|Birth: ||Jun. 11, 1849|
|Death: ||Dec. 21, 1923|
Extract from the 1850 Census:
Name: Edwin N Bailey
Age in 1850: 1
Estimated birth year: 1849
Relation to head-of-house: son
Home in 1850: Granville, Licking, Ohio
Occupation: not listed
Census place: Granville, Licking, Ohio; Roll M432_702; Page: 68A; Image: 145
Date: 6 Aug 1850
Extract from the 1900 Census:
Name: Edwin N Bailey
Age at last birthday: 50
Date of birth: Jun 1849
Relationship to head-of-house: head
Home in 1900: Britt, Hancock, Iowa
Marital status: married
Number of years of marriage: 32
Able to read, write and speak English: yes
Father's birthplace: New York
Mother's birthplace: Vermont
Farm or home: home
Home owned or rented: owned
Months not employed: 0
Census place: Britt, Hancock, Iowa; Roll: T623 434; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 119
Date: 5 Jun 1900
Extract from the 1920 Census:
Name: Edwin N Bailey
Estimated birth year: 1850
Relationship to head of house: head
Home in 1920: Britt, Hancock, Iowa
Address: Second Street
Marital status: married
Able to speak English: yes
Able to read and write: yes
Father's birthplace: New York
Mother's birthplace: Vermont
Home owned or rented: owned; no mortgage
Census place: Britt, Hancock, Iowa; Roll: T625_492; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 143; Image: 113
Date: 13 Jan 1920
Edwin Noyes Bailey was born at Granville, Licking County, Ohio, the son of John and Martha (Noyes) Bailey. He came to Bailey's Grove, Iowa from Wisconsin by covered wagon in 1878. He farmed until 1866 when he moved to Britt to take charge of the paper in which he held an interest. Edwin Noyes Bailey was widely known as "Bailey of Britt"; humorist, journalist, fife and drum corps leader, farmer and newspaperman.
As publisher of the Britt Tribune for thirty-two years, Bailey brought Britt nationwide recognition. His writings became known far and wide through his newspaper columns and often reprinted. He often signed his editorials A-dam Biglyre.
Edwin Noyes Bailey was on the committee for the first Hobo Days Celebration. His nationwide editorials brought recognition to Britt, Iowa and the Hobo Days.
Extract from the memoirs of Martha Adeline Bailey:
Edwin Noyes Bailey, better known to his friends as "Bailey of Britt" was born at Granville, Licking County, Ohio, June 11, 1849.
His parents, John Dighton Bailey, originally from New York State, and Martha Ann Noyes, originally from Vermont - their veins flowing with the blood of the early pioneer, came Westward to Ohio, early in life.
Here, in Ohio, Edwin Noyes Bailey, who was our Father, was born. When he was only five years of age, my Grandfather, one day, loaded their few possessions into a covered wagon. He yoked up the old oxen, "Buck and Bright," lifted his wife and small son into the wagon, and again, setting his eyes toward the western horizon, started out.
Many times their wagon was mired in the mud, and many a time, other and greater obstacles stood in their pathway. However with the pioneer blood coursing through their veins, and their great determination to go further westward, they never once thought of turning back.
They finally landed in Wisconsin, about nine miles south of Waupaca, a small city located on the Chain-o-Lakes. The site they had chosen was in a densely timbered country and the great task before them was to clear the land and establish a home.
Many settlers from various places had arrived also, and they were not alone. Thus it was that neighbor helped neighbor, and they learned to love one another as one large family. Log cabins were built for shelter, and soon the sound of the woodsman's axe was a very familiar one to these pioneers and no music ever sounded lovelier or sweeter to their ears. The hours were long, the labor hard, but it marked the beginning of a new and better way of life.
Doctors were few and many miles must be traveled under the most trying circumstances for such consultation, so rare indeed were the times when a doctor diagnosed a case ... and hospitals were practically unknown. Women of the neighborhood cared for mothers with new babies - and so life in this new wilderness went on.
