Carroll County Biographies


Mt. Carroll

Elijah Bailey, Supervisor of Mt. Carroll Township, is a retired farmer in good circumstances, owning and occupying a pleasant home on Clay Street, Mt. Carroll, to which he removed in November 1886. He represents a large amount of real estate in the county, including two farms in York Township, and has borne no unimportant part in the growth and development of this section.

Mr. Bailey was born in Hague Township, Warren Co. NY on the beautiful shores of Lake George, May 25, 1824, and lived there until a lad of 13 years. He then removed with his father to Yates County, where he completed a practical education, and remained two years. His next removal was westward to this county, in the year of 1839, with his parents, and they settled in what is now York TOwnship, on a tract of uncultivated land. They put up a log house, then broke a portion of the sod, in order ot get in the season's crops, and next began the building of fences and the planting of trees, at a time when there were but tow or three other families in the township. Their nearest market was at Savanna to which they transported their wheat with teams,a nd from which they brought their necessary household supplies. After a time they drifted into stock-raising, which industry was always profitable. In 1843 they put a good frame house, hauling the material from Savanna.

Our subject remained her with his parents until reasing his majority, then started out for himself, purchasing land on the same seciton, and building this up from first principles, as his father had done the other. He was prospered in his labors and in due time had a neat and commodious residence, with a barn and other outbuildings, and all the other appliances naturally brought about by the skillful agriculturist. To this place he brought a bride, in the fall of 1850, having been married October 30 of that year to Miss Sarah A. (Almira) Holman. On this farm Mr. Bailey still retains possession and it is hardly necessary to say that it possesses for him a far more than money value. Here his children were born, and here he has probably spent some of his happiet days. Of these children - six in number, and all living - the record is: Alice is the wife of Norman Lewis of Thomson and the mother of nine children; Clara E. married Mr. D.K. Tomlinson and lives in Scotland Dakota; Sylvia (Mrs. S.B. Reed) and Orson E. are residents of York Township this county; Bertha E is the wife of D.E. Eckman of Savanna; Delanie E lives at home and is attending Mt. Carroll Seminary.

Mr. Bailey cast his first Presidential vote for Henry Clay, having identified himself with the old Whig party, and upon its abandonment, cordially endorsed Republican principles. He has officiated as Assessor of York Township twelve or fifteen years, and also served as Road Commissioner. In religious matters he is identified with the Baptist Church. He commenced in life without other means than strong hands and a determined spirit, and his accumulations are the result of his own industry and perseverance, aided by a capable and sensible wife. Mrs. Sarah A. (Holman) Bailey was born in Schroom, Essex Co. NY Nov. 30, 1831 and when nine years of age removed with her parents to the western part of the State. When a girl of thirteen she came with them to this county. They settled in York Townshp, and she remained under hte home roof until her marriage.

Peter Holman, father of Mrs. Bailey, was born in Worcester County Mass., Jan. 30, 1801 and married Miss Betsey Balcom. They began housekeeping in Hague, Warren Co. NY and came to IL in 1844 for permanent settlement. Mr. Holman having been up and down the river four or five times. He finally took up a tract of land in York Twp. upon which he resided until removing to Thomson. He was the first postmaster of Thomson, and held the office until the incoming of the late Democratic Administration. He was also the first Justice of the peace, elected at the first town meeting and held the office for a period of twenty years. The wife and mother died April 1, 1886 and Mr. Holman now lives with his daughter Mrs. Bailey.

Joshua Bailey, the father of our subject, was born in Rutland VT whence he emigrated to Warren Co NY and there married Miss Lydia Kenyon. They became the parents of five children - one daughter and four sons, the latter of whom are all living. After coming to this county, Mr. Bailey improved two farms in York Twp. one of which he occupied until his death, which occurred in 1874. The mother died in NY in 1836, when her son Elijah was about 12 years of age. Our subject and his father, both assisted in organizing the first school district of York Twp. and the latter was the first Director appointed. He officiated as such for many years, and then the son stepped into his place, also occupying the office until resiging. The elder Bailey filled other positions of trust and responsibility, was an active member of the Baptist Church for many years, and a man who enjoyed the entire confidence and esteem of his fellow citizens.

Portrait & Biographical Pg 903

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