Biography of Marsh W. Bailey
Washington County, IA Biographies

While Marsh W. Bailey is primarily a lawyer, and by the consensus of public opinion a most able one, he is also recognized as one of the prominent republican leaders of southeastern Iowa and has left and is leaving the impress of his individuality upon the political history of this section of the state. He was born in Richmond, Iowa, March 9, 1870, and represents one of the old families of Washington county. The Baileys are of Scotch-Irish lineage

Abraham Bailey, the grandfather of Marsh W. Bailey, was a native of Ohio and a farmer by occupation. He wedded Miss Mary Kirkpatrick and in an early day they came to Iowa, where Mr. Bailey entered two hundred acres of government land adjoining the village of Richmond. He was then identified with agricultural interests until his death, which occurred just prior to the Civil war. His widow survived him until about 1868.

They reared a large family including James Bailey who was born on the land his father had entered from the government, the place of his nativity being in English River township, Washington county. There he was reared to manhood on a farm and the occupation with which he became familiar during his boyhood he determined to make his life work. At different times he has bought and sold a number of farms in this county and for sometime was actively engaged in the work of the fields, but for the past twenty years has been a resident of Washington. At the time of the Civil war he espoused the Union cause, enlisting in the Thirteenth Iowa Regiment, while later he became a member of Company D, Thirtieth Iowa Infantry, serving for nearly four years in all. He was a non commissioned officer, holding the rank of sergeant. He participated in the siege of Vicksburg, in the battles of Lookout Mountain, Kenesaw Mountain, Resaaa and the Atlantic campaign, including the siege and capture of Atlanta. He also went with Sherman on the march to the sea and when the victorious northern troops marched through the streets of Washington in the grand review he was of the number, thus taking part in the closing pageant of the war. When hostilities were over he returned to his home in Washington county, Iowa, and again engaged in farming in English River township, being identified with agricultural pursuits in that and Jackson townships until he established his home in the city of Washington.

James Bailey was united in marriage to Miss Margaret Marsh, a daughter of Adam Marsh, who was a native of Pennsylvania and of German descent. He, too, followed the occupation of farming as a life work. He married a Miss Austin and they established their home in Washington county among the early settlers. Both passed away in Jackson township when well advanced in years, having reared a family of four sons and two daughters: William E.; James F.; Charles H.; Hannibal H.; Margaret, now Mrs. Bailey; and Victoria, who became the wife of Marion O'Laughlin. Unto Mr. and Mrs. James Bailey have been born two daughters: May, who died in infancy; and Ida M.

Marsh W. Bailey, the only son and the eldest of the family, was born on the same farm on which his father was born. He was reared upon the farm and attended the country schools at Pilotsburg, after which he continued his studies in Iowa City Academy, and later, at the Washington Academy, from which hem was graduated with honors on the completion of the classical course in 189o. While in the academy he was a member of the Aurora Literary Society, and in connection with Charles W. McCleary, who has since died as a missionary in Africa, edited and published the Acamedian, a monthly literary magazine. He next entered the State University of Iowa at Iowa City and was graduated from the College of Liberal Arts in 1893. While a student in the university he was a member of the well known Zetagathian Literary Society, as well as one of the charter members of the McClain Chapter of the Phi Delta Phi fraternity. He was literary editor of the Hawkeye, the junior annual of the class of '93; and managing editor of the S. U. I. Quill, the literary magazine of the university. He also pursued the law course there and spent a year in the law libraries and courts of Des Moines. Well qualified for the practice of his profession he opened an office in Washington in the winter of 1894-3 and has for fifteen years been continuously engaged in practice, meeting with gratifying and well earned success. The liberal client age accorded him is indicative of his ability which has placed him in the ranks of the foremost lawyers of this part of the state. He is strong and forceful in argument, clear and logical in his deductions and presents his cause cogently and convincingly.

Mr. Bailey has filled the office of city attorney of Washington for three terms and was county attorney for two terms. He was elected on the republican ticket, having been a stanch supporter of the party since age conferred upon him the right of franchise. While still in the university he was a member of the American Republican College League which had for its object the overcoming of the free trade teachings then so strong in so many colleges and universities. During the Harrison campaign he was vice president of the National League and had charge of its western headquarters, while the succeeding year he presided over the national convention at Louisville, Kentucky. He has been a delegate to the conventions of the party from township to national and has presided over all except the state and national. He was also a member of the executive committee of the Iowa League of the Republican Clubs and acted as its secretary for a time. He was ward committeeman for years, was chairman of the county central committee and was a member of the sixth judicial district committee, while later he became congressional committeeman from this county. In 1904 he was a delegate to the republican national convention which nominated Theodore Roosevelt, and as a presidential elector from the first district of Iowa in 1908 he cast his ballot for William H. Taft. Perhaps no man in the district of his age has done more for the success of the republican party than Mr. Bailey and he has made many effective campaign addresses, presenting his arguments clearly and forcibly while the logic of his utterances appeals strongly toe the thinking

On the loth of April, 1900, Mr. Bailey was united in marriage to Miss Mary E. Brown, a daughter of Henry A. and Anna (Barhydt) Brown. Mrs. Bailey was born in Burlington, this state, her parents coming from New York to Iowa and settling in that city in the '50s. Her paternal grandfather was a native of New York, where his wife, who bore the maiden name of Eunice Abel, was also born. They became residents of Burlington, where both passed away in advanced years. Their only son was Henry A. Brown who, following his removal to Burlington, became a manufacturer of and dealer in shoes. He is still connected with the shoe trade in Burlington and is regarded as one of the valued and representative business men of that city. He married Miss Anna Barhydt, also a native of New York. as were her parents. Her father was of Holland-Dutch descent. She was a sister of Theodore Wells Barhyclt and traced her lineage back to the first Dutch schoolmaster of New Amsterdam. There were two daughters and a son in the family: Eleanor, the wife of A. F. Holmes, of Chicago; Mary E., now Mrs. Bailey; and Theodore Wells, who has just attained his majority. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Bailey have been born four children: Eleanor Louise, Henry Brown, Theodore Barhydt and Josephine Marsh. Mrs. Bailey is a member of the Presbyterian church and presides with gracious hospitality over her pleasant home.

Mr. Bailey is president of the Washington County Historical Society and chairman of the book committee of the Jane A. Chilcote free city. library. He also belongs to the Iowa State Historical Society and to the American Historical Association. He is deeply interested in matters relating to history and to the public welfare and as a man of influence is contributing in no small measure to shaping the annals of this part of the state.

Mr. Bailey is very strongly attached to his profession; and few lawyers hew closer to the line of its ideals and ethics. He is a member of the Washington County, Iowa, and American Bar Associations, being a member of the executive committee of the Iowa association.

Progressive by impulse, yet conservative in advice and action, he has the trait of judicial temperament very higly developed. Few men can disarm their prejudices and weigh matters at arm's length without bias; but the lawyers recognize a marked ability in Mr. Bailey to do that very thing. In 1906 the Washington bar made him their candidate for judge of the district. He seemed to be the favorite candidate of the profession throughout the district, but political considerations gave the prize to another. But whether it is along the line of judicial career his ability is sure to lead him along paths of the public service quite as much of the time as he will consent to take away from his profession.

Alert, enterprising and energetic he keeps abreast with the best thinking men of the age and with the movements of the times which are of vital importance to state and nation and his worth to the community is widely acknowledged.

History of Washington County, Iowa
From the First White Settlement to 1908
Vol II
BY: Howard A. Burrell
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chiago 1909

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