Grandmother gathered her balsam and other herbs in the fall and could brew a tea that was guaranteed to cure any common case of chills, fever or ague. If any one complained of sore throat ... out cane the jar of lard and the bottle of turpentine - or in an emergency kerosene if no turpentine was available. For an infection, a slice of salt fat pork was bound over the infected area to draw out the poison. Mustard plasters, onion poultices, or perhaps just plain bread and milk poultices were common remedies in every household.
In the spring of the year, children especially, were given a course of sulphur and molasses treatment, which was considered a good blood purifier and a good spring tonic. (We children had many such treatments in our early childhood) - and only those who have undergone such treatment can fully appreciate the sugar coated pills - the antibiotics - and the many treatments of today's medical discoveries. Asafetida bags, as a prevention to diphtheria, were worn about the neck, not only to the a discomfort of the wearer but to the dismay of all who came in contact with the wearer. However diphtheria and scarlet fever were the most dreaded of childhood's diseases and many times whole families of children would be wiped out within a day or two.
There were many children in those pioneer homes and it was the great desire of all parents to give their children the best opportunities possible for an education. So as time went on, little by little, one room school houses began to dot the landscape here and there. Often you would find one of the small school houses practically hidden in a clump of beautiful pine trees, where it had been built for a protection from the cold wintry blasts. Many of these schools were supervised and taught by a stern, and often, rather severe school master.
In the small community, known as Crystal Lake Corners, surrounded by the environment just mentioned, our father, "Bailey of Britt," received his formal education.
He had a brilliant memory which served him well, not only at school but throughout his entire life.
However a brilliant memory was not his one and only characteristic. He was filled to the brim with mischief - not the criminal kind of mischief - but the mischief that simply bubbles forth like the sun shining through a storm cloud - the kind of mischief that made life throughout his seventy four years, worth living - the kind of mischief that occasionally caused his mother as well as his friends to gasp with horror.
He had to walk three miles night and morning in order to attend school. Most of his studying was done on these trips to and from school, which of course only gave him more free time during school hours to annoy and many were the boyish pranks perpetrated against the sedate and stern old school masters - and always in such a way that no one could determine from whence it came - and no one could be proven guilty of the deed.
His education may have taken him through the fifth grade, at least I can recall his always referring to McGuffy's fifth reader. The older boys at that time, went to school only during the winter months when there was no work on the farms for them to do. So at the very best his formal education was very limited indeed.
The social activities in this small community were also very limited. Transportation being such as it was, most of the activities were held during the winter months, and the transporting was done by bob sled and a yoke of oxen.
Singing School was one favorite forms of entertainment. There wore no organs, no pianos, just a music master with his pitch-pipe. Our father never tried singing bass or tenor but just sang the soprano part - and how he did love a song fest, and never tired of it. I well remember an incident that happened one Sunday morning as I returned from church. I said, they sang a new song this morning at church. My father said, what was it - so I sang a few lines of it for him - "How Tedious and Tasteless the Hours" - and how he laughed. He took up the song where I left off and sang clear through the hymn. Then he said, new? - we used to sing that in the old singing school back in Wisconsin, when I was a boy. Then it was my turn to be surprised.
Spelling matches were another of his favorites and he had been known to walk several miles rather than miss out on a chance to spell - and it seems he usually finished at the top.
Neighborhood dances were another form of entertainment, but our father did not care at all about dancing. Of course be would always go and take his best girl, dance with her a time or two, then leave her to dance on as long as she wanted to with those who liked to dance, and he busied himself having what he deemed a good time, just mingling with the crowd - and I'm sure the best girl had a good time too, for she did love to dance.
One or the joys of his boyish life was, on the way to or from a dance to snuggle down in a bob-sleigh and accidentally (?) get his arm around the wrong girl - and especially, when said girl happened to be the schoolmaster's best girl. Just what his own best girl said to him on or after such an occasion, he never said. But we have decided it could not have been too bad, since they had fifty-five years of married life together.
Then the Civil war broke out, our father wanted so desperately to enlist in the Army but since he was under age, of course he could not be accepted. He says, he even fibbed about his age - but that did not work either. He thought he might possibly get in as a drummer boy. He was sure he could learn to drum - but where was the drum? Being very sincere in his desire to join the army, in his desperation, and determination, he proceeded to take his knife and successfully whittle out a pair of good drum sticks - but again, where was the drum? So once more in desperation and determined that he must not fail, he turned an old fanning mill (a machine used to clean grain for spring planting) upside down. The under side of the old mill was rounding and he found that his drumsticks bounced perfectly. Well they say that "practice makes perfect," and it surely seemed to do just that in his case. He did learn to drum - and while he did not succeed as well in getting into the army by the drummer boy route - he really could drum. He never played in a band nor an orchestra - the fife and drum corps was his limit. Many years after the war was over, after he had moved to Iowa, he was invited year after year to attend the G.A.R. Encampment and furnish martial music for them - and he loved it. He never tired of his snare drum. On summer evenings he would often get out the drum and no sooner would he start to play before the whole neighborhood of children and many adults too, were gathered around for the fun - and I do mean fun as he would go through all the antics he had mastered throughout the years. He could play the fife also but the drum was his favorite.
At the age of 19 he was married to Martha Eliza Stratton, who was also a native of the Crystal Lake community in Wisconsin. Apparently he had not yet full grown up and even after his marriage, his boyish characteristics, to a certain extent, seemed to possess him and from a financial point of view, they had a pretty rough road for a few years. For some reason, it seemed a bit harder for him to loose his hold on his boyhood and reach up and grasp the mantle of manhood, than it does for others. However the main point is this, that he did succeed, and then once he had grasped it, he never again lost his firm hold.
Town Mourns at the Bier of Bailey of Britt
Home Folk Shocked by Loss of Noted Editor
by Harold Andrews
(Staff Correspondent of The Register) [Des Moines, Iowa]
Britt, IA., Dec. 22 (special)
Caught in a scurrying whist of wind, a strip of ribbon pinned to the doorway of a gray dwelling on a side street whispered mournfully to the townsfolk yesterday that within the walls of that modest home was sleeping Ed Bailey, their famous country editor, a man admired by a circle of readers of his little weekly that stretched throughout the nation, admired for his wit and wisdom, and loved and treasured by his struggling neighbors as the man whose ingenuity had caused the world to beat a pathway to their little country town.
Along about 1 o'clock in the afternoon a long freight train pulled into the town, creaking and squeaking, and slowed down before coming to a full stop in front of the little depot. Being in the line of duty the town marshal, an aged and gray gentleman, bestirred himself in his chair beside the red hot stove. He gazed out the window. The tall figure of a man, his clothing in rags, squirmed out from the bumpers of a tall boxcar. Someone exclaimed, "Nab him."
Marshal Did Nothing
But other than to draw his coat over a large star that usually glittered boastfully on his chest, the marshal did nothing.
"I can't do it," he murmured. "That guy's a friend of Bailey's."
And thus Onion Cotton, tall and rusty knight of the highway and one time resident of Danville, Ohio, came into the little town of Britt unmolested by the law. Down the main street he sauntered. Coming to a side street, he walked in the direction of Bailey's residence. He reached the famous country editor's dwelling, and stopping a moment, stood with uncovered head. Then returning his tattered and punctured derby to his sandy head, he disappeared in the direction of the railroad track.
The act was significant. The president of Tourist Union No. 63 had paid his respects.
