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    Baird Broomhall, born 10-20-1884 Troy, Ohio died Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 25, 1965.  Troy attorney.

    A Biography and tribute by Thomas B. Wheeler in the Troy Daily News, Nov. 1965

    When on Thanksgiving morning Baird Broomhall passed away, for the first time in 84 years no Broomhall was practicing law in Miami County.

    Both Baird and his father, Addison F. Broomhall, brought honor and respect to the legal profession. Both believed that the interests of the client came first, that cases should be settled out of court whenever possible, that legal expenses should be kept to a minimum and that the lawyer is the servant  of the client.

    In court both men were conspicuous for their unfailing courtesy and for consideration for the judge, their clients and the opposing lawyers.  With both Addison and Baird Broomhall ethics came first and the making of a large competence, second. When the traction lines were in their heyday a half century ago, every traction line in the County, the Dayton & Troy; the Springfield, Troy & Piqua; and two of the three railroads in the county were represented by Broomhall & Broomhall.  Besides representing the Pennsylvania Railroad; and the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton and later the B & O, Broomhall represented the Hayner Distillery Co., the Troy (automobile) Body Co., the McKinnon Dash Co. and the Pioneer Pole & Shaf. Co. Later on Baird was counsel to the Waco Aircraft Co.

    Addison Broomhall came to Troy in the late 1870's and studied law under Walter S. Thomas.  He couldn't have found a better tutor, for Thomas, a son of the pioneer lawyer and legislator, W. I. Thomas, published the weekly Miami Union was a world traveler, a classical scholar and a graduate of Harvard Law School.  Admitted to the Ohio Bar in 1881, Addison Broomhall practiced with the firm of Thomas & Broomhall, and then for himself. In 1910, when Baird became a lawyer, the firm became Broomhall & Broomhall, and continued under that name until 1923 when Addison Broomhall died.  

    Baird's mother was Estella Baird, later president of the Ohio Federation of Women's Clubs, and a powerful and constructive force in the community.  He was born in 1884 and graduated from Troy High School in 1903.  After a year at the University of Michigan he transferred to Yale College and graduated there in 1908.  He graduated for the University of Michigan Law School in 1910 and passed his Ohio bar examinations that year with the highest score of any of the candidates of that year.  

    Of a literary turn of mind and deeply interested in English Literature, Baird returned to Yale in 1912-1913 to complete his Master of Arts degree in English Literature. One of this fellow students in a class in short story writing was a tall, thin fellow with red hair named Sinclair Lewis. Baird told with relish of the occasion when the professor, after reading and grading short stories submitted by the five members of the class, passed judgment: "Mr. Jones, Mr. Bascom, and Mr. Seymour, you may in time become writers, but for you, Mr. Lewis and Mr. Broomhall, there is no hope."

    Baird had a fine baritone voice and used it effectively in the Yale Glee Club and the famous Masonic Quartet, consisting of Paul Braunsweiger, Walter Briggs, Vernon LeFevre and himself.  He took the lead in organizing and performing in local amateur theatricals.  

    During World War I, Baird served as a lieutenant in the Motor Transport Corps. In the next war he was special agent for the Troy Draft Board, and received the Presidential Citation and the Governor's Medal. 

    He was the oldest member of the Miami County Bar and had practiced the longest of any member.  He had also served as it's president.  Besides several nearby county courts, he practiced in state and federal district courts and in the United States Supreme Court.

    Baird Broomhall belonged to the Ohio Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the American Jurisdictional Society, the National Association of Railroad Trial Counsels and was a member of the Masons, the Elks, and a charter member of the Troy Kiwanis Club.  He was a trustee of the Troy-Miami County Library for many years and for a time was president of the board of trustees.

    No one could see the humorous side of a situation better than Baird, and his anecdotes of lawyers, court trials, college days, brother lodge members and what went on in Troy were classics.  The stories he especially liked to tell were the ones in which the arrogant and pompous were brought to earth and in which the lowly received their rightful recognition.  Never was there an unkind angle, and no one was the butt of a joke unless he well deserved it.

    The late Harold Pauly, editor of the Troy Daily News wrote the obituary account of the death of Addison Broomhall which occurred on Oct. 17, 1923. What he said equally applies to Baird: "The Baird has lost its most esteemed fellow member. The Bench its most ethical advocate. The schoolchildren, the church, the community, a friend of gentle, courtly, consistent sympathy."

    He added: "I never knew a more kindly gentleman."

    Thomas B. Wheeler

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