A Letter to the Editor of the Jacksonville Times (Oregon) Dated at Rogue River, Oregon 31 October 1864Dear SirThe following is a reliable statement of the melancholy death of Mr. B. H. Baird, of the northern part of jackson County, Oregon.Messrs. B. H. Baird, James mcDonough, B. Nensch and J. S. W. Smith went out on a deer hunt and stayed that night with a Mr. mcMichael on Grave Creek, about 3 miles below Grave Creek House. In the morning (October 24) Mr. Baird started out about sunrise in pursuit of game, leading his faithful dog, Rover. When he proceeded about a mile and a half Rover bayed 3 grizzly bears, in their bed, under a large fir tree. Mr. Baird got within 15 yards of them and shot the largest one, only wounding it. The bear attacked Mr. Baird, who ran about 200 yards, when the bear caught him, and knocked his gun 15 or 20 feet from him. Mr. Baird, getting loose from the bear, sprang to the limb of a tree, the bear passing under and hitting his feet, went a short distance down the hill, when he stopped to fight the dog. Mr. Baird got his gun, reloaded it and shot the bear the 2nd time. The bear then came at him more furiously than before and knocked his gun out of his hands the second time. Mr. Baird swung around a bush to keep out of the bears reach and drew one of his butcher knives and stabbed the bear in the body. The bear struck him several severe blows, knocking his knife out of his hand. Mr. Baird then drew his other knife, when the bear seized the hand in which he held the knife, causing him to drop it. The bear now got the mastery over Mr. Baird, getting him down, biting him in the face, cutting several gashes in his left side, tearing out his right eye, and also tearing off all the right side of his face.The bear bit several large holes in his side, in fact bit him nearly all over his body down to his boots. The bear now turned to fight the dog that had so far saved Mr. Baird from being killed on the spot. The bear and the dog then rolled down the hill some distance still fighting, when Mr. Baird gathered up his gun, 2 knives, the rope with which he had been leading his dog and started for Mr. McMichael's cabin, distant about 1-1/2 miles, where he arrived much exhausted, about 10:00 am and was assisted into the house, when he related the melancholy event to McDonough. Being conscious that he could not long survive, he spoke of his family and his desire to see them before he died.He was reconciled to meet death and spoke of future happiness. He died about 9:00 pm on the same day. Mrs. Baird was sent for and hastened with all possible speed, the distance of 18 miles, over a very rough, hilly road, but arrived about 5 minutes too late to see her husband alive. He was brought home and buried near his farm, some 4 miles north of Rouge River, near the stage road. He leaves a wife and 16 children of whom, 8 are young and live at home.Note added to copy:About 1910 his body was removed to the Pioneer Cemetery in Grants Pass. One account also reports that the men went out to the scene of the fight and found the bear dead about 200 yards from the spot. I don't know the source -- but it makes a nice ending for the family legend -- AAL - 1993
Oct 24 1864
Jackson County, Oregon
2. Source: MyHeritage Family Trees MyHeritage.com [online database]. Lehi, UT, USA: MyHeritage (USA) Inc. https://www.myheritage.com/research/collection-1/myheritage-family-trees
Family tree: Engle Web Site, managed by Kristen Engle https://www.myheritage.com/site-415051291/engle
Citation: Benjamin Harrison Baird Birth: Jan 1 1809 - Tennessee Death: Oct 24 1864 - Grizzle Bear Attach, Oregon Parents: Isham Harrison Baird, Clarissa Baird (born Bushnell) Wife: Mary Rosetta Baird (born Craig) Son: Onesimus Aresiuess Baird
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