Bailey-Taylor Album

         While searching among many boxes of family relics, I uncovered a photo album.  The cover was worn and scratched and faded, and the scrolled label saying photographs was only faintly visible.  In the upper left corner of the cover were the words Miss Bailey.  I knew four miss Baileys.  They were all sisters in the Isaac and Flora Bailey family.  The youngest of the four Bailey sisters was Gertrude, my mother.  Isaac William (I.W.) and Flora Tabitha Taylor were my maternal grandparents. 

        The pictures brought to life an incredible story about living and surviving in the late 1800s.  Grandpa Bailey was born in 1855.  Two generations later, I am celebrating the 21st century, almost 150 years after my grandfather's birth.  Yet there is little similarity in the eras in which we each lived.  Our lives overlapped by ten years, from 1932 to 1942, and only now do I fully appreciate the totally different worlds that were ours.  We spent one full year together in 1936-7.  During that short year sitting on grandpa's lap, he told me dozens of stories about the old days.  As a little kid, I was spellbound by the stories.         

        Many of the pictures in the album included writing on the front and often the reverse side telling what the picture showed, who the people were, and often when it was taken.  This adds immeasurably to the accuracy of any information which may be needed over 100 years later.  The oldest picture in the collection of Flora Taylor, 1872, is an estimate based upon appearance, although the picture of Harriet Huffman, Flora's mother, could be much older.  The oldest pictures are all studio pictures, as the cameras in the 1800s were not portable, requiring a horse-drawn wagon and two men to operate. 

        In the mid 1880s, while Flora was growing into a young lady, I.W. was caught up in the westward movement.  Encouraged by the Homestead Act of 1862, free land was available for living on and improving a claim for two years.  Isaac, and probably his older brother, Worth, moved from Indiana to Kiowa County, Kansas where the Bailey homestead was initially established, and remains in the family today.  The pictures of Wichita as it appeared in the late 1800s were much as it must have appeared to Isaac as he moved through the area.  Exactly how grandpa traveled to Kiowa County is not known, but a final picture in the first set of pictures was taken of the Santa Fe train as seen near Protection, Kansas in Cherokee County.  One source indicated that by 1890, every county in Kansas had a railroad serving it. 

All pictures were scanned into digital format and are shown with about 1000 pixels on the long dimension.  To enlarge each picture, click on the desired thumbnail.  To return to the thumbnails, click the left arrow on your browser.

Miss Bailey's Photograph Album

Front Cover

Harriet Huffman

Flora's mother, who died when Flora was three

Flora Taylor

Estimated to be about six years old in 1872

Mary and Flora Taylor

Mary is Flora's sister 18 months younger

Flora at 16??

Studio picture taken in Monticello, IN

Flora Taylor

A classy school teacher in 1891

Wichita 1875

A picture of Wichita as it may have appeared from a high-rise building

Downtown Wichita

As it looked in the horse and buggy days

Wichita's Train Station 1890

Notice the suits and dressy attire on the platform

Wichita Shopping Mall 1890

Hitch up the wagon for this week's (month's) shopping

Wichita Meat Market

Get your beef before refrigeration before it spoils

Santa Fe near Protection, Ks.

A post card of the prairie.Check the post rock fence post

         After proving the claim, Isaac left the farm and returned to Indiana.  He established himself as a minister among a group of Baptist Churches throughout the area including the following:  Mt. Zion in Monticello, Chalmers, Brookston, West Point, Burnettsville, and Moracco Baptist Church.  He was also a presenter at a church conference where Flora was in attendance.  Eventually this relationship grew, and in May of 1892 they were married.  Living in Brookston, Indiana, they subsequently had four children as shown in the pictures below.  The final two studio pictures show I.W. and his two daughters (1899), while the second picture shows the entire family which moved to Western Kansas about 1902. 

        Flora developed a severe respiratory illness, possibly tuberculosis, and the family was advised to move to a drier climate.  With the farm sitting idle in Western Kansas, the family moved to an old dugout in the side of the hill next to a creek on the homestead in Kiowa County, Kansas, which Isaac had proved fifteen years earlier.  Many years later, Grandma told me that she had a condition called consumption, also called hasty consumption.  In spite of this she lived an active and healthy life to the age of 93. 

Isaac William

With his oldest daughters, Edna and Hattie

1902 Bailey Family

This is the group that moved to the Kansas prairie

Thanks to cousin Marjorie for her family documentation, including the churches with which grandpa was associated in Indiana. 

  Please continue to the next album, the Bailey Homestead, 1902 to 1912 or so.   

  Picture Albums