Henry S. Baird

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Baird Law Office at Heritage Hill

Henry Samuel Baird (May 16, 1800 – April 30, 1875) was the territorial Attorney General of Wisconsin during 1836-1839, appointed by Wisconsin territorial governor Henry Dodge.

He is known as "Father of the Wisconsin Bar."[1]

Born in Dublin, Ireland, Baird moved with his family, at age five, to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He worked in various law firms in Ohio and Pennsylvania including the law firm of the future governor of Ohio Reuben Wood before moving to Wisconsin Territory, to Green Bay, Wisconsin, where he was admitted to the bar in a special ceremony in the courtroom of territorial judge James Doty. Baird was involved with Indian affairs negotiating land transactions with the Indian tribes: the Menominee and Ho-Chunk tribes; Baird also served in the Wisconsin Territorial Council, the upper house of the Wisconsin Territorial Legislature and was the first president of the territorial council; he also served in the first Wisconsin Constitutional Convention of 1846. He served as mayor of Green Bay, Wisconsin twice, in 1861 and 1862.[2]

Baird became a teacher on Mackinac Island in Michigan in 1822. On August 24, 1824, he married the 14-year-old Elizabeth Fisher, his favorite student. Baird brought his wife from Mackinac Island, by ship, to Wisconsin Territory.[3] Elizabeth later wrote of her life in the territory in "Reminscences of Life in Territorial Wisconsin." Henry became the first practicing lawyer in the territory.[3][4]

Henry's law office, the Baird Law Office, is a small Greek Revival building that he purchased in 1841. The building was moved and is preserved at Heritage Hill State Park.


  1. ^ "Cotton House-Baird Law Office". Historical Marker Society of America. 
  2. ^ Henry Samuel Baird-Mayors of Green Bay, Wisconsin Archived 2011-05-05 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ a b Elizabeth Therese Baird. "Turning Points In Wisconsin History: Remiscences of Life in Territorial Wisconsin". Wisconsin Historical Society Digital collection. 
  4. ^ "Henry and Elizabeth Baird". Wisconsin Historical Society.