Transcribed from History of Wyandotte County Kansas and its people ed. and comp. by Perl W. Morgan. Chicago, The Lewis publishing company, 1911. 2 v. front., illus., plates, ports., fold. map. 28 cm. [Vol. 2 contains biographical data. Paged continuously.] p. 530-531 transcribed by Amy Goodrich, student from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, on Septemder 12, 2000.


James M. Bailey

JAMES M. BAILEY, manager of the Standard Electric Light Company, former superintendent of the Argentine Water Works Company, and since the taking over of that concern by the city of Kansas City, in charge of all stock supplies, is one of the well known citizens of the community and is one who very materially accentuates its public spirit. By the circumstance of birth Mr. Bailey is a Missourian, his eyes having first opened to the light of day in Dent county, that state, the date of his nativity being January 10, 1863. He is the son of Hezekiah and Eliza J. (Brown) Bailey, the former one of Dent county's agriculturists. Hezekiah Baily was born in Kentucky in 1836 and the year of the mother's birth was 1841. Of the eight children born to this worthy couple - four daughters and two sons - all survive, the immediate subject being first in order of birth.

The father came to old Crawford county, Missouri, a part of which is now Dent county, when a youth of about sixteen years of age. In his maiden endeavors as a wage-earner he engaged as a freighter, but eventually drifted into the independent and wholesome occupation which he chose to make permanent and in which he achieved success.

He devotes his energies to general farming and is also a breeder of mules, raising a high class animal for the market. Hezekiah Bailey was a soldier of the Civil war, having worn the Gray during the great conflict between the states as a member of Burbage's Brigade in Price's army. He was wounded during a skirmish near Warrensburg, Missouri. This gentleman is a Democrat in political faith, and has given heart and hand to its men and measures since his earliest voting days.

Mr. Bailey, of this review, received his preliminary education in the schools of Dent county, attending the public schools in that community as a youth. He, like most farmers' sons, had an opportunity to glean some useful agricultural knowledge by actual experience, but the great basic industry did not present a sufficient appeal to him to induce him to adopt it for his own. In 1884, he came to Argentine, Kansas, and secured a position with the Santa Fe railroad, but after spending only a short in Argentine, he returned to Salem, Missouri, and there supplemented his education by attending school at the Salem high and preparatory schools, paying his own way during the two years he attended the latter. In course of time he returned to Argentine, again entering the employ of the Santa Fe and this second term of residence extended until 1887, when he went back to Salem to be married and remained in the old town until 1890. In the year mentioned he came back to Argentine whose charms remained vivid in his memory through many vicissitudes and he again became identified with the Santa Fe, and remained with them until April 1, 1899. At that time he was elected city clerk and his first year's service was of such efficient character that it was approved by re-election in 1900. He was then appointed in 1901, 1902, and 1903. In the latter year he left the clerk's office and tried several new ventures, being with a contracting company for a short time and then becoming associated with the Blacker Grain Company, until April, 1904, when Mr. Bailey became superintendent of the Argentine Water Company, and also manager of the Standard Electric Light Company. In April, 1910, the control of Argentine's water works was taken over by Kansas City and Mr. Baily, as mentioned in the first paragraph, has ever since been in charge of all stock supplies.

On October 30, 1887, Mr. Bailey laid the foundation of a happy married life by his union with Miss Mary J. Hobson. Mrs. Bailey was born in Dent country, Missouri. And is a daughter of Charles W. and Cynthia A. (Watkins) Hobson, the farther born in Indiana and the mother in Virginia. The former died in January, 1908, at the age of seventy years, but his wife survives. These admirable people were the parents of eight children, five sons and three daughters, the subject's wife being the fourth in order of birth. Charles W. Hobson removed to Missouri when a small boy with his parents, where he became a prominent farmer and stock dealer, and eventually entered the mercantile field. He also owned a mill and elevator in Salem, Dent county, and was generally regarded as one of the leaders in Democratic politics. Of the four children born to Mr. and Mrs. Bailey, one is living - a daughter named Mary Esther.

Mr. Bailey is a succssful exponent of the principles of moral and social justice and brotherly love exemplified by the Masonic order, his affiliations being with Ben Hur lodge, No. 322, Free and Accepted Masons, and with Caswell Consistory No. 5. He is a thirty-secound degree Mason. He belongs to Wyandotte lodge, No. 440, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and to several other organizations in addition and his political allegiance is with the Democratic party. He belongs to that type of citizen which Kansas City is pleased to call repersentative and stands for all that is best in civil goverment.



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