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William Bailey Biography


This biography appears on pages 320, 321 in "History of Dakota Territory" by George W. Kingsbury, Vol. V (1915) 

William Bailey, one of the best known and influential citizens of Wayne township, Minnehaha county, is an agriculturist residing on section 15, where he owns two hundred and fourteen acres of land and where he has lived continuously during the past forty-five years. He enjoys the distinction of being one of the earliest settlers of Wayne township. He was born in Belfast, Ireland, of Scotch parentage, on the 17th of June, 1846, his parents being John and Jane (Johnstone) Bailey, who died on the Emerald isle. 

William Bailey was reared at home, acquiring his education in the public schools of his native land. In 1868, when a young man of twenty-two, he crossed the Atlantic to the United States and spent two years touring the country in search of a desirable permanent location. In 1870 he came to Minnehaha county, South Dakota, where in June of that year he took up land, being among the first to file on a homestead in this immediate vicinity. As above stated, he has remained on this property for the past forty-five years and is widely and favorably known throughout the community. Mr. Bailey extended the boundaries of his farm until at one time it embraced three hundred and twenty acres, but now owns only two hundred and fourteen acres. He also owns a fruit ranch of forty acres in Texas and spends many of his winters in that state. During the summer of 1910 he visited Scotland, England and Ireland, renewing acquaintance with a number of his old schoolmates. As an agriculturist he has met with gratifying and well merited success that has won him a place among the substantial and representative citizens of his county. 

In 1872 Mr. Bailey was united in marriage to Miss Martha Foster, of Minnehaha county, who is a native of Canada. Her parents, Robert and Lilly (Scott) Foster, were born in Scotland and were among the early pioneers of this state. Our subject and his wife have five children, as follows: William, an agriculturist residing in Texas; Leslie, who is at home; Clifford, also at home; Essie, who gave her hand in marriage to William Foster and resides in Texas; and Belle, the wife of Robert Johnson, who is engaged in farming in Minnehaha county. 

In his political views Mr. Bailey is a republican, loyally supporting the men and measures of that party. He has served as a member of the town board and also on the school board for many years past, discharging his official duties in a highly efficient and commendable manner. Fraternally he is identified with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, belonging to Sioux Falls Lodge, No. 262. Like his ancestors he is a Presbyterian in religious belief but now attends the services of the Methodist Episcopal church, of which his wife is a devoted member. Coming to the new world in early manhood, he wisely utilized the opportunities here afforded and has won both prosperity and an honored name.




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