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 John Henry “Bill” Bailey

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John Henry “Bill” Bailey

John 'Bill' Bailey son of:

William E. Bailey
Birth: 1764 in Virginia
Death: 8 May 1852 in Shelby, Adair Co., Kentucky

Name: Isabella DAY
Surname: Day
Given Name: Isabella
Sex: F
Birth: 1778 in North Carolina
Death: Nov 1852 in Shelby, Adair Co., Kentucky


'Oregon Statesman', April 22, 1894 obituary for John Bailey - Extensive Bio: in 'Oregon Statesman', April 2, 1893, page 3.

Again in the year 1864, (The first time they came was 1852) George Washington Bailey, with his wife and four children and his 'Father and Mother' crossed the plains from 'Iowa' to 'Oregon'. George and Talitha resided there until they passed away as did John Henry 'Bill' and Sarah 'Sally' Drollinger Bailey, George's parents.....

John Henry Bailey, his wife, Sarah 'Sally' Drollinger Bailey and 5 out of 8 of their children moved to Oregon. He was 70 years old at that time.

The Bailey family had orginally come from North Carolina. They were 'Dutch'. Mrs. Bailey had never learned to speak English.

John Henry Bailey was living with his daughter, Nancy J. Stevens in the "1880" Census for Sumner, Coos Co., OR. He was 85 years old. A story written about "Gilbert and Catherine Epperson, Pioneers' says he lived to be 104 years old!! There is a copy of this story at the Sandy,OR Historical Museum.

John was born in 'Granville', Pitt Co., North Carolina to William E. and Isabella Day.

