A lost history, found

GeorgeWBailey1Lately I’ve been spending a couple of hours each weekend day reorganizing our family history archives. In the yet-to-be-organized portion of the archives, I’ve got a dozen large, plastic storage boxes, each of which holds hundreds of papers, photos, mementos, and other items judged at some point as worthy of being preserved.

One of these boxes is filled with memories and keepsakes from my great-great-aunt Dorothy Mary (“Dot”) Bailey and her husband Clarence Humphrey Bailey. You may know Dot as the young girl pictured at the center of my site’s header photo. Dot and Clarence were distant relations (third cousins; although they apparently didn’t know this when they met) and had the same last name before marriage, so I can’t be sure whether Dot adopted Clarence’s “Bailey” surname according to tradition, or whether she was an independent maverick who bucked tradition and kept her own “Bailey” surname.

I was lucky enough to have known them both as a child and to have known Dot until I was a young man in college. They were incredibly thoughtful, gentle, intelligent, and modest people, but for whatever reason, they never had children. My grandmother, Dorothy McMurry Black, their niece, was like a daughter to them and she was their sole heir. Their tangible memories have now passed to me, and I’m making my way through them.

One of the items I found and nearly passed over in my initial organization was a manila envelope labelled “Income Taxes, 1988.” It seemed reasonable to believe that that was what was in the envelope, as it was stored among other financially relevant papers such as insurance policies and a will. Thankfully, I didn’t pass it over but instead decided to examine the contents. Apparently “Income Taxes, 1988” was a code word for “important family history papers.”

Among the items I found in that envelope were three original, typed family histories. Two appear to be carbon copies of typed transcriptions (possibly by either Dot or Clarence—both were good typists) of now-lost letters from a cousin and family historian, Mrs. Myrtle Rice Haynes, from 1926 and 1929. The third is an original, unsigned, typed family history that was written in 1941. I originally thought it might have been written by Dot or Clarence themselves, but the detail supplied on Dot and Clarence in the history is thin and vague in places and the author didn’t know Clarence’s birth date, leading me to now suspect it was written by some other, now-unknown family member.

As I might have the only existing copies of these information-rich documents, I wanted to transcribe and share them as soon as possible. As if I needed more incentive, the final paragraph in the transcription of the 1926 letter caught my eye:

I very much hope this letter may reach its destination, or at least come to the attention of some descendant of our common ancestor, who is interested in preserving the records of the past. I am trying to make as complete a history of our family in its branches as possible. A few more years and the missing links will be almost impossible to get.

Without further ado, let me present the first of these three documents: the 1941 family history of Clarence H. Bailey’s family. I’ll present my transcription first, followed by images of the pages as I found them.


Mr. and Mrs. Geo. W. Bailey

Mr. and Mrs. Geo. W. Bailey were married at Grand Lake, Colorado, April 17, 1883. Mrs. Bailey’s maiden name was Belle Jarbeau, and she had been working on the “Grand Lake Prospector” setting type. The paper was owned by Mr. Bailey and Mr. Smart. She quit work on the paper when she was married. They went to live in the Hotel for about 4 months while their house was being built. While at this hotel the Grand Lake Massacre took place.

As Mrs. Bailey tells it,—Mr. Bailey was not yet up, it being a holiday. She was up when she heard some shooting. She stepped to the [window] and looked out and saw men running in every direction. He got up and looked out and dressed and went out to investigate. He came back very much excited and told what had happened.

Previous to this the Grand Lake Prospector had taken sides on the county quarrel, printing editorials and especially one cartoon depicting one of the participants in a jail bird’s suit as an insinuation that he had been in the penitentiary before coming west, and the faction they were against had Mr. Bailey and Mr. Smart sued for libel, arrested and jailed in the Hot Sulphur jail. They said they would have that paper stopped now all right. Mr. Bailey said “You could arrest every man in Grand Lake and you couldn’t stop that paper, for my [wife] will get the paper out,” and she did. She hired a man to help her and ran the paper for several weeks while the men were in jail. They were finally released without even a trial as no evidence of libel could be found.

