James Wallace Baird has since the fall of 1873 made his home on Section 10, Yellow Springs township, where he has an excellent farm of one hundred acres of land that is rich and arable, bringing him good harvests annually. He is a native son of Iowa, and possesses the enterprising spirit which has been the dominant factor in the growth and development of the State. His birth occurred in Louisa county, Sept. 18, 1847, and he is a son of John and Catherine (McElhinney) Baird, both of whom were natives of County Derry, Ireland. The mother was only three years old when brought by her parents to America. She was born Aug. 10, 1822, and died April 14, 1900. John Baird, however, was reared and educated in his native country, and was a young man of twenty-four years when he decided to seek a home in the New World. He accordingly crossed the Atlantic, and for a few years remained a resident of Philadelphia, Pa., where he worked as a laborer. In March, 1840, he was married in that city to Miss McElhinney, and about May 1, 1840, came direct to Iowa, where they lived until called to their final rest. For a brief period they remained in Louisa county, but during the infancy of their son James, came to Des Moines county. About 1848 the father entered a tract of land of eighty acres, but later sold that property and entered another eighty-acre tract on Section 4. His wife also bought an eighty-acre tract, and upon that farm they made their home. Not a furrow had been turned nor an improvement made when the land came into the possession of the father, but with characteristic energy he began its development, and as the years went by his fields became productive and his labors profitable. The old home place is now owned by the youngest son, J. P. Baird. There are twelve children in the family; Robert, now deceased; John L., who is living in Centerville, Iowa; Samuel C., who died in Nebraska in 1904; James W.; Nancy Jane, the wife of Daniel Yohe, of Nebraska; Margaret Ann, the wife of Adam Walkingshaw, who is living in Nebraska; Robert M., who resides in Winfield, Henry county, Iowa; Elizabeth, the wife of Robert G. Reed; Mary C., at home; Rosanna, the wife of I. R. Carithers; and Joseph W., who is living on the old homestead farm in Yellow Springs township. The father was a member of the Presbyterian church in his native country, and in 1846, in company with others he organized the Reformed Presbyterian Congregation of Sharon, in this county. He was a man of upright life, believing firmly in the Christian religion, and exemplifying his faith in his daily conduct and in all his relations with his fellow men. He died July 4, 1881, when in his seventieth year, his birth having occurred about 1812. James Wallace Baird was brought to Des Moines county during his infancy, his parents locating in Yellow Springs township. He acquired his education in the district schools of Des Moines and Louisa counties, and his boyhood days were quietly passed in the usual manner of farm lads of the period. Having arrived at years of maturity, he was married, April 7, 1871, to Miss Mary Ann Walkinshaw, a daughter of John and Margaret (Glasgow) Walkingshaw. Mrs. Baird was born in Guernsey county, Ohio, March 19, 1851, and by her marriage has become the mother of nine children, namely; Minnie Loretta, the wife of J. T. Carithers, who is living in Yellow Springs township; Edmond Alfonz; Lena Mabel, the wife of John P. Robertson, who is living on the William Hensleigh farm, in Yellow Springs township; Merrill Waldo, who attended the business college at Quincy, Ill.; Oliver Emmet; Otto Clarence; Ralph Ehrman; Oscar Marion; and Blanch Verona, all at home, the last two being twins. It was in the fall of 1874 that Mr. Baird purchased his present farm, taking up his abode thereon. He has made good improvements here since, including the erection of a fine barn and other buildings. The farm comprises one hundred acres of land, and is all under cultivation, the fields returning excellent crops of corn, wheat, and other cereals. Mr. Baird is also well known as a stock-dealer, and usually raises several head of horses each year, at the present time having seventeen head, principally draft horses. He also has some good cattle upon his place, and about forty head of Poland China hogs ready for the market. He is a busy man, and indolence and idleness are utterly foreign to his nature. As the years have passed he has worked persistently and energetically, and that he is now in possession of a comfortable home is attributable entirely to his own labors and God’s blessing.