Ernest N. Bailey

ERNEST N. BAILEY, a brother of former Governor W. J. Bailey, reference to whom is made on other pages, has largely concentrated his efforts and business enterprise at the Town of Baileyville, named for the family, in Nemaha County. Mr. Bailey has been an extensive farmer and stockman, and in later years a grain merchant, and owns the principal grain elevator at Baileyville.

He was born in Carroll County, Illinois, June 15, 1857. The Bailey ancestry is English and the Baileys were Colonial settlers in New York. His grandparents, Joshua and Electa Bailey, were both born in or near Ticonderoga, New York. Joshua was born in 1790, and during the '40s took his family West to Carroll County, Illinois, and acquired some of the rich and unbroken land in that section. He lived there as a farmer until his death in 1870, and his wife, Electa, died in the same county.

Monroe Bailey, father of Ernest N. and Governor Bailey. was born on the shores of Lake George, New York State, in 1818. He was a young man when he went West to Carroll County, Illinois, and from there came to Kansas in July, 1879. In November of that year he acquired land on the prairie where Baileyville now stands, and he and his family founded the town there, which is built on a part of the original Bailey farm. Monroe Bailey was a man of prominence in his community many years and died at Baileyville in 1902. He was a republican and a member of the Baptist Church. He married Nancy Jane Melendy, who was born near Jeffersonville in LaMoille County, Vermont, in 1825, and died at Baileyville, Kansas, in 1900. Their family of children consisted of the following: Oscar, who died at Baileyville at the age of sixty-two, former Governor Willis J.; Ernest N.; Marion L., wife of C. M. Cafferty, who was formerly a dentist and is now living retired on account of defective eyesight, making his home at Portland, Oregon. Monroe Bailey and wife also had an adopted daughter, Hortense Kennedy, who is the wife of Charles Lennan, a real estate man at Morebridge, South Dakota.

Ernest N. Bailey was educated in the district schools of Carroll County and during 1875-76 attended the Northern Illinois College at Fulton. His early experiences were gathered while living on his father's farm, and on leaving college in 1876 he began teaching. He taught three terms in Carroll County, Illinois. In 1879 he came with his parents to Kansas, and the following year he spent breaking up some of the virgin soil on his father's place. In 1880 he went back to Carroll County to claim his bride, and when they returned he employed his energies in farming a portion of the old homestead. He continued there for six years, and then expanded his interests to the buying and shipping of livestock. In 1893 Mr. Bailey engaged in the grain business at Baileyville and has continued along that line for nearly twenty-five years. He built the large elevator on the tracks of the St. Joseph and Grand Island and Missouri Pacific Railway at Baileyville, and has furnished a market for many thousands of bushels of grain raised in this section of Kansas. He also owns an elevator at Home City in Marshall County, Kansas. Whatever their other interests and vocations the Baileys have always lived close to the land. Mr. Bailey has kept up a more or less active connection with farming. In 1911 he sold a quarter section of land for $125.00 an acre. In the same year he bought another farm in Marshall County six miles southeast of Marysville. This farm comprises 160 acres and is still under his ownership. His comfortable home is situated in the northwest part of Baileyville.

Mr. Bailey is a republican and has cast his vote with that party for many years. He served one term as town clerk and at one time was road overseer. In 1880 he married in Carroll County, Illinois, Miss Gertrude L. French, daughter of David J. and Ruth (Dunn) French. Her parents are now deceased, her father having been an Illinois farmer. Mr. and Mrs. Bailey have no children.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; transcribed 1997.
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