As soon as their house was finished they moved into it. Here their first son was born on June 24, 1884. They named him Isaiah Loomis Bailey III, for his grandfather, Isaiah Loomis Bailey I, and his uncle Isaiah Loomis Bailey II. The Loomis was for his grandfather’s mother’s surname.

During this time Mr. Bailey was studying law with his next door neighbor, Mr. Caswell. They lived there until about the fall of 1886 when he sold out to Smart.

The fall of 1883 they went down to the valley where Mr. Bailey’s folks lived and their folks gave them all kinds of vegetables, potatoes, etc., but they all froze on the way home, so all winter they lived on just venison and bread. When the baby was born in June, the mother almost died and the baby was very hard to raise, because of course the mother had to nurse him, and the lack of the proper vitamins almost killed both mother and child.

Before the Grand Lake part of this history is left it should be mentioned that Mr. Jarrand, a well known figure in early Grand Lake history boarded with the Baileys for some time while they were living in their own home there.

In the meantime, Mr. Bailey’s mother had died and when Mr. Bailey sold out the paper in Grand Lake they went to live on the farm with Mr. Bailey’s father, 5 miles south of Fort Collins in the Harmony district.

Before he left Grand Lake, he went to Denver and took the Bar examination and passed. When they moved to the farm near Fort Collins, Mr. Bailey opened a law office in Fort Collins and rode the five miles to the office each day on horseback, and Mrs. Bailey kept house for all of them on the farm. There were seven of them,—Mr. Bailey’s father, Isaiah L. Bailey, his 15 year old sister, May Bailey, his brother, I. L. Bailey II, his youngest brother, Eugene Bailey, Mr. and Mrs. George Bailey and the two year old baby, Isaiah L. Bailey III.

They lived there a year, when Eugene Bailey married and took his wife to the farm and Mr. and Mrs. Geo. W. Bailey moved to Fort Collins. They rented for a year, then built an eight room stone house at 517 S. Howes. Here on Aug. 5, 1889 their second son, George Jarbeau Bailey was born. (The Jarbeau was Mrs. Geo. W. Bailey’s maiden name). Also their third and youngest son, Clarence Humphrey Bailey (named for next door neighbor, Major Humphrey and Mrs. Bailey’s brother Clarence), [was born] on March 2, 1894.

About a year after Eugene Bailey married, his sister May Bailey married Fred Gross, and moved to town and the father, I. L. Bailey I lived with her until his death sometime during the same year.

She and Gross separated in about a year and May went to live with Mr. and Mrs. George W. Bailey. About a year later she went to visit her brother, Will Bailey in Kansas and died of diabetes in about three months. She was brought back to Fort Collins and buried by her father.

Young Newton Crose was in Mr. Bailey’s law office for a while as a paid assistant.

Judge Garbut was a law partner of Mr. Bailey for some time. Mr. Bailey served four years as city attorney of Fort Collins, five years as Deputy District Attorney and three years, from 1896 to 1899 as County Judge of Larimer County.

In 1905 he was appointed by Governor Peabody as Judge of the State Supreme Court. At the same time Mr. Caswell with whom he had read law in Grand Lake was appointed as one of the Supreme Court Judges.

The Baileys sold the stone house and moved to Denver where they lived the four years he served on the Supreme Court.

In 1909 they moved back to Fort Collins and rented a house from L. C. Moore at 7___ College Ave. While here, on April 15, 1909, Mr. Bailey died of diabetes at the age of 53.

Mrs. Bailey bought a house at 411 East Laurel. While here she made a trip to California and stayed four months at Oakland and 4½ at Los Angeles. Mrs. P. W. Fischer of Walden rented the house while Mrs. Bailey was gone and sent her daughters and Albert Fischer to the Agricultural College.

Mrs. Bailey bought the house at 110 N. Howes about 1920 and has lived there ever since.

Isaiah L. Bailey III, their first son, went to the Fort Collins Grade School and the Fort Collins High School and was attending the Fort Collins Agricultural College when he joined the Navy. He had never been very robust, was tall and slim, and they thought the Navy would build him up physically. He was in the Navy four years. When he came home the family was living in Denver.

