Bailey: Digital Records 2012
9/24/1855 – 12/21/1942
Preparation and early ministry
The following 21 numbered references fill in many of the blanks in the I.W. Bailey story as a frontier preacher. As a young single man he proved a homestead in Kiowa County, Kansas in the early 1880s. Following this adventure in the western movement, he returned to his native Indiana where he attended Franklin College, affiliated with the Baptist church, and was involved with many churches in the late 1880s through 1903. These earliest references are included as the last three numbered references, 19, 20, and 21.
Following his marriage in 1892 to Flora Tabitha Taylor and the birth of four children, Edna, Ruth, Hattie, and Ogle in Indiana, the young Bailey family moved to the homestead in Kiowa County, Kansas. Two additional children were added to the family in Kansas, Lowell, and Gertrude, the author’s mother. Most of the pictures below and in two associated albums were in Miss Bailey’s picture album, an invaluable archive which included writing on most pictures. The author’s notes in the following narrative are in parentheses for context and clarification from the digital search of Isaac William Bailey in 2012.
1. Relocation to Kiowa County, Kansas 1903
(The I.W. Bailey family is shown below in about 1902-3. The first four children, Edna, Hattie, Ruth, and Ogle were all born in Indiana prior to their moving to the homestead in Kiowa County, Kansas about 2003. In Kansas, I. W. was affiliated initially with three known churches all in Comanche County. He was clearly an early circuit riding preacher, and travelled by horseback or wagon to the churches and homes in Coldwater, Protection, and Wilmore, Kansas, and throughout the counties.
2. Additions to the Bailey family in Kansas 1903 - 1907
(The following picture from 1910 shows the two Kansas additions to the Bailey family: Lowell in 1905, and Gertrude the author’s mother, in 1907. The balance of the digital records are from local publications in Comanche County plus selected pictures from Miss Bailey's album. Exactly which portions of the records are I.W.’s contributions, and which may be from other sources is not known, but the flavoring from the era is fascinating. A few reports are duplicated, but vary descriptively)
3. (Marriage ceremony conducted by I.W. at the Bailey home in south Kiowa County, Kansas, July 27, 2004)
Baptist Church funeral, Coldwater, Kansas, February 1907)
5. (Rev. Bailey,
Protection Baptist Church, presides over funeral at M.E. Church
in Protection, March 16, 1907)
6. (Funeral services conducted in the home of Abram VanWey, Protection, Kansas, April 1907)
(Funeral services conducted in M.E. Church, Protection, by Rev.
I.W. Bailey, Baptist church minister, 5 July 1907)
8. (Construction and operation of Wilmore Baptist Church)
The Wilmore Baptist Church was founded in 1907 with the Reverend Bailey as the pastor. I haven’t been able to get the actual years that each pastor was at the church but here is a list of what I believe were all the pastors to serve at the church: Reverend Bailey, J. P. Woods, Russell Pittman, Ernest Wood, Reverend Pennington, Noel Wood, Kenneth Mayfield, Ernest Lawrence – 1956 – 1964 and Aljoe Watters.
(Pictured below are the Rev. I.W. Bailey standing in the Wilmore Baptist Church during construction, and a second picture of his oldest daughter, Edna, standing in the same general location inside the church during initial construction in 1907.)
(The following is a picture of the Wilmore Baptist Church during construction in 1906-7. The Rev. Bailey’s third daughter, Hattie, is seen hanging on the fence outside the construction site.)
(The following picture is of the Wilmore Baptist Church more currently as shown on the internet)
9. (I.W. conducts wedding ceremony in Croft, Kansas, Pratt County)
Pratt County Marriages
Earl F. Walker, 21 of Sun City to Della Tryon, 22 of Croft. Dec. 25, 1907 at Croft, I.W. Bailey, mg.
Mrs. P. D. Thornhill died at the home of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Z. J. Bratcher, 2 1/2 miles south of Protection, on February 5, 1908.
Emma Bratcher Thornhill was born near Protection on November 10, 1886. At death she was 21 years, 2 months and 26 days old. Her death, so thrilling, shocking and sad, has intensely grieved her relatives and friends. The cause of death was impacted bowels. She was suddenly taken sick at noon on last Saturday and grew worse rapidly until the Death Angel relieved her of worldly pain, at 5 minutes of 4 o'clock on Wednesday morning. Words are inexpressible in speaking of the loss of this friend, but our loss is heaven's gain. But, how we will miss her! She was so kind and loving and such a true and noble woman, and in the blossoming of womanhood. We sometimes do not understand God's mysterious works, but surely He doeth all things well.
She was married to Pony Delzell Thornhill on August 23, 1903, and she leaves one little son, Orville, as an affectionate comfort to a husband, parents, one sister, and two brothers. Rev. I. W. Bailey conducted funeral services at the M. E. church on Thursday at 3 p.m. Sincere sympathy is extended to the sorrowing family. Interment was made in the Protection cemetery.
