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    BAIRD, TEXAS

    "The Antique Capital of West Texas"
    Runaway Trains, Portable Jails and Lollipops

    Callahan County Seat, West Texas / Texas Panhandle
    I - 20
    21 miles E of Abilene
    35 miles W of Eastland
    122 miles W of Fort Worth
    HWY 283, 25 miles S of Albany

    Population: 1,623 (2000)

    Baird Area Hotels > Abilene Hotels | Eastland Hotels

    The Naming of Baird and County

    The County was named after James Callahan, a survivor of the Massacre at Goliad.

    Baird was named after one Matthew Baird, who various sources list as either a railroad director, lawyer, surveyor, yodeling brakeman or any combination thereof. Maybe he was a yodeling lawyer.
    Baird, Texas - Locomotive mural

    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, October 2009

    History in a Pecan Shell

    Still waters run deep. Don't let the town's current tranquility fool you.

    This place has survived a fire (1884), a tornado (1895), cattle drives, hard winters (notably 1884-85), long droughts (drouths) (1886-87) and a spectacular three locomotive collision caused by a runaway engine in 1907. This incident may have given the Katy railroad their idea for The Crash at Crush. By the time the railroad in Baird was informed about the loose locomotive, there was no time to wake people and sell tickets. Baird had a roundhouse and maintenance shops for the T & P.

    What goes around comes around (unless it's a runaway locomotive).

    Callahan County's Seat of Government was originally in Belle Plain, about 3 miles south. They had it all: a college (Belle Plain College), a courthouse and a spanking new stone jail.

    When the railroad come through, the newspaper and main businesses moved to Baird and the people then wished they had made the jail out of something much lighter. They dismantled it, numbered the stones, and then reassembled it in its present location (100 W. 5th Street in Baird).

    Ironically, it was Belle Plain that caused the demise of Callahan City, drawing away major businesses and population when Belle Plain became the County Seat.

    Callahan City's cemetery is about all that's left of that town, while Belle Plain still has ruins of the College buildings.

    Baird, Texas Landmarks & Attractions:
    Photographer's Note:
    "There is something unique in every block." - Barclay Gibson

    Callahan County Courthouse
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, October 2009

    Callahan county new jail building
    The "new" Callahan County Jail
    Photo courtesy Charlene Beatty Beauchamp
    Callahan County Texas old  jail in Baird
    The old Callahan County Jails Originally in Belle Plain
    When the railroad come through, and Belle Plain businesses moved to Baird, the townspeople dismantled their new county jail, numbered the stones, and then reassembled it at its present location. (100 W. 5th Street) Photo courtesy Charlene Beatty Beauchamp
    Baird Tx - Callahan County Centennial Marker

    Centennial marker on the courthouse front lawn
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, October 2009

    Texas and Pacific Depot in Baird, Texas
    The Texas and Pacific Depot c. 1911
    One of the larger ones on the former T & P route.
    The T & P had depots from Marshall to Sierra Blanca,
    where it merged with the Southern Pacific.
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, October 2009
    Baird Tx - South On Market Street

    Looking south on Market Street
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, October 2009

    Barid Texas street scene
    Baird street scene, with the Callahan County Courthouse in distance
    Photo courtesy Charlene Beatty Beauchamp
    Baird Tx Baird TX - Tiled Market Street Sign

    Tiled Market Street Sign
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, October 2009

    Baird TX - Tiled Third Street Sign

    Tiled Third Street Sign
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, October 2009

    A locomotive mural in Baird, Texas
    The Baird Locomotive Mural
    These two pickups conveniently provide scale for this well-executed mural. Trains are freqently mural subjects - but seldom are they painted life-size.

    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, October 2009
    Baird, Texas - Locomotive mural

    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, October 2009

    Baird, Texas - Locomotive mural

    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, October 2009
    More Texas Murals | Texas Railroads

    Baird TX - Bull Durham Ghost Sign

    Bull Durham Ghost Sign
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, October 2009

    Baird TX - Bull Durham Ghost Sign

    The Bull
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, October 2009
    More Texas Ghost Signs

    Baird TX - Coca-Cola Ghost Sign

    Coca-Cola Ghost Sign
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, October 2009
    See Coca-Cola

    TX - Baird Vol. Fire Dept.

    Baird Vol. Fire Dept.
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, October 2009

    Baird TX - Caboose

    Caboose
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, October 2009
    See Texas Railroads

    Baird, TX - Lollipop Manufacturer

    Grumpe's - "Lollipop Manufacturer to the World"
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, October 2009

    Baird Welcome Sign
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, October 2009
    More Texas Signs

    Baird Tx - Captain Andrew Jackson Berry Centennial Marker

    Captain Andrew Jackson Berry Centennial Marker
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, October 2009
    More Texas Centennial

  • Declared " Antique Capital of West Texas" by the State Legislature.
  • Callahan County Pioneer Museum
  • Railroad Museum

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  • WWII aviation cadets at T&P depot , Barid Texas

    Aviation cadets take a break in front of the T & P Depot at Baird in January of 1943
    I found the [above] photo in my Dad's World War II album. He was an aviation cadet on a transcontinental troop train that stopped in Baird in January 1943. Baird was a rest stop for these guys after long train trips from the east. I am not sure how long these troop trains stopped in Baird, but it must have been welcomed by the thousands of GI's who were being transported long distances in crowded conditions. In my Dad's case, he documented the trip through some great photos, not just of Baird but pointing his camera out of the Pullman window to show the steam engine chugging across the Mississippi River at New Orleans and entering the Mojave Desert in California.

    Most of the GIs in the photo were in pre-flight training enroute to the Santa Ana, California training base. You can see that the GI in the foreground is wearing the aviation cadet wings on his cap or "cover". This was their uniform until they completed training and were commissioned as Second Lieutenants and awarded their official wings. In WWII, Santa Ana was both a pre-flight training base and holding area for aviation cadets until they were ordered to advanced training bases. In my Dad's case, he was slotted to Bombardier pre-flight training in Santa Ana (mostly academic non-flying work) and then advanced flight training at Kirkland Field, NM. There was still two and one-half years of tough combat ahead and I wonder how many men in the photo survived the war. - David Schoeck, Dana Point, CA, January 09, 2008

    See World War II

    Baird Texas Fire Department
    Fire Department in Baird
    Photo courtesy Charlene Beatty Beauchamp
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