In 1899, while Isaiah was stationed at San Francisco, Mr. and Mrs. Bailey and Mr. and Mrs. L. C. Moore made a trip out to California and Oregon and visited Isaiah at San Francisco. After Mr. Bailey became Judge, Isaiah was stationed at Seattle, and the Judges and families were always given passes on the railroads to anywhere they wanted to go; so the family,—Mr. and Mrs. Bailey, George and Clarence all went out to see Isaiah. They also attended the Portland World’s Fair on the same trip.

Soon after Isaiah’s arrival home, Mr. Bailey was looking around for something for him to do. In the meantime, Mr. Bailey had obtained Lawrence Nightengale’s appointment as Postmaster of Fort Collins. Then one day Mr. Nightengale telephoned down and suggested that Isaiah come down to Fort Collins and take the Civil Service examination for Mail Carrier. He passed, got the job and carried mail until put in as distributing clerk, then as Money Order Clerk which he still is.

He married Harriet Schnebley of Fort Collins. On September 14, 1912 a daughter, Harriet Belle Bailey was born to them. She attended the Fort Collins High School and Business College and is now Stenographer at the Agricultural College.

George Jarbeau Bailey, the second son of Mr. and Mrs. Geo. W. Bailey, was born August 6, 1889 in Fort Collins. He attended the Fort Collins Grade Schools and went to the Fort Collins High School one year. It was then that the family moved to Denver and he then went to the Old East Denver High School three years. He then entered the Boulder Law School and after attending three years graduated there in the Spring of 1911.

He then went into partnership in the Law business in Fort Collins with Russell Fleming.

In the Spring of 1912 he came to Walden, Colorado and entered into the Law business by himself. He thought it would be better for his own development to have to be entirely alone where he would have to depend on himself. He was already familiar with the Town of Walden and the country of North Park as he had made trips to Walden on Abstract business while in partnership with Fleming and in 1899 he had made a trip all through the country with his parents and brothers on a camping, hunting and fishing trip.

He was made Attorney for the Town of Walden in 1913 and still holds that position at the present time, 1941.

He became County Attorney of Jackson County in 1915 and held that position until he was drafted into the Army for the World War in April, 1918. He was given the position of Company Clerk and later was Sargeant in Co. K, 355th Infantry. He went across in May, 1918, and returned in March, 1919, being discharged on March 19, 1919.

He returned to Ft. Collins, and had his office and home there but practiced also in North Park. In the Spring of 1920 he moved back to Walden.

In 1921 he was again made County Attorney for Jackson County and still holds that position at the present time, 1941.

In the winter of 1924 he again moved to Fort Collins and opened a Law office there while still making frequent trips into North Park on business. In the Spring of 1927 he returned to North Park and has had his home and Law business in Walden ever since.

In the Fall of 1926 he entered into partnership with Harry Green in the Sheep business and has carried this as a side line to his Law business ever since.

February 14, 1929, he married Mrs. Adah B. Riggen of Walden, Colorado. The next Spring they took up a homestead and built a home in the foothills a few miles this side of the Rabbit Ears. in order to have the dry hillsides for lambing grounds. Here he looks after the sheep in the summer time, making three trips a week to Walden to attend his Law business.

After the lambs are sold in the fall, the sheep are moved down to the Green ranch for the winter and he moves back to Walden where he built a home next to the Court House in 1938, and has his law offices nearby which he built in 1940.

Clarence Humphrey Bailey, the third and youngest son of George W. and Belle J. Bailey, was born in Fort Collins, March [2, 1895] and attended the Fort Collins Grade Schools and graduated from the Fort Collins High School. He then went to work for the Telephone Company at Fort Collins as Wire Man. Then the Telephone Company sent him to El Paso Texas, where in 1917 he volunteered in the World War in the Signal Corps. He went from Camp Lewis to France and was there 13½ months. He went into Germany with the Army of Occupation.

After his arrival home in 1919, he went to work in the First National Bank of Fort Collins. He then went into business for himself in the Transfer business.

He married Dorothy Bailey, a girl he had met at Camp Lewis. About a year later they moved to Seattle, Washington, where he went to work for the E. A. Pierce Brokerage Co., and she for the Mass. Mutual Life Insurance Co., which positions they both held up until in 1940 when he took up another line of business.

In 1939 they built a beautiful home on the shores of Puget Sound in Seattle, Wash., where they now live.

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