Western Star, 29 January 1909
At 5:30 p.m. on
Saturday, January 23, 1909, at the home of the bride's parents in
this city occurred the wedding of Walter L. Cook and Miss May Baker,
Rev. I. W. Bailey of the Baptist church officiating. Only a few of
the near relatives were present. The groom has been a resident of
Protection practically all his life and is a well know and most
worthy young man. He has, by diligent study and persistent effort,
succeed in scouring a good education and is now one of Comanche
co.'s successful young teachers. At present he is the principal
teacher in the New Eden Union district. The bride is the daughter of
Mr. and Mrs. A. H. Baker, now of this city, and is a young lady of
many worthy qualities. She has a large circle of friends, especially
in the western and southwestern parts of the county. Mr. and Mrs.
Cook will, for the winter, make their home in the New Eden district.
The Star wishes them many happy days, and may their wedded life be
filled with the blessings of true manhood and womanhood. Transcribed
and Contributed by
12. Protection Post, 16 June 1910
Death and Obituary of John Robert Morton)
13. A Tribute to Mother Cosby, Coldwater, June 27, 1929
By M. L. S.
Comanche county lost its most cherished pioneer when Mother Cosby passed on to a new frontier, toward the land of the setting sun.
As the sun drops over the western horizon behind a pink and silver cloud, leaving its most glorious purple haze, so the life of Comanche county's most distinguished and best loved citizen slipped out through the golden gate into eternity. The noon day life was passed, the shadows were lengthening and falling toward the east - the glorious sunset was approaching.
Her theme in life was the brotherhood of man. Her dominant trait - the length and breadth, depth and height of her love for humanity - will never be estimated, for she not only loved the good and deserving, but those who were down and out as well. If every person whom she has cheered along life's pathway could have opportunity to drop one flower on her grave, the whole town would not hold the flowers. Someone has said, "Friendship is the greatest flower that blooms along life's dusty highway."
I shall always treasure her friendship. It was like a silvery, gleaming star of the first magnitude that shone through a rift in the storm clouds and lent a gleam of hope when storms were raging, within and without, - or as all on troubled waters smooth the waves of the mighty ocean.
As a pioneer and a builder she has left imprints on the hearts of the people as few other individuals ever will, for Mother Cosby was one among a thousand, and her personality was such as few others have possessed.
Her memory is a benediction. May it ever be cherished in legend, song or story as long as the sun sends its golden glow and purple haze over the plains, hills and valleys of southwestern Kansas.
Florence Irene Cosby, daughter of Foy Cosby, grand-daughter of Florence Jane (Rodgers) Cosby.
14. (I.W. Bailey of Ottawa is announced as presiding over a funeral in Protection, June 28, 1929)
The Western Star, June 28, 1929.
MRS. M. M. COSBY PASSES AWAY
Another pioneer settler in this part of the state, and one of Comanche-co’s best loved women, has passed on. At her home in this city, a few minutes before 4 p.m. on last Wednesday, June 26, 1929, the earthly life of Mrs. M. M. Cosby came to an end, after an illness of just five weeks.
Brief funeral services will be held at the home in this city at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, with Rev. C. C. Brown of the M. E. church in charge. The body will then be taken to Protection, where, at 3 p.m., services will be conducted from the M. E. church. It is expected that Rev. I. W. Bailey, a former Baptist pastor in that city, will be in charge. Rev. Bailey’s home is now in Ottawa, but he has been in Colorado of late. Burial will be in Protection cemetery, where the infant children of Mr. and Mrs. Cosby are buried.
While in Protection on May 22, she suffered a broken shoulder bone and severe bruises from a fall as she started to pass into another room, opening a door to the basement by mistake and falling down the basement steps. She was brought to her home in this city and given the best possible care.
Her injuries from the fall appeared to have aggravated a diabetic condition, from which she had suffered at intervals for 12 years or more. About two weeks before her death, the effects of the diabetes became decidedly manifest, and from that time she grew gradually worse. For nearly two weeks before her death, she had been unconscious most of the time and took practically no nourishment. Toward the end she lapsed into a deep sleep, it having been necessary most of the time to keep her under the influence of opiates.
Florence Jane Rodgers was born in Ripley-co., Indiana, on December 3, 1860. She was a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Gamaliel Rogers, and was the eldest of ten children. In the year 1867, the family moved to Jefferson-co., Indiana. In Madison, that county, on March 16, 1881, she was united in marriage with Merritt M. Cosby.
Three years later, or in the fall of 1884, Mr. and Mrs. Cosby yielded to the lure of the West. In September of that year they settled on a claim about ten miles northwest of Protection, thus becoming pioneer settlers in this and Clark-co.
About the year 1890 they moved to Protection and continued to make either that city or Coldwater their home, with the exception of a few years – from 1901 to 1907 – when they lived in Jefferson-co., this state.
