in a Pecan Shell|
Bailey dates from the 1850s, when the slightly
rolling but extremely rich soil attracted cotton and corn farmers.
most towns in Texas that were named to honor an individual
person or took the name of the first settler, this town had a rivalry between
two physicians. Doctor A. J. Ray and Doctor Josiah S. Bailey both wanted the town
named after them, but before it came to bloodshed, the St. Louis Southwestern
Railway settled the matter by taking the right-of-way offered by Bailey (in 1885).
The town was granted a post office in 1887. Bailey had a population of 300 by
1900 along with most essential businesses and an early “picture show.”
Bailey reached its high-water mark in the mid 1920s with 350 people.
The population declined during the Depression and WWII
and by the mid-1950s it was down to just under 200. Bailey remains agricultural
although cotton and corn have long since given
way to cattle raising and small grain cultivation.
Bailey had 220 residents
in the late 1980s which has since declined to the present 213.