Hon. Thomas H. Baird was the third son of Dr. Absalom Baird, one of the early and leading physicians as well as a prominent civilian of Washington, Pennsylvania. Dr. Baird's father was John Baird, a Scotchman, who came to America a lieutenant with General Braddock's army, and shared in Braddock's defeat on July 9, 1755. He was killed in the battle with the French and Indians on Grant's Hill (in Pittsburgh) in the defeat of Major Grant and his Highlanders on September 14, 1758, as heretofore noted. The Allegheny County Court House is on the locality of this celebrated battle, although at a much lower grade. Absalom Baird, educated by the widowed mother, became a surgeon in the Pennsylvania Line in the Revolutionary War, and in 1786 removed with his family to Washington, Pennsylvania. He was commissioned a justice of the peace in 1789, and was therefore entitled to sit as one of our judges; was county lieutenant in 1792, sheriff in 1799, and died on October 27, 1805. His children were: John, George, Thomas H. (the Judge), William (the lawyer), Sarah, wife of William Hodge, Maysville, Kentucky, and Susan, wife of Dr. Hugh Campbell of Uniontown, Pennsylvania. Judge Baird was born in Washington, Pennsylvania, on November 15, 1787; was educated at a classical school in Brooke County, Virginia, in charge of Rev. David Johnston; studied law with Mr. Joseph Pentecost, and was admitted to the bar of Washington County in July, 1808, before he was quite twenty-one, and on October 19, 1818, was appointed and commissioned president judge. His activity led him into much business outside the law, being interested with Parker Campbell and Thomas McGiffin, leading members of the bar in his day, as contractors for the construction of the National Road through Washington County, as well as a number of manufacturing enterprises; and about 1830 or 1831 a survey was made for a railroad down the Chartiers Valley from Washington to Pittsburgh, almost entirely at his expense, one of the first railroads ever projected in the country.
In December, 1837, Judge Baird resigned his commission as president judge, and removing to Pittsburgh was engaged in that city in the active practice of his profession for about twelve years. He then retired to his farm near Monongahela City, where he resided until his death at the residence of his son-in-law, Charles McKnight, in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, on November 22, 1866.