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Frederick Morse Bailey
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Birth: Aug. 6, 1863
California, USA
Death: Aug. 6, 1921
Sutter County
California, USA


George Yardley Kills Fred Bailey With Pipe; Drowns Self in River

Mystery still surrounds the murder and suicide which shocked Knights Landing Saturday afternoon, when Frederick M. Bailey, brother of R.H. Bailey, was found dead with his skull crushed at the foot of the steps to a small house on the Bailey Ranch in Sutter basin, about four miles from Knights Landing.

The body of the deceased's brother, George William Yardley, charged with the killing, was taken from the Sacramento River last night, after a day's dragging of the stream. A double funeral of the murdered man and his slayer is being arranged through the Krellenberg Company.

First news of the gruesome double tragedy came to public attention about 2 o'clock Saturday afternoon when L.A. Bailey, brother to the murdered man, returned to the Bailey ranch from Knights Landing, wither he had gone after the noon meal to shave and prepare for a visit to other parts of the valley.


Upon approaching the small cabin on the large ranch L.A Bailey found his brother, Frederick, lying on ground dead, with his clothes torn and disarranged, his head bloody and scarred and the base of the skull crushed in, as if struck by a heavy, hard, blunt instrument. Near the body was found a piece of iron water pipe, which had always been kept in the rear of the cabin, and was used about the house for some particular purpose not designated by those who have attempted to assist the authorities in unraveling the mysterious killing and suicide, the real details of which probably will never be known.


That there have been serious trouble between brother and half brother was assured by the interior of the cabin where at the noon hour, Yardley and the two Bailey brothers, L.A. and Frederick had eaten together in peace, according to L.A. Bailey, the only person able to throw any light at all on the unusual tragedy.


According to L.A. Bailey there was no discord whatever at the noon hour meal. All was as peaceable as cold be. But immediately after luncheon he left for the Landing. During the three hours he was absent a terrify battle ensured between Yardley and the dead Bailey, in which kitchen stove, tables, chair and all furniture in the house were overturned and practically wrecked.


It is apparent from the condition of the room, the time at which the watch stopped on the body of Yardley, whose body was taken from the river that immediately after L.A. Bailey left the premises, the brother and half-brother engaged in a quarrel over some matter person to them, there never appearing to be an(sic) fued(sic) or long-standing trouble of any nature whatever(sic). Tho(sic) watch on Yardley's body stopped at 1:13 p.m. Saturday. They fought bitterly in the house.


It is the general impression from those who have examined the premises that Yardley struck the death blow in the cabin and that Bailey staggered about fell out of the doorway and down five steps to the ground, where he struggled about, and was lated(sic) found by his brother, L.A. Bailey. During all of this R.H. Bailey, the best known and most favored in the public eye of the brothers, was in Pacific Grove. The ranch which was the stage for the tragedy belonged to R.H. Bailey, but the brothers and half brothers had a working interest ****, and were always congenial, helpful and close to one another, according to all those familiar with the **ration.

Footprints from the house brought Yardley to the river bank, a few hundred yards away, and at the outset it was believed by all who had to do with the case, that he in despair, realizing that he had killed his half-brother, decided upon the spur of the moment to end it all. He could not swim a stroke, and it was known the moment his heel prints were seen on the bank of the Sacramento river that he had drowned.


It made the third member of the family to meet sudden and tragic death in the past 24 months. Charles Henry Yardley, the other half-brother of the Baileys, was found dead at the rear of the cabin on August 1, 1919. Frederick M. Bailey was 53 years of age, being born on August 6, 1863.
Yardley was born November 11, 1870, leaving him 51 years of age. Both were powerful men, with Yardley having a little the better of the situation in physique.


Members of the family cannot explain the cause of the trouble between them, and the details of the battle will never be known, for the reason that there were no eye-witnesses. Coroner's juiries(sic) have passed upon both cases, but fixed no blame.

Bailey, the dead man, showed signs of a terrific fight, one entire side of his body being battered upon from the base of the brain to a point below the hip.

Woodland Daily Democrat, published August 6, 1921

Sexton record 23, California death record ID 611420, California Great Registers, census records. 
Family links: 
  Mildred Ann Hottle Yardley (1830 - 1896)
  Martha Ann Bailey Hubright (1859 - 1889)*
  Lewis Anthony Bailey (1861 - 1949)*
  Frederick Morse Bailey (1863 - 1921)
  Charles Henry Yardley (1869 - 1919)*
  George William Yardley (1870 - 1918)*
*Calculated relationship
Knights Landing Cemetery
Knights Landing
Yolo County
California, USA
Plot: Section I
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: ResearchRansom
Record added: Jul 16, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 113920238
Frederick Morse Bailey
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Added by: Kim S.
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