Contributed by Charlene Holland

Biographical & Historical Memoirs of Western Arkansas
The Southern Publishing Company, Chicago and Nashville, 1891.


      Philip J. Bird is a farmer, blacksmith and wood work man, of Hickman Township, and was born in Blount County, of East Tennessee, in 1842, being a son of John and Elizabeth (Shields) Bird, who were born in East Tennessee in 1818 and 1826, respectively, their marriage ceremony having been celebrated in that State also. About 1846 they moved to Northern Georgia, but Mrs. Bird died soon after, and Mr. Bird was married again, and spent the rest of his life in that State, his death occurring in 1882, at which time he was a member of the Missionary Baptist Church, and a well-to-do farmer by occupation. His father, Jacob Bird, was of Irish descent, and a farmer of Northern Georgia. Robert Shields, the maternal grandfather of the subject of this sketch, devoted his attention to blacksmithing throughout life, was a soldier in the War of 1812, being with Jackson at Now Orleans, was also of Irish lineage, and spent his declining years in the State of Georgia. Philip J. Bird is one of four children born to his parents and as he was compelled to labor hard in his youth he received only about three months schooling in all. In June 1861, he joined Company C, Fourth Georgia Battalion, afterward the Sixtieth Georgia Infantry, Army of Virginia, and was with Stonewall Jackson in nearly all the leading engagements in which that army participated, besides many others. At the expiration of his first enlistment he joined the navy, with which he served until the close of the war, or nearly one-year. A few days before Lee surrendered, he was captured at Drupe's Bluff, was paroled at Washington City and returned home. He was married in l865 to Martha Ann, the daughter of John and Jane (Wellington) Smith, they being born in Virginia, and moving first to North Carolina, and later to Georgia, where Mr. Smith died, his widow crossing the river of Death in Scott County Ark. Mrs. Bird was born in the Old North State, and has borne her husband four children. In 1870 Mr. Bird came to Scott County, and for nineteen years has been a prosperous farmer of this region. He first settled in the woods, but now has 70 of his 120-acre farm cleared. Although the greater part of his life has been given to farming, he has also been engaged in black-smithing for the past six years. He belongs to Waldron Lodge No. 132, of the A. F. & A.M., and he and his entire family are Methodists.

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