The Bailey Homestead

        With Flora advised to move to a better climate, and following the birth of their first son in June of 1901, the Bailey's decided it was time to prepare for the trip to the Kansas prairie.  Because they were moving to a dugout in a creek-bank in the Southwest Kansas prairie, some time would be required to prepare the dugout for surviving the first winter.  For this reason the move was planned for early spring of 1902.  Trains were the only reasonable means of travel for a family of six over that distance.  The youngest would be nine months old by spring of 1902, and should be fit to travel.  The train trip would take two or three days, but this was far better than the 40 or more days that would be required with a wagon and horses. 

        The family arrived at the homestead fit and healthy.  Shortly thereafter, the open end of the dugout was enclosed with a wall and a door, and a roof was fashioned to protect the dugout from the elements the first winter.  A wood-burning stove provided for both cooking and heating in this common area where the family lived the first winter.  Eventually an above ground structure was built over the original dugout, providing sleeping areas, - bedrooms.  The family prospered in this setting for the next eight or nine years.

        Exactly how the family traveled over long distances is not well documented.  I made one trip with grandpa in a covered wagon from the farm to Coldwater.  A horse and wagon were probably the primary means of transportation as needed in and around Kiowa and Comanchee Counties.  Pictures in the album, however, indicate the family visited with Flora's parents in Denver after their retirement.  The Taylors also visited the homestead in the Western Kansas prairie.  Most likely the Santa Fe Railroad provided the needed long hauls for the trips that were made.  During my ten years, I never knew grandpa to own or drive an automobile.  A horse and buggy, or hoofing it was more his style. 

        The following pictures are in a rough sequence covering the years from 1902 to about 1912.  While on the farm, I.W. served three Baptist area churches located in Coldwater, Protection, and Wilmore.  Two additional children were born, Lowell, and Gertrude, enlarging the family to eight.  After eight or nine years on the farm, the family moved to Gypsum, Kansas where I.W. assumed duties in yet another Baptist church.  After a short time, and pressed by the need to provide a higher education for their many children, they moved again to Ottawa, Kansas where I.W. became the pastor of the First Baptist Church.  He served in that capacity through most of the 1930s until his eventual retirement.  All six of the Bailey children graduated from Ottawa University, an institution sponsored by the Baptist Church.  The college was conveniently located two blocks south of the Bailey home in Ottawa on south Cedar Street.

Ruth, Hattie, Edna

A home!

At last, - a home above the dugout

Lowell E. Bailey

First born in Kansas dugout February 1903

Bailey Five

Sitting on the creek bank

Brothers at last

Lowell and Ogle

The Whole Crew

The 1905 Bailey family

Branding Cattle

A postcard sent by I.W. to Edna, away at school

Bailey Five Kids

Ruth, Edna, Hattie, Ogle, Lowell

Farm Boys

Lowell and Ogle

Aunts in Denver

Hayzella and Gertrude in Denver City Park

City folks on farm

Aunt Hayzella and grandpa Taylor on Bailey farm

Wilmore Baptist Church

Old church??


Two white horses and two in a surrey

First Baptist Church

Protection Kansas

New Wilmore Baptist Church

Hattie hanging on the fence

Rev. I.W. Bailey

In First Baptist Church, Wilmore, Kansas

Edna in Wilmore

Standing in same new construction rubble

Aunt Hayzella

Mounted on Billie, the black horse on the Bailey farm

Ed Taylor and Hayzella

Posing in the City Park in Denver

Baby Gertrude

New arrival in 1907 with mother Flora and two brothers

City Park Denver

Ed Taylor, granddaughter Gertrude, and Aunt Hayzella

Grandpa Taylor

With his youngest granddaughter, Gertrude

Baby Gertrude

With older brother, Ogle

Cruising Denver

Hattie, Gertrude, and Ogle in Denver

Same three

In Denver City Park

Denver City Park

Hayzella, Gertrude and Ogle in park

Isaac with Gertrude,

his youngest daughter

Two cruising Denver,

Gertrude with Ogle driving

Whose Car?

Uncle Higgs, of course

Old Wilmore Baptist Church

Grandpa Taylor

Posing with his sisters

Balanced Rock

Hayzella on horse with father Ed. Taylor

Worth Bailey,

Isaac's older brother, always not far away

Picture Albums