Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Birds in:
 • Woodland Cemetery
 • Des Moines
 • Polk County
 • Iowa
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Community Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Sponsor This Memorial! Advertisement
William Knowlton Bird
Learn about sponsoring this memorial...
Birth: Sep. 9, 1840
Indiana, USA
Death: Mar. 11, 1897

s/o Thompson & Anna P.

BIRD, W. K.-William Knowlton Bird, eldest son of Rev. Thompson Bird, was born in Thorntown, Boone Co., Ind., Sept. 9, 1840. In 1847, with his parents be came to Iowa, where be has grown to manhood. In his youth he possessed uncommon educational advantages, receiving
the tutelage of his father, and cultured, affectionate mother, who evidently moulded his character and impressed upon him those traits of integrity and sterling worth which give him to-day a prominent place among the business men of the city of his adoption. He early entered a select school at Norwich, Connecticut, but was unable to pursue his studies, owing to the weakness of his eyes. Returning home, he taught school several terms, until the tocsin of war sounded, when he enlisted in company D of that noble, heroic, grand old band of patriots, the Second Iowa Infantry, but was rejected because of the difficulty with his eyes. Undaunted he persisted in his
object, and finally succeeded in securing a place in the ranks. At the end of nine months he was compelled to return home, and for more than three years was unable to transact any business. So soon as he recovered from his disability he entered a dry goods store as salesman, and his genial manners, cultivated mind, and honesty of purpose, at once made him popular. In 1873 he naturally concluded that what was profitable to his employers would be also to himself; and renting the corner of Court Avenue and Fourth street in the then unoccupied Aborn House, he began to paddle his own canoe. It was not long until his increasing business demanded more commodious quarters. Luckily the State Insurance Company decided to erect a fine stone front structure on Fourth street between Court Avenue and Walnut. With a keen sagacity which marks the successful business man, Mr. Bird at once secured the occupancy of the entire first story and basement, which was arranged for his special use, making one of the largest and best appointed dry goods houses in the West. While many wiseacres doubtingly shook their heads, Mr. Bird, with that indomitable energy and self-reliance which so characterized his father, ventured to supply a trade want of metropolitan proportions. Events have proved his remarkable success. Through all the recent years of panic and financial revulsions, his commercial ship neither tacked to the right nor left, nor went backward, but straight on, and to-day he stands with the first of business men in the city, possessing the confidence and highest esteem of all in social and monetary circles-one to whom citizens can point with a good degree of pride, as in several other cases where Mother Bird had the early training. November 14, 1866, Mr. Bird was united in marriage with Miss Mar. Earle, of Milton, Rock county, Wisconsin. One child, a daughter, Anna May, was born to them, who died September 7, 1868.

"The History of Polk County, Iowa" published by the Union Historical Company, Birdsall, Williams & Co. 1880

Family links: 
  Thompson Bird (1804 - 1869)
  Anna P Knowlton Bird (1812 - 1901)
  Mary E Bird (1843 - 1896)
  Anna May Bird (1868 - 1868)*
  William Knowlton Bird (1840 - 1897)
  Empson Bird (1844 - 1909)*
  Louisa Bird Hyde (1847 - 1912)*
*Calculated relationship
Note: in same lot: Rev. Thompson Bird, Mary E. Bird, William K.Bird, Empson Bird, Anna May Bird, Anna P. Bird, Louisa Bird Hyde, Empson B. Hyde, Arthur A. Hyde
Woodland Cemetery
Des Moines
Polk County
Iowa, USA
Plot: Block: 9 Section: Lot: 00038
Maintained by: Nikkmed911
Originally Created by: Katie Lou
Record added: Jun 23, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 27773415
William Knowlton Bird
Added by: Katie Lou
William Knowlton Bird
Added by: Katie Lou
William Knowlton Bird
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Janet Hayes
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- Beverly Smith Harker
 Added: Oct. 1, 2015

- Peg
 Added: Mar. 3, 2011

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service