society, Hancock County, Ohio. He has requested the land transactions from Allen County, Indiana records.
7 Dr. William M. Reser, Grist Mills of Tippecanoe County Indiana, 1945, no publisher listed.
8 This Indenture Witneseth that Samuel Laird and of Iroquois County in the state of Illinois mortgage and warrant to John Ros??r of Tippecanoe County in the state of Indiana for the sum of one thousand dollars the following Real estate situate in Iroquois County in the state of Illinois to said: The south east quarter of section thirty four (34) the North half of the south west quarter and the north(?) half of the south half of the South west quarter of Section thirty four (34) [unreadable word] township twenty five (25) North of Range twelve (12) [unreadable words]. To secure the payment of the following described Note [Notes?] these promissory [unreadable word] date herewith executed by Laird to said Ro??? for the sum of three hundred and thirty three dollars and thirty three cents each payable respectively in one, two and three years from the date hereof with interest and without any relief from valuation or appraisment laws(?) and the mortgage expressly agrees to pay the sum of money above secured without relief from valuation Laws. In witness whereof, the mortgagor has hereunto set his hand and seal this thirteenth day of April A.D. 1857. Samuel Laird.
9 Paul Laird got this information from Alma Laird Berry (daughter of Lowell, his great-aunt).
10 Biographical Record and Portrait Album of Tippecanoe County, Indiana, p. 678, stated that Christina Beeker married a William Laird.
11 Groom: Cupp, Joseph Nelson Bride: Bicker, Phebe Place: Iroquois Date: 02/20/1894 Vol 7/Page 293 Lic 6828.
12 Index - Civil Cases - #8020 - #13,399 May 1889 to Jun 1904, Iroquois County Genealogical Society, www.rootsweb.com/~ilicgs/moredata/civil7.htm, accessed 2006. Cupp, Joseph Nelson Cupp, Phebe #11449.
13 Iroqouis County Democrat, newspaper clipping, no date.
14 Portrait and Biographical Record of Iroquois Co., Illinois, Chicago Illinois: Lake city Publishing Co., 1893, p. 309.
15 Iroquois Stalker, Iroquois County Genealogical Society, Vol. 18, No. 1, 1988, p. 25.
16 Brevard Harborside Healthcare publication, February 1999.
17 Beckwith, H. W., History of Iroquois County, Chicago: H. H. Hill, 1880, p. 159.
18 I believe the information on Elias’ children is from Forrest Laird.
19 Birth and death dates from Amity Cemetery inventory.
20 Index to Marriage Record 1850 - 1920 Inclusive Volume III Letters Koc - Rog Inclusive Kock - Rogers W. Record Location: Tippecanoe County, Indiana W. P. A.; County Clerk’s Office, Lafayette, Compiled by Indiana Works Progress Administration. Spouse 1: Samuel W. Laird, Spouse 2: Linda Archibald, Marriage Date: 18 Dec 1874, Tippecanoe Book C-14, Page 515.
21 Tombstones found along a creek in back of Rothgels (Milford), burial probably before Amity Cemetery. Probably information from Forrest Laird.
22 Information from Iroquois County, Illinois Marriage Registry.
23 Bela Phillips Learned Adgate, born Feb 26, 1864, New York, married circa 1891, Rose (born July 1873, Illinois). Parents George Adgate (1808-1879), Mary Cornelia Learned (1824-1923). Census for Bela: 1870 - Ausable, Clinton Co., New York; 1880 - Keeseville, Clinton Co., New York (B.P. Learned); 1900 - Sioux City, Woodbury Co., Iowa (Leonard). Census for Rose: 1900 - Sioux City, Woodbury Co., Iowa; 1930 - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (Iris?) Note: Living with her son Frank. Son Frank Amos Adgate, born Oct 28, 1892, Sioux City, Iowa, unmarried. Parents Bela Phillips Learned Adgate (1864-), Rose (b. Jul 1873-). Census: 1900 - Sioux City, Woodbury Co., Iowa; 1930 - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. homepages.rootsweb.com/~hal/Adgate/ps27/ps27_285.html, firstname.lastname@example.org.
24 Portrait and Biographical Record of Iroquois Co., Illinois, pp. 454, 457.
25 Iroquois Co. Death Record, Vol. 5, p. 307.
26 Tombstones found along a creek in back of Rothgels (Milford), burial probably before Amity Cemetery. Probably information from Forrest Laird.