|Death: ||Mar. 3, 1979|
Esther Bailey was first married to Herbert 'Deafy' Farmer, notorious career criminal. He and Esther, operated a safe house for underworld fugitives from the mid-1920s to 1933.
In the 1920s his farm located south of Joplin just east of the Redings Mill, Newton county, Missouri area in southwest Missouri. It was a safe harbor for bank robbers and other criminals of the Cookson Hills region such as Harvey Bailey, Frank 'Jelly' Nash, Wilbur Underhill, "Big Bob" Brady and the Holden-Keating Gang. In the Public Enemy era, as organized crime strengthened and expanded in the United States, the farm became part of a network of safe houses for gangsters along "the midwest crime corridor."
On June 16, 1933, Herbert and Esther Farmer were involved in the plan which set into motion the Kansas City Massacre, "a pivotal event in Depression-era crime." With five others, they were convicted of conspiracy to free a federal prisoner, Frank "Jelly" Nash, in January 1935. They, along with Dick Galatas, owner of the White Front and "the official representative of the gangster world in Hot Springs," his wife, Frances Nash and others conspired to free Frank Nash from custody of Federal Agents.
The story goes:
"Mrs. Farmer was heard to say over the telephone on June 16th: 'They got by us here at Joplin. We watched from every angle but they got by us.'" At 12:05 a.m. June 17, Verne Miller called Herb Farmer's house from Union Station, Kansas City. Galatas told him what time the train would arrive at Union Station. Miller's phone calls earlier that evening were first to John Lazia in Kansas City, then to associates in Chicago and New York and to Harry Sawyer's Green Lantern restaurant in St. Paul to try to interest the Karpis-Barker gang, but on such short notice he could find no out-of-town takers (the Barkers were occupied at the time with the Hamm kidnapping) and the Kansas City mob did not want to get involved.
At 6 a.m. June 17, Deafy Farmer drove Galatas and the aviator from the Connor Hotel in Joplin back to the airport, and returned home. Dutch Akers later told his FBI contact that as soon as Galatas reached Hot Springs "he ordered every gangster in town to leave." At 9:51 a.m. a call was made from a pay phone in Hot Springs to the Farmers' house. When the Joplin police chief heard the news of the shootings at Union Station he immediately suspected Herb Farmer had something to do with it. He and detectives arrived at the farm at noon, but the Farmers and Mrs. Nash had fled.
Farmer served two years in Alcatraz for his participation in the conspiracy to free Jelly Nash. After his release he returned to Missouri. He and Esther sold the farm and moved into Joplin, where they lived until his death on January 12, 1948. In October 1966 Esther married Harvey Bailey, "dean of the American bank robbers," after a year-long courtship. She died in 1981 and is buried with Bailey in close proximity to her first husband Herbert.
Herbert Irvin Farmer (1892 - 1948)
John Harvey Bailey (1887 - 1979)
Note: John H. Bailey on same stone, same dates???
Forest Park Cemetery
Plot: Sec 24, 003, 001
Maintained by: NJBrewer
Originally Created by: Doris Snyder
Record added: Mar 01, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 66354600