During the month of August, 1918, Mr. and Mrs. Cosby moved to Coldwater. Mr. Cosby having been appointed to the office of probate judge to succeed Owen Connaughton, and here they continued to make their home.
We doubt if there is another woman in Comanche-co. who is better known or more universally loved and esteemed than was Mother Cosby, as she was called by her many friends. And there was a reason for such reverent devotion on the part of her friends. Throughout all her life she had shown, to a remarkable degree, kindness, sympathy, thoughtfulness and a spirit of loving service toward all about her.
In time of sickness, or when any sorrow or affliction visited a home, Mother Cosby was one of the first to give help and good cheer. For her, no sacrifice was too great, if only she could help a relative or friend. In her home she was the very embodiment of filial love and devotion. How she will be missed! But the memory of her countless deeds of love and of her consecrated Christian life will ever remain as a benediction to all who knew her. She has passed on, but she will not be forgotten.
Mrs. Cosby is survived by her husband and by two sons and one daughter. Two infant children – George Otto, aged 10 days, and Myrtle, aged six months, preceded her in death. The surviving children are: Mrs. Jany Baker of Ashland, Fred Cosby of Kansas City and Foy Cosby of this city. She is also survived by two brothers and four sisters – D. G. Rogers of Buffalo, Okla.; S. N. Rogers of Doby Springs, Okla.; Mrs. Tana Schwoerke of Norman, Okla.; Mrs. Cella Dees of Doby Springs, Okla.; Mrs. Pearl Lynch of near Liberal, Kans., and Mrs. Belle Morris of Butler, Mo. Two brothers – Mokie and Willis Rogers, and one sister, Mrs. Jessie Pauley – preceded her in death. One grand-daughter, Virginia Cosby, also survives her.
Mrs. Cosby had, though all her life, given much of her time and thought to religious work. For about twenty-five years she had been an active member of the Baptist church. Previously, she was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. Her church membership was in Protection. In countless ways she had manifested her faith in Christ and her devotion to His teachings. Hers was a faith that was steadfast and triumphant. In every way, she was prepared for Death’s summons. Her life was well lived, and she has gone to claim her just reward.
At the time of her death, Mrs. Cosby was 68 years, 6 months and 23 days of age.
15. (I.W. Bailey conducts funeral service for Mother Cosby, July 5, 1929)
The Western Star, July 5, 1929.
FUNERAL OF MRS. M. M. COSBY
A large number of Coldwater people went to Protection on last Friday afternoon to attend the funeral of Mrs. M. M. Cosby.
Brief services were held at 1:30 p.m. at the home in this city. Rev. C. C. Brown of the M. E. church had charge of the services here. At 3 p.m., services were held in the M. E. church in Protection.
The church was crowded, even the galleries being well filled. Rev. Brown of this city read the Scripture lesson, after which Rev. T. A. Searcy, the Baptist pastor in Protection, read the obituary and offered prayer. A mixed quartet from the Protection Baptist church sang a few selections very beautifully. The funeral sermon was then preached by Rev. I. W. Bailey, formerly pastor of the Baptist church in Protection, but now of Ottawa, Kans. He brought a message of hope and of encouragement to the living, and showed how much it means for any one to live a beautiful and consistent Christian life, such as was that lived by Mrs. Cosby. He urged all to emulate the splendid examples of kindness, hospitality and loving service to man and to God, which so completely filled the life of Mother Cosby.
In the vast congregation, there was no one who did not feel that, in the passing of Mrs. Cosby, they had lost one of the best and truest of friends, and all felt the loss keenly, and almost as a personal one. Memories of countless deeds of love and of personal sacrifices on the part of Mrs. Cosby crowded themselves upon all present during the funeral services. Interment was made in the family lot in the Protection cemetery.
16. The Rev. I.W. Bailey (grandpa) and his devoted wife, Flora (grandma), are pictured below with six and a half grandchildren, cousins in the 1940s. The picture was probably taken at their home in Ottawa, Kansas, 145 South Cedar, where grandpa was the minister of the First Baptist Church until his eventual retirement.
I am the smallest in the picture. For an entire year (1935-6) my sister and I lived with the grandparents while our mother taught school in Plains, Western Kansas. Daily I sat on grandpa’s lap while he told me an endless stream of stories. As far as I know he never let on that some of his stories may have been from the good book. At the same time, his experiences as a young man were unbelievably diverse during his youth and early years in Indiana, Western Kansas, and eventually in Ottawa, where they lived in my earliest memory.
Following grandpa’s death in 1942, grandma was invited to attend the 50th anniversary of the Baptist Church in Protection. My wife and I drove grandma Flora to Protection for the celebration ceremony, and undoubtedly she relived the many years they lived on the Kiowa County homestead, where they raised their young family.
I.W. and Flora (grandma and grandpa) are
both buried in the Roselawn
Isaac William Bailey’s headstone
Flora Tabitha Taylor