Among the early settlers of Wolf River township, Doniphan county, was George Bird, who came to Kansas in the early days of the development of the state. He has since been identified with the farming interests of this locality and to-day is the owner of a very valuable and productive tract of land. His birth occurred in the far-off state of Connecticut. He first opened his eyes to the light of day in Salisbury, Litchfield county, November 6, 1834, and is descended from New England ancestors, who were residents of that part of the country before the war for independence. Representatives of the name were participants in the great struggle which gave freedom to the nation. Isaac Bird was the grandfather of our subject and James Bird, the father, removed from New England -- the ancestral home -- to Broome county, New York, where he spent his last days, his death occurring in 1865. During the war of 1812 he served as quartermaster in Colonel Hubbard's regiment. His wife bore the maiden name of Susan Dauchy and by their marriage they became the parents of ten children, three of whom yet survive: Sarah, the widow of Joseph Woodruff, a resident of Broome county, New York; Marion, the widow of Myron Langdon, a resident of Steuben county, New York; and George.
The last named secured a fair education in the country schools and early became familiar with all the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist, but in early manhood he left the plow and learned the plasterer's and mason's trades in Broome county. At the time when a great tide of human immigration bore many settlers to Kansas, he left the Empire state and making his way westward to St. Louis came by boat from that city to Doniphan county. It was in the year 1858 that he arrived in the Sunflower state, where he has since made his home. Locating in Highland, he followed the mason's trade for a number of years, but at the time of the civil war he put aside the trowel and shouldered the rifle, becoming a member of Company C (under Captain Jenkins), Seventh Kansas Cavalry, under Colonel Jennison. He enlisted in September, 1860, as a musician, was mustered in at Fort Leavenworth and served in southwest Missouri during much of his term. The first engagement in which he participated was the battle of Little Blue, near Kansas City, where a company of bushwhackers had gathered in rendezvous. He also took part in the battle of Corinth, Mississippi, and was with his regiment in Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi, making raids and destroying rebel property. The Seventh Kansas led the advance toward Vicksburg and operated in their usual manner around the outskirts of that place. Mr. Bird was in the army exactly four years and his loyalty to the cause he espoused made his military record an honorable one.
After his return home Mr. Bird resumed work at the mason's trade and followed it to a greater or less extent for a number of years, but for fifteen years past he has devoted his attention exclusively to farming. He pre-empted a quarter-section of land in section 1, Robinson township, Brown county, soon after his arrival in the state, but disposed of it many years ago and is to-day the owner of one hundred and sixty acres in section 14, Wolf River township, Doniphan county, which is now a very desirable and attractive farm.
On the 6th of November, 1867, Mr. Bird married Miss Emma Davison, daughter of Henry and Annie (Young) Davison, who came to Kansas in 1864. Their surviving children are: Mrs. Delilah Miller, a widow; Mrs. Amanda Devine, also a widow; John and Mrs. Bird, all residents of Doniphan county. Unto our subject and his wife have been born five children: Virgil, a musician, who was born September 3, 1869, and resides in Nemaha county; Wilber, born July 30, 1872; Effie May, February 15, 1877; Stella Irene, December 28, 1880; and George E., February 1, 1885.
Mr. Bird is a Republican in his political views and affiliations, frequently serving as a delegate to the conventions of his party, and is a stanch advocate of the policy that President McKinley has followed in dealing with the expansion question, for he believes that the republic has the ability to care for and capably govern her newly acquired colonies. In his business he is meeting with creditable success, devoting his energies entirely to farming. He follows progressive methods, is practical and enterprising, and the neatness of his place indicates the careful inspection and supervision of the owner.
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