Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Baird, Texas

Like several of the towns along the fringe of Texas civilization in 1860, Baird has it's roots in another community. In fact, in this case, it's roots can be traced back to two early efforts at settlement.

The first, Callahan City was established at a popular watering hole along the cattle drive route of the Western Trail. Callahan County was established in 1858, but the township of Callahan City did not come into existence until 1876.

The first Callahan County Commissioners Court was held in Callahan City in 1877, but in spite of its early foothold in the county, it lost it's status as the central community with the establishment of the county seat in Belle Plain, in December of 1877.

Belle Plain, was a more "planned" community with well laid out streets and a commerce district. It was established on state school lands in 1876. As a community, it knew that once the railroads came, it's existence would extend well into the future. By 1877, Belle Plain College had been established as an intitution of higher learning. It had a newspaper by 1879 and a growing population.

But the Texas and Pacific Railroad had other plans and built its route through the town of Baird. Belle Plain suffered pretty much the same fate as the earlier Callahan City. Once the railroad bypassed the community, the population moved, as well as the county seat in 1883. The newspaper moved Baird, and even the jail was dismantled piece by piece and moved to Baird. The college continued until 1892, when it too closed it'd doors.

Baird, was established in 1880 and remains the county seat to this day.

No comments: