Oct 042014

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Andrew B. Baird Fonds Description


2014 Index of IRS Related Records

Indian Residential Schools

Title: Rev. Andrew B. Baird Fonds

Dates: 1872 – 1940

Extent: 6.5m textual records & photographs

Repository: United Church of Canada Archives Manitoba Northwestern Ontario Conference and All Native Circle Conference

Retrieval Numbers: Accession: Ex-109; I.D.: 3025

Historical Note

Rev. Andrew Browning Baird (1855-1940) served the Presbyterian and United Churches of Canada for over fifty years. Baird was born near Motherwell, Ontario on October 6, 1855. He received his education in St. Marys, Ontario, and later attended Upper Canada College and University College in Toronto.

Andrew B. Baird, about 1920. UCCArchivesWpg Baird 01

Andrew B. Baird, about 1920. UCCArchivesWpg Baird 01

In 1876, he served his first mission field on Manitoulin Island. Subsequent mission fields served by Baird during his theological training included Stouffville, Newmarket and Nipissing, Ontario. Baird then travelled to Scotland and attended the University of Edinburgh. Upon completing his Bachelor of Divinity, he spent time in Leipsic, Germany. His studies in Leipsic were cut short, however, when he received the call to Fort Edmonton in 1881. Baird returned to Canada and was ordained on August 16, 1881. Soon after, he made his way across the prairies to become the sole representative of the Presbyterian Church in the Canadian west. After six years in Edmonton, Rev. Baird was called to Manitoba College, Winnipeg. He became a well-respected professor of Church History (a position he held for over fifty years) and made significant contributions as Librarian of Manitoba College, and was Acting Principal from 1911 to 1919. Baird was also actively involved in the Fort Rouge Presbyterian, and later United, congregation of Winnipeg for many years. He acted as a part time minister from 1887 to 1891 and remained as the clerk of session of Augustine Church until his death. Rev. Baird was Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in 1916 and the first President of the Manitoba Conference of the United Church in 1925. He was recognized for his accomplishments with an honourary Doctorate of Divinity degree from Knox College, Toronto in 1903.

Outside of the Church and College, Baird was involved in activities as a Free Mason, horticulturist, numismatist and President of the Manitoba Historical Society. Baird and his wife, Penelope Campbell Cook had four children: Helen, Agnes, Marjorie, and Stewart (who died serving in the First World War). Rev. Baird died on September 22, 1940.

Scope and content note

The surviving records of Rev. Andrew B. Baird include: Reports, letters, correspondence, notebooks, letterbooks, journals, publications, financial records and miscellaneous material pertaining to Baird’s life and work in western Canada, Indian missions and schools, Winnipeg Presbytery, Home and Foreign Missions, Manitoba College, Church union, moral education, and personal and family matters, dating from 1872 to 1940; and Photographs, including 90 b/w photos pertaining to Dr. Baird, his family and friends, residences, travels, and work, and various landscape and scenic photographs, dating from around 1900 to 1941.

Finding Aids

Baird Papers Index and Baird Photograph Collection Index is available in digital format. It includes an item level description and keyword subject index.  All the photographs have been digitized.

Documentation Digitization

Relevant items in this fonds related to Indian Residential Schools are included in the United Church of Canada Archives Manitoba Northwestern Ontario Conference and All Native Circle Conference 2014 Index of IRS Related Records and were digitized for submission to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Contact the Keeper of the Archives for more information.

Related Material

Biographical file available. Associated material: John A.M. Edwards, Andrew Baird of Manitoba College (University of Winnipeg [United College], B.D. Thesis, 1965.

Custodial History

The records of Rev. Andrew B. Baird were collected by the Archives Committee of the Conference of Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario prior to 1986. No further information regarding the provenance or donation of these records is available.


The material is in English.

Restriction on Access

Some restrictions on access may apply.


No further accruals expected.