In every home of this little town where there is a member whose reminiscences stretched back to August, 1900, the gaudy and preposterous story of the fourth annual convention of Tourist Union No. 63, an event sponsored by E. N. Bailey, is being told and retold in detail today. Without a doubt the boisterous country editor whose funeral will be attended by Lieutenant Governor Hammill and other prominent men, has other and more important claims to fame - a contention of those who have read his famous weekly - but no single stunt of the man's many stunts can equal his great and lasting bit of publicity hokum.
The Hobo Convention
Back in July, 1900, so the natives here relate, Bailey, then editor of the Britt-Tribune, solemnly broadcast an announcement that he had made a bid to bring the hobo's convention to Britt. With subtle irony he published long arguments showing the advantages that would accrue to Britt if the knights of the road would name the town for their annual meeting place.
No politicians or civic boosters ever made a more strenuous campaign to procure a national political convention for their city than did Bailey make in bringing the bums to Britt. The cleverness of the idea and the publicity stunt was obvious. The idea went like wildfire. Bailey got up early one morning and found himself a national figure.
Papers Cover Sessions
The world beat a pathway to the little town of Britt, whose creamery and 1,500 population until then had never been heard of. Britt became infested with the gentry of the press. Famous representatives from the metropolitan dailies poured into the town. The Register covered the convention from beginning to end.
Nor did Bailey allow the event to be robbed of its serious aspect, and before the newspaper men knew of it, they were working for his objective, which was to put Britt on the map. The convention lasted one day, Aug. 22, 1900. Weary Willies, hearing of the good things promised at Britt through full page advertisements in his little weekly, and reproduced by metropolitan dailies, passed on the good word to other Weary Willies.
In consequence, for many days preceding the date of the convention, the back door knockers and woodpile jumpers poured into Britt. On the night preceding the convention there was not an empty barn or haymow for miles around. Eight hundred hobos infested Britt, and there wasn't a towel among them.
Couldn't Take Bath
Bailey forbade any gentleman, whether a delegate or a citizen, to take a bath. Three men were fined in consequence of violation of his order, and slum-gullion was bought with the money. Across the street were big streamers, "Welcome Tourists." Each freight train was met by the band, in which Bailey played the drum, and the delegates were escorted through the streets. The convention was held at the fair grounds. The program opened with a welcome address by Colonel Bradford, a prominent attorney, and was responded to by Grand Pipe Head Charles F. Noe of Sycamore, Ill., and Owen Cotton of Danville, Ill. They both were high in their praise of their reception.
A. E. Ballard of Belmond, Ia., another attorney, followed with a short address. Father Nagle of Garner, Ia., later parish priest here, closed the program of speaking with plans for the election of officers.
Officers elected were:
Local union head instigator, Col Tophet Anhauser Potter; chief perpetrator, Col Weary Eunique Bradford; illustrious incendiary, Frayed Erstwhile Morrow; recording angel, Elephantine Nero Bailey.
After games and various contests the convention broke up when Bailey suggested a wood chopping contest.
He married Martha Eliza Stratton 23 Dec 1868 in Crystal Lake, Waupaca County, Wisconsin.
John Dighton Bailey (1822 - 1901)
Martha Ann Noyes Bailey (1825 - 1889)
Martha Eliza Stratton Bailey (1850 - 1931)
Elbert Llewellyn Bailey (1869 - 1952)*
Edgar Lewis Bailey (1870 - 1953)*
Benjamin Bailey (1875 - 1875)*
Gladys Ella Bailey Fillenwarth (1878 - 1971)*
Ora Sumner Bailey (1881 - 1953)*
Martha Adeline Bailey Heacox (1883 - 1980)*
Joel Dighton Bailey (1885 - 1960)*
Alice Amy Bailey (1891 - 1985)*
Edwin Noyes Bailey (1849 - 1923)
Mary Caroline Bailey Rice (1855 - 1904)*
Gertrude Jennie Bailey Magor (1863 - 1932)*
Fred Hammond Bailey (1867 - 1942)*
1849 - 1923
Created by: Richard Rhode
Record added: Jun 10, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 8896156