b. 11 May 1795
d. 21 Apr 1894 OLD 178-04

"NEARLY A CENTURY--John B. Bailey the Oldest Man in Salem--Something of His Career--Will Be A Hundred Years Old in Two Years More--An old man with whitened beard and dimmed eyes seated in a rocking chair and bending forward with his head upon his cane to catch the warmth of the flickering blaze in an ancient looking fireplace formed a picture that greeted a Statesman reporter yesterday when he was ushered into the home of W.H. Cross in North Salem to see the oldest man in the county, and perhaps the oldest in the state--Grandpa John B. Bailey, who is rapidly approaching the ninety-eighth anniversary of his birthday.
He was born on the eleventh day of May, 1795, near Granville, N.C., twelve years after the close of the revolution and while Washington was serving his second term as president of the United States. He continued to live there sometime, and on the 11th of May 1824--in the year of John Quincy Adam's election to the presidency, Lafayette's memorable visit to America, and before Henry Clay and Daniel Webster reached the height of their fame--he married Miss Sarah Trullinger, near Greensboro, Gilford county. She was born in the same year as her husband and died at the age of 80 in Marshfield, Oregon.
Ungrateful Children--There he raised a family of nine children, one of whom died at the age of 20 years. Nancy Catherine and Elizabeth are also dead. His surviving children are: John and George age 63 and 61 years respectively, who are thought to be residents of southern Oregon; Henry, aged 70, of Red Oak, Iowa; Mrs. Sarah Bruner, of Kansas, aged 55; and Mrs. Matilda J. Cross, of this city, aged 51 years. The old man's children, with the exception of the latter, have become lost in the affairs of the world and do not even know where he is or care whether he is alive or dead.
About 1832 he moved with his family from North Carolina to Orange county, Indiana, and later to Fountaine county, which was about the time the source of the Mississippi river was discovered and the first horse cars were run on the streets of New York city.
In the year 1842 Grandpa Bailey, becoming dissatisfied with the Hoosier state and longing for life in the wilds of Missouri, emigrated there and became one of the pioneers of Dallas county where he remained three years. His next move was to Monroe county, Iowa, where he lived with his family about twenty years.
Restlessness again overcame him and he started across the plains with an ox team for this state, arriving here in '64, when he was 69 years old. Roseburg was his first location and from there he went to Oregon City--the anti-chamber of the state. After two years spent there Grandpa Bailey betook himself and wife to Lancaster, in the vicinity of Harrisburg. They were too old to live alone by that time and soon left there to go to Marshfield, Coos county, to live with their son. After a residence of ten years there, during which Grandma Bailey died, the old man came to Salem in 1875 to make his home with his daughter, Matilda.
A Pleasant Home--He has lived there ever since, surrounded by loving ones who make his life as pleasant as possible. He spends most of his waking hours in front of the fireplace in the sitting room wandering in a world of fancies. He has a fondness for visitors and can enjoy a joke with as much zest as anyone. He likes to talk of his great age and nothing pleases him better than to be told he looks quite young for one of his age, which is true.
His bedtime is from 7 to 9 p.m. and he usually sleeps until 12 or 2 in the afternoon. Breakfast is taken to him and he eats in bed and takes a nap afterward. He is a hearty eater and takes his other meals at the table with the family. He always shaves himself and can use a razor better than most men. The family afford him a great deal of enjoyment by reading to him. He never becomes cross or troublesome like many old people.
The Bird Escaped--Two years ago he shouldered his gun and started hunting. He had not gone far before he saw a grouse sitting on a tree, and, raising the weapon to his shoulder, he prepared to take deliberate aim and shoot off the head of the bird. He shut his left eye as he had done many a time before with the intention of glancing out along the glistening barrel. Something was wrong. He tried again, and with no more success, and it was then for the first time that he learned that the sight of his right eye was gone. The other eye is failing now and he can hardly distinguish anyone.
He is a great lover of angling and until recently would walk long distances to throw his line in a trout pool. For one of his age he walks very sprightly even now.
A year ago last February he suffered temporary aberration for a period of three days, and when he regained his mind he was taken sick and came near dying.
Grandpa is a singer--Last New Year's day he visited his nephew, Martin Bailey, at Marion, where he met many of the early settlers of the state. He was quite jovial and during the evening sang several songs in a very lively strain.
When asked how many grandchildren he had, the nonogenarion replied, "Why, why, I really can't think of them all," and laughing heartily, he turned to his daughter and said, "Tillie, you'll have to help me." His grandchildren number nearly ninety, and he has ever so many great grandchildren and great great grandchildren. Levi Bailey, of South Salem, is a nephew of the old gentleman, and Mrs. Gus Kaiser, of this city, is a granddaughter.
Reminiscential--With some difficulty Grandpa Bailey was induced to talk of some of his earlier military recollections. He intended to enter the Black Hawk war, but the Indian chief was captured before he enlisted. In 1861 when the civil war broke out he was 66, and, being too old to enter the service, he joined the "Graybeards" or home guards. When a boy he was on many of the old revolutionary battlefields and remembers seeing cannon balls and other evidence of the conflict scattered about.
The old man dwelt lovingly on his reminiscences of the wonderful pigeon roots of Missouri, which was eight miles long and six miles wide. The pigeons were so numerous that the timber was broken to pieces by their great weight. They were always flying to and fro and the force of their wings was so great it would blow a man's hat off.
May 11th has been a great day for him throughout his ninety-eight years of life, he says. He was born on that date, first saw his wife on May 11th and on that day of the month was afterward married to her. He was never engaged in a law suit and has been a member of the Christian church for many years. Politically he was a Whig in his younger days but later became a Republican and has voted that ticket ever since--except once, and that was last November, when no conveyance was at hand to take him to the polls--casting eighteen presidential ballots during that time.
Proud of His Strength--Grandpa Bailey takes a great pride in the great physical powers possessed at a younger age and enjoys telling what he did when "slights of art and feats of strength went round". "I came from a healthy family," said he. "My father died at the age of 93 and my mother was nigh onto a hundred and both my grandfathers were very old. When I lived in Clackamas county I was 72. One morning I went out and split 100 rails before dinner. When I was 80 I could more'n most men. I weight about 185 when I was in good health and I was right in the prime of life between 60 and 70. When I was in Clackamas I dug sixty bushels of potatoes a day."
The old gentleman talks very slowly and with a great many pauses he continued, brightening as he proceeded. "I was a great wrestler, too. I used to like to get holt of a champion. Once when I was passing through Greensboro I saw eight or nine hundred men standing in a ring. I goes up and says, "Hello, what's up?" Her's a man wants to bet $5 he can lay any man on his back, said some fellow. I saw the champion. He was all trigged out ready for the scuffle. I says, "If you'll put a mark on the ground I'll lay his back on it". We, sir, I hadn't more'n got holt of him before I flopped him right flat of his back." And the old man laughed heartily at the recollection of the exploit.
As the reporter rose to go the old gentleman took him by the hand and half threateningly remarked: "If I had my bearing and my eyesight I believe I could get around among the girls and cut some of you young fellows out," and when the man of pencils left Grandpa was gleefully enjoying his own joke." OS Apr 2, 1893 p3 w/2 sketches
"NEARLY NINETY-NINE---Full of Years and Honors, Salem's Oldest Citizen Dies.--The Venerable John B. Bailey Passes Peacefully Away at the Home of His Daughter---At high noon yesterday, when all nature was smiling blandly for the sons of men, in the peaceful quiet of his Highland home, Salem's (perhaps even Oregon's) oldest citizen yielded up his tenure of mortal life. Venerable John B. Bailey is dead..... The surviving children are: John, age 64 and George, 62, who are thought to be residing in Southern Oregon; Henry aged 71, of Red Oak, Iowa; Mrs. Sarah Bruner, of Kansas, aged 56, amd Mrs. M.J. Cross, of Salem, aged 52; and four other children being long since gone.
The funeral will take place from the residence, in Highland, today at 10 o'clock p.m. and sepulture at the Lee Mission cemetery." OS Apr 22, 1894 5:1 w/sketch photo
1860 Guliford, Monroe Co, IA enumerated with wife and daughter, sons living next door, farmer; 1880 Sumner, Coos Co, OR

Thanks given to Frances Gayle Bailey Day for her Genealogy files.

