FLGenWeb Digital Library and Archives
BIRD, Thomas Buckingham
Transcribed from: The History of Florida: Past & Present, The Lewis Publishing Co., Vol.
Presented by Nancy Rayburn
III, page 152, 1923.
BIRD, THOMAS BUCKINGHAM is a prominent young lawyer of Monticello, representing the third
generation of the family in Jefferson County, is the present county judge, and has been active
in his law practice and in public affairs since his discharge from the army with the rank of
Captain BIRD was born October 11, 1892, on a plantation near Drifton in Jefferson County.
His grandfather was Major PICKENS B. BIRD, a native of Edgefield District, South Carolina.
Coming to Florida, he became a planter, and at the beginning of the Civil war he joined the
Confederate Army, served with the rank of major, and was killed in the battle of Cold Harbor.
DANIEL B. BIRD, father of Captain BIRD, was reared and educated in Jefferson County, and as
a young man, took up railroad work. He was a passenger conductor on what is now the Atlantic
Coast Line Rail Road. He made his home at Monticello, and after retiring from the railroad
service engaged in planting and was elected and served two terms as sheriff, being in office
when the courthouse was built. He lived for twenty years in Monticello, superintending his
plantation at the same time. He was one of the largest individual owners of pecan groves
in the county. He died at Monticello February 18, 1921, at the age of sixty-two. DANIEL B.
BIRD married MARY ELIZABETH ULMER, a native of Jefferson County. Her father, Capt. JOHN
ULMER, was born in Edgefield District, South Carolina. Coming to Florida as a young man,
he was prominent in this community, served in the Civil war and died in 1906.
Only child of his parents, THOMAS BUCKINGHAM BIRD was reared and educated in Monticello,
and finished both the literary and law courses at the University of Florida, graduating as
Bachelor of Science in 1914 and as Bachelor of Laws in 1916. In university he was a Kappa
Alpha and a Phi Delta Phi. Mr. BIRD had only a brief period of practice before America
declared war against Germany. In April, 1917, he volunteered and attended the First Officers
Training Camp at Fort McPherson, was commissioned as second lieutenant of infantry, assigned
to Camp Gordon in Company A of the Three Hundred and Twentieth Machine Gun Battalion, Eighty-
second Division, and in December, 1917, was promoted to first lieutenant. He went overseas
with his regiment in 1918, and was with the Eighty-second Division in the Toul sector. In
August, 1918, he was promoted to captain, and shortly afterward was sent back to the United
States to Camp Sheridan, for the purpose of carrying over a company in the Ninth Division.
The signing of the armistice cancelled that duty, and he was then transferred to Camp Sherman
at Chillicothe, Ohio, with the Ninety-fifth Division, and received his honorable discharge
there on December 10, 1918. However, he is still retained with the rank of captain of
infantry in the Reserve Corps.
In the beginning of 1919 Mr. BIRD resumed the general practice of law at Monticello. He
became a member of the City Council, and on January 1, 1921, took up his duties as county
judge of Jefferson County. He is a member of Otto M. Walker Post No. 49 of the American
Legion, is a member of the Board of Stewards of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and is
affiliated with Hiram Lodge No. 5, A.F. and A.M. Mr. BIRD is unmarried. In addition to
his law practice he is owner of several pecan groves, and is one of the prosperous, wide-awake
citizens of the community.
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