TexasEscapes.com  
HOME : : NEW : : TEXAS TOWNS : : GHOST TOWNS : : TEXAS HOTELS : : FEATURES : : COLUMNS : : BUILDINGS : : IMAGES : : ARCHIVE : : SITE MAP
PEOPLE : : PLACES : : THINGS : : HOTELS : : VACATION PACKAGES
TEXAS TOWNS
Texas Escapes
Online Magazine

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: 1,460 (2010) 1,623 (2000)

Book Area Hotel > 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

    Book Hotel Here >
    Abilene Hotels | Eastland Hotels | More Hotels
  • 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
    Baird, Texas Area Towns:
    Abilene
    Eastland
    Albany
    Book Hotel Here:
    Abilene Hotels
    Eastland Hotels
    More Hotels
    More Texas Towns & Hotels:
    West Texas
    Texas Panhandle
    Texas Town List
    Texas Ghost Towns
    Texas
    Hotels

    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic photos, please contact us.

    Custom Search

    Abilene Hotels
    Find Hotel Deals in Abilene, Texas
    Book Here


    Eastland Hotels
    Find Hotel Deals in Eastland, Texas
    Book Here

    TEXAS ESCAPES CONTENTS
    HOME | TEXAS ESCAPES ONLINE MAGAZINE | HOTELS | SEARCH SITE
    TEXAS TOWN LIST | TEXAS GHOST TOWNS | TEXAS COUNTIES

    Texas Hill Country | East Texas | Central Texas North | Central Texas South | West Texas | Texas Panhandle | South Texas | Texas Gulf Coast
    TRIPS | STATES PARKS | RIVERS | LAKES | DRIVES | FORTS | MAPS

    Texas Attractions
    TEXAS FEATURES
    People | Ghosts | Historic Trees | Cemeteries | Small Town Sagas | WWII | History | Texas Centennial | Black History | Art | Music | Animals | Books | Food
    COLUMNS : History, Humor, Topical and Opinion

    TEXAS ARCHITECTURE | IMAGES
    Courthouses | Jails | Churches | Gas Stations | Schoolhouses | Bridges | Theaters | Monuments/Statues | Depots | Water Towers | Post Offices | Grain Elevators | Lodges | Museums | Rooms with a Past | Gargoyles | Cornerstones | Pitted Dates | Stores | Banks | Drive-by Architecture | Signs | Ghost Signs | Old Neon | Murals | Then & Now
    Vintage Photos

    TRAVEL RESERVATIONS | USA | MEXICO

    Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Contributors | Staff | Contact TE
    Website Content Copyright Texas Escapes. All Rights Reserved