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William T. Bailey

(Reprinted from the History of Macon County, 1910)

One of the men who has given them distinctive power and magnitude in the present day in Macon County is William T. Bailey, of Walnut Township, who lives near the village of Elmer and carries on extensive operations in both farming, of a progressive character, and raising stock of superior quality.  Mr. Bailey was born at Elmer on November 12, 1864, and represents at least the second generation of his family native to the soil of Missouri.  His father, Joseph Bailey, was born in Pike county and passed the greater part of his life there.

The son, William T. Bailey, was reared in the family household and obtained his education in the schools near his boyhood home.  When he left school and began the struggle for advancement among men for himself he first tried his hand at merchandising, which he followed for two years in the town of Marceline, in Linn county.  At the end of the period mentioned, he sold his store and turned his attention to photography.  This occupied him for one year, during which he was feeling his way to the vocation for which nature had destined him, and was not long in determining what it was.  At the end of the year’s experience which he had as a photographer, he located near Elmer and started the enterprise in farming and raising stock, which he is still conducting.  He began on a scale of safe magnitude and has enlarged his operations as success has brought him prosperity until he is now one of the leaders in these two interesting and profitable lines of effort in the township in which his business is carried on.

Early in his career as a stockman, Mr. Bailey began specializing in western horses for the eastern markets, and this is still one of the leading elements of his business.  He has built up a considerable trade in this line and his output has a very high standing among the jobbers and retailers in horses in the east and well deserves the reputation he has won for it.  For he is studious and careful in every step of his work and omits no effort necessary on his part to secure the best results in every particular.  He also handles cattle extensively and has the land necessary for a vigorous and successful prosecution of his undertakings.  He owns over 400 acres of land, all of which is under advanced cultivation except what is required for grazing purposes.

To the public affairs of the township and county of his residence, Mr. Bailey has given careful attention and the most helpful support at all times.  He applies to them the same excellent judgment and clearness of vision that distinguish him in his private affairs, and the people know and acknowledge the weight and worth of his opinion in reference to all that concerns their welfare, and they value his advice as they do his more material assistance in connection with all their projects of public improvement and the elevation of the standard of living.

Mr. Bailey is an active working Democrat in political relations, but his service to his party springs from his conviction that it embodies in its principles the best theories of government and strongest safeguards of the rights and interests of the people, and not from any ambition for official distinction for himself.  Except membership on the school board, on which he has served for over sixteen consecutive years for the good of the community, he has steadfastly refused to accept any office and to allow the use of his name as a candidate for any political position of any kind, whether elective or appointive.

His interest in the fraternal life of the community has been long-continued, energetic and productive.  He belongs to the masonic order, its adjunct, the Order of the Eastern Star, and the Modern Woodmen of America, and is constant and zealous in the service of them all, helping to guide them to the best results by his counsel and to the highest development by personal and material aid of the most practical kind.  In 1889, he was married to Miss Maggie Sivaton, a native of this county.  They have two children, their daugheters, Buella and Edna, who are the laight and life of their home and give it a special feature of attraction for their hosts of friends who make it a popular resort and find it a center of refined ane genuine hospitality, always beaming with social sunshine and bountiful in resources for high-toned and elevating enjoyment – a characteristic and representative Macon County home of the best class. 

(And a little info about Mercyville)