Born in Richmond, of a family that landed in Virginia in 1695, James Keir Baughman found America's Civil War a “touchable” event. His growing years were on a 60 acre farm in Varina, a suburb of Richmond, where many Civil War battles were fought. His grandfather, James Wilson Baughman, built the farm's main house in a Civil War fort remaining on the farm, at the edge of the old road to Williamsburg.
In Rome, GA in 1946 James Keir Baughman learned of "The Raid of Streight's Brigade" recounted in his book "The Boys From Lake County". During high school in Birmingham he served in the Army Infantry Reserve Officer Training Corps and the Alabama Air National Guard.
On a military assignment in July 1949, the author found Northwest Florida’s magnificent Emerald Coast. About then, his family acquired land and later built a beach cottage at Miramar Beach, just East of Destin and Fort Walton Beach.
On June 1,1951 his parents Elba Altdoerffer and Iris Keir Armour Baughman invested in three businesses in Shalimar, a suburb of Fort Walton Beach, and moved the family there.
James Keir Baughman began writing as ad copywriter, columnist, news writer, and Ad Director at Fort Walton Beach’s weekly Playground News. During a 45 year career in management, marketing, and advertising he published thousands of lines of ad copy. In retirement he has written for national and regional condo and sailing magazines.
He served 10 ½ years as Fort Walton Beach City Councilman, Mayor Pro Tem, and on Boards of Directors for JayCees, NW Florida Regional Planning Council, Playground Area Safety Council, YMCA, Fort Walton Yacht Club, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce, as President, Fort Walton Beach Downtown Merchants Assn, as an advisor for Junior Achievement, a Lieutenant and aircraft owner in the Civil Air Patrol, Flotilla Staff Officer in Destin’s U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, a member of the Florida League of Cities and the local Lions Club. His mother Iris Keir Armour Baughman guided the Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce for 14 years as Executive Director. Jim and his family are entrepreneurs of several area business ventures. Licensed as a Florida Condo Manager, he managed two seven story hi-rises in Destin. He was also a residential and rental condominium owner and board of directors member.
The author’s love of the sea and sailing spans six decades. He and his wife Sandee live on the Gulf Coast Intra-Coastal Waterway. Its 800 miles stretch through five states to the Mexican border.
Their children, son James and wife Diane, daughter Jill and granddaughter Esenia, daughter Dana, husband Brent and granddaughters Gracie and Emmy, are Fort Walton Beach/Destin professionals and business owners who share his love of the beachside Emerald Coast lifestyle.