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 Lester A Bailey

Lester A Bailey

Canaan, Litchfield County, Connecticut, USA
Death 14 Aug 1923 (aged 72)
Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, USA
Burial Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, USA
Plot Sec 04, Lot 208, Grave 2
Memorial ID 131655497 · View Source
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River Pilot Succumbs – Captain Bailey Dies At Family Home.

Steamboat Man Remembered for Daring Trip Through Ice to Rescue Storm Refugees.

Captain Lester A. Bailey, well-known river pilot and steamboat man, who died Tuesday at the family home, on Base Line and Craig roads, after an illness of six months, was born in Canaan, Conn., October 11, 1850, where he also followed the marine business, coming to Portland in 1870. His first work on the Columbia and Willamette rivers was with the little steamer Maria Wikins. He later entered the service of the Oregon Steam Navigation company and it successor, the Oregon Railway & Navigation company. While in their employ he rose from deckhand to port captain, in which position his administration was highly successful.

While the Union Pacific absorbed the water lines of the O. R. & N. company Captain Bailey retired from the service, and was instrumental in organizing the Portland & Coast Steamship company and took command of the steamer Willapa and handled her as long as the company was in existence. While in the employ of the O.R.& N. he commanded the bid side-wheeler, Olympia, the first through boat on the Portland and Ilwaco route, and was later with the Ilwaco Railway & Navigation company as pilot on the steamer Ocean Wave. He left that line and with John Marshall chartered the steamer Hassalo, which they operated on the Cascade route. Among other steamers he was in command of were the Harvest Queen, Hassalo, S. G. Reed and R. R. Thompson.

From 1904 to 1911 he was a member of the Columbia River Pilots' association. Then he turned his entire attention to steamers controlled by Swayne & Hoyt, retiring from river activities in 1913. Captain Bailey is remembered by older residents of Portland and the upper Columbia river for making a daring trip with the steamer Olympia through an ice blockade on the Columbia river in January, 186, to rescue marooned passengers of trains blockaded at Bonneville and Rooster Rock.

Captain Bailey married Mary E. Duback March 12, 1881 and one son, Julius L. Bailey, and the widow survive him. He is also survived by two brothers, Charles Bailey of New Britain, Conn., and Raymond Bailey, Philadelphia, Pa., and two sisters, Mrs. Jared Bradley and Miss Ella Bailey of Great Barrington, Mass. Captain bailey was a member of the Harmony lodge, A.F and A.M., Portland chapter R.A.M,., Oregon Commandery, Oregon consistory, Al Kader Temple, Myrtle chapter, O.E.S., and Portland lodge, 132, Elks, and Knights and Ladies of Security.

The funeral will be at 2:30 o'clock this afternoon from the parlors of fFnley & Sons, under the auspices of Harmony lode. Pallbearers were chosen from the Masonic order and the pilots' association. Interment will be at Riverview cemetery.

[The Oregonian, 17 Aug 1923, p16; w/photo]

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  • Created by: FriendsofRiverView
  • Added: 21 Jun 2014
  • Find A Grave Memorial 131655497
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Lester A Bailey (11 Oct 1850–14 Aug 1923), Find A Grave Memorial no. 131655497, citing River View Cemetery, Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, USA ; Maintained by FriendsofRiverView (contributor 47910568) .