BIRD, ARTHUR C.
Men Of Progress: Biographical Sketches Of Representative Michigan Men, Evening News Association, Detroit (1900), p. 149
BIRD, ARTHUR C. In promoting the farming industry in this state, Arthur C. Bird has been actively engaged for many years. He has made a life study of his work, and through his agency much eastern capital has been invested in Michigan farming lands, and the wealth of the state has been increased in consequence.
His people before him were engaged in agricultural pursuits, his grandfather, Gardner C. Bird, coming to this state from Norwich, Connecticut, many years ago, and being one of the first settlers in Oakland county.
A. C. Bird was born in Highland, Michigan, May 22, 1864. Two miles from his home was the little district school, where his education was commenced, and thither, when old enough to attend school up to the time he was 15 years of age, he walked every day. Working at odd jobs now and then, he saved enough money to enter the Agricultural College of this state in his fifteenth year. He took a four years' course, graduating at the age of 19. During his vacations he worked in his grandfather's bank at Fenton, Michigan, thus securing a practical business education. It was his intention to enter the banking business upon leaving college, but his grandfather died shortly before the close of the term and the bank was closed by the estate. He then engaged in farming on his own account, buying 110 acres, which he afterwards increased to 280 acres. His knowledge of the work, together with his practical business training brought him much success as a farmer.
In 1893 his Alma Mater granted him the special degree of Master of Agriculture on account of his marked success in his chosen vocation. This was the first degree of its kind granted by the college to an alumnus.
For the past ten years he has been the Michigan agent for several eastern capitalists, advising them and placing their money in farming properties throughout southern Michigan.
Mr. Bird is one of the founders of the Farmers' Club of Michigan, an association that has been beneficial to the industry in bringing its members in close contact with each other for the exchange of ideas that tend to advance the science of farming. He conceived the plan, and was instrumental in organizing the State Association of Farmers' Clubs. There are about three hundred and fifty such clubs in Michigan at the present time, and the membership amounts to 30,000. While a student at the Agricultural College, Mr. Bird was the editor of the college paper, and for several years he has edited the Farmer's Club department of the Michigan Farmer.
Mr. Bird is one of the directors and is also the largest stockholder in the West Michigan Nurseries, a very large and flourishing enterprise located at Benton Harbor, Michigan. He is also secretary of the Michigan Agricultural College. From 1897 to 1899 he was a member of the State Board of Agriculture. Mr. Bird is an honored frater in the Masonic fraternity. He was married at Highland, Michigan to Miss Josephine S. St. John, daughter of William St. John, of that place, on August 16th, 1889. They have two children.