Children of John 'Bill' Bailey and Sarah Sally Drollinger Bailey:

- Nancy Jane Bailey Epperson Piper, Stevens, Darling b. 1821 and died in Coos Co., OR

- Catherine 'Ticcle' Bailey Epperson b. 1823 NC d. 1886 Sandy, Clackamas Co., OR b. Sandy Ridge Cemetery, Sandy, Clackamas Co., OR m. Gilbert John Epperson son of Asa and Leah Barron Epperson. (My Gr. Gr. Grandmother)

- Henry Fraley Bailey b. 1825 Guilford Co., NC d. 1916 Red Oak, Montgomery Co., IA b. Evergreen Cemetery, Red Oak, Montgomery Co., IA.

- John Bannister Bailey b. 1830 Missouri d. 1910 Jackson Co., OR


- George Washington Bailey b. 1832 Fountain Co., IN d. 1912 Grants Pass, Josephine Co., OR b. Missouri Flat Cemetery, Applegate, Jackson Co. OR

George led an interesting life. His father, John, and uncle, Henry, had gone to California in 1850 to seek their luck in finding gold. In 1852, George Bailey and his nephew, 'Billy Bonebrake', went 'West' to join his father, John "Bill" Bailey and uncle. They finally reached Trinidad, Humboldt Co., Calif. They heard about gold being found in Southern Oregon. They joined a supply train, going over the Siskiyous into the Illinois Valley. They struck gold in the 'Bolan Lake' area near today's Cave Junction.

George's father, John Henry 'Bill' Bailey, and uncle, 'Henry Fraley', had gone to California in 1850 to seek their luck in finding gold.

In 1852, George and his nephew, Billy 'Bonebrake', went West to join his father and uncle. They finally reached Trinidad, Humboldt Co., Calif. They heard about gold being found in Southern Oregon. They joined a supply train, going over the Siskiyous into the Illinois Valley. They struck gold in the Bolan Lake area near today's Cave Junction.

The family tells that George's father John and uncle Henry had worked as longshoreman on the California coast and helped build the trail from Crescent City, CA to the Illinois Valley, Josephine Co., Oregon.

Eventually, the Bailey's headed back to the coast and took passage home via around the Horn, to New York City and back to Ohio where their families were then living.

George Washington Bailely came, with his parents, to Iowa from Missouri. In the year 1852 he and his two brothers, Henry Frank and John Ross Bailey, came across the 'plains' with what is known as the "Pierce Emigration Train", to California. They were seeking their fortune in 'gold' and worked their way up the coast to Cresent City and then to Waldo. They mined for 'Gold' in Waldo, OR until the 'Indian War' came on, causing them to abandon their claims. Some time afterward they returned home to Iowa; where Goerge Wasington Bailey met and married his wife, Talitha J. Norman.

In 1864, George and his family head West for Oregon. They traveled alone for most of the
journey but towards the end they joined the Pierce wagon train. Reaching Southern Oregon, George was disappointed to discover that his claims had been "jumped" and the area mined out. He
spent two years in Jacksonville, then homesteaded on "Foots Creek", ranching and mining there.
'Bailey Gulch' commemorates his residence in that valley.

Again in the year 1864, with his wife, four children and his 'Father and Mother'; crossed the plains from 'Iowa' to 'Oregon'. George and Talitha resided there until they passed away in Grants Pass, Josephine Co., OR.

In 1880, the George Washington Bailey's moved to Missouri Flat. George raised hay and stage coach horses while continuing his mining interests.


- Sarah Jane Bailey Askren Berner b. 1835 Fountain Co., IN d. 1893 Park, Dundy Co., NB b. Old Ives Cemetery/Parks Cemetery, Parks, Dundy Co., NB

- Matilda Jane Bailey Watson Cross
•Birth: 25 Mar 1835 in Orange Co., IN
•Death: 29 Jun 1929 in Salem, Marion Co., OR
•Burial: City View Cem., Salem, Marion Co., OR

- Susannah Bailey, b. 1841 MO, was living with her parents John Henry 'Bill' & Sarah 'Sally' Drollinger Bailey in the '1856' Census for Lovilia P.O., Union, Monroe Co., IA. There was also a male 2 years older than Susannah living with them... John Lindsey Epperson born 1839. Do not know any more information about Susannah.....


Thanks to 'Fran Bailey Day' for her research on the Bailey family tree and bios of family members. Fran's Memorial #111694705





  • Maintained by: AngelWings
  • Originally Created by: Patty C
  • Added: 5 Jun 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 27359545
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for John Henry “Bill” Bailey (11 May 1795–21 Apr 1894), Find A Grave Memorial no. 27359545, citing Lee Mission Cemetery, Salem, Marion County, Oregon, USA ; Maintained by AngelWings (contributor 47016947) .