|Samuel A. Bailey|
To get right to the answer to the question first, "Miz Bailey" was in fact Margaret Mabel Bailey, who died unmarried in 1953. The house in which she lived her entire life, and which never had electricity, was located a few hundred yards east of Newport Gap Pike, and south of Hercules Road. I can't be sure exactly what house she was residing in, but it's likely that it was one that had been in her family for well over 100 years by the time of her death. The Bailey family's history in Mill Creek Hundred goes back even further, at least three generations prior to Mabel and 150 years before her passing.
The first Bailey I can pin into MCH is Amor Bailey, who shows up first on the 1804 tax assessment of the hundred. While (as you would figure) I found him in the 1810 census, I could not locate Amor in 1800 in MCH. This means either I or the enumerator missed him, or more likely he first arrived in MCH sometime between 1800 and 1804. He and his wife Joanna had at least two children (and probably more), beginning not long after 1804. Although I haven't found any marriage information for them, my guess is that they wed and moved somewhere in this 1800-1804 timeframe. Trying to figure out exactly where people were using early census data is tricky at best, but in 1810 and 1820 Amor and his wife Joanna seem to be farther west in the hundred, possibly somewhere between Corner Ketch and Milford Crossroads (this however, is about as clear as the lyrics to Louie, Louie). In 1830, though, it appears that he may have moved into the area north of Brandywine Springs.
Among the other children in the Bailey household, there were at least two sons -- James and John. These sons would carry on the Bailey name in the area for years to come. James Bailey (1806-1863) married Margaret Peeky (daughter of another local family) in 1832 and had several children. One of those was Samuel Amor Bailey (1839-1919), the man in the photo above, and the father of Mabel Bailey. The other son, John Bailey (1808-1896), also married and remained in the area. Where they lived can be deduced by looking at the old maps, and it seems to imply that what might have been Amor's original house is still standing (I don't have a death date for him, but he seems to have died between 1830 and 1840).
|Faulkland Area, 1849|
|Faulkland Area, 1868|
|Margaret Peeky Bailey, wife of James Bailey|
After John's death in 1896, and his wife Elizabeth's the same year, it appears that the house and farm may have been taken over by their son Thompson (1863-1941). In later censuses, the unmarried Thompson is shown living with his widowed sister Virginia Garrett, his sister Sarah Brackin, her husband Watson, and their children. Who lived in the house after Thompson's death, I don't know.
|Jennie Bailey (kneeling), with cousin Margaret Stotsenburg Hulett|
I want to thank M.S. for starting me on this investigation, and exposing me to a family I had yet to delve into. I think it's a fascinating link from the old MCH to the new. In the 1950's, well into the era of suburbanization in the region, you had a woman whose father was born in 1839 living in a secluded house in the woods with no electricity. It's always fun to see where one little vague memory can take us. And I hope that gives you a little insight into who old Miz Bailey was.
New Find (11/29/11):
It didn't quite seem enough to justify a whole new post, but a picture I found (you can zoom out with the buttons on the upper left) on the Hagley website seems to show the Bailey house in 1939. The picture is of the Brandywine Sanitarium (Emily Bissell Hospital), and looks east across Newport Gap Pike. Amongst the trees on the far side of the road you can see a white house. I'm fairly certain that this is the house owned by James and Samuel Bailey, and at the time of the picture occupied by Mabel.
|Bailey House, 1939. Newport Gap Pike in foreground.|
Additional Facts and Related Thoughts:
- James Bailey was a mechanic in Henry Clarke's woolen mill.
- The Baileys, Peekys, and Huletts were all members of Red Clay Presbyterian Church, and many of them are buried there, including almost everyone mentioned in the post.
- I haven't been able to verify it, but I think the land for Emily Bissell Hospital may have been purchased from the Bailey family (either them or the Yearsleys). On the other hand, when the first TB sanitarium was built, the Baileys were apparently concerned about the possibility of infection spreading through Hyde Run and into their cattle, who drank from the creek.
- Samuel Bailey attended the Media Classical Institute, a Presbyterian-affiliated school in Pennsylvania.
- The description of Mabel Bailey as "an old woman living in the woods without electricity or running water" may tend to imply that she was "out of touch" and uneducated. Neither is true. She was educated (as were the Baileys in general -- see above) and enjoyed opera. Mabel had a battery-powered radio with which she listened to the Metropolitan Opera on Saturday afternoons.
- Mabel was offered good money to sell her property (presumably from Hercules), but refused to part with her family home.