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BAILEY'S PRAIRIE, TEXAS

Brazoria County, Texas Gulf Coast
Highway 35 and FM 521
between Angleton and West Columbia
Population: 694 (2000)

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Bailey's  Prairie, Texas - Bailey's Chapel Missionary Baptist Church
Bailey's Chapel Missionary Baptist Church
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, October 2009
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History in a Pecan Shell

Named after 1812 War veteran James Britton Bailey, who died and became one of Texas’ favorite ghosts. (See Bailey's_Light)

Bailey, usually called Britt, arrived in 1818 to claim a Spanish grant of over 4,000 acres. Stephen F. Austin who was not on good terms with the early settler once disputed Bailey's claim. But a compromise was worked out. Bailey would become one of Austin’s “Old 300” and a new title was issued.

Bailey built a plantation here and so did others on neighboring grants. Production consisted mainly of cotton, cane, corn and cattle.

A Methodist church was established as early as 1839. Since land was held in huge tracts, the development of a proper town wasn’t the priority it was in most places. One hundred years later, the land remained in the hands of large ranches, although the church was there as well as a cemetery. Early figures aren’t available, but the population of Bailey's Prairie was just over 200 in the early 1970s, growing to over 600 for the 1990 census.
Texas’ Favorite Ghost Story:

Bailey's_Light by Murray Montgomery
According to legend, the ghost, carrying a lantern, roams across the flat land of Brazoria County, Texas - at night, constantly searching for a jug of whiskey.... more
Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories, and vintage/historic photos of their town, please contact us.
Bailey's Prairie, Texas
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Angleton
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This page last modified: December 17, 2010