Ray L. Bailey is one of the widely known men of Shawnee County, and is now successfully farming a fine place four miles north of North Topeka. He makes farming a real business, understands it in all details, and gives it the same energy and close attention which he formerly paid to his work as a traveling salesman. He was on the road for a number of years, and his firm sent him on a number of missions to Old Mexico. On account of his travel and extensive acquaintance in that southern republic he is well informed as to Mexican internal affairs.
Mr. Bailey was born in Mansfield, Tioga County, Pennsylvania, August 24, 1868, but has been a resident of Kansas since his parents brought him to this state in October, 1872.
M. D. Bailey, his father, has long been a prominent man in Kansas. On coming to the state in 1872 he and his family settled in Pawnee County. He was also a native of Tioga County, Pennsylvania, and the Bailey family were among the pioneers in that district. The father of M. D. Bailey was Benjamin F. Bailey, who was born in Pennsylvania and in early territorial days, before the Civil war, came out to Leavenworth, Kansas, and opened a store. Mr. A. Meyers, who is now living in Meyers Valley, in Pottawatomie County, is one of the men who recalls Benjamin Bailey as a Leavenworth merchant in 1855. Benjamin Bailey finally returned to Pennsylvania, having remained in Kansas only a few years.
M. D. Bailey, after coming to Kansas, was employed in the United States Land Department and subsequently for four years was county superintendent of public instruction. Before coming to Kansas he had served as a Union soldier four years. At the outbreak of the war he joined Company A of the Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, and most of his service was in the Army of the Potomac. It was his rare privilege, while stationed in the vicinity of Hampton Roads, to witness the epoch-making naval battle between the Confederate ironclad Merrimac and the marvelous invention of Ericson, the gunboat Monitor. On account of his previous service as a soldier, M. D. Bailey, when he took up a claim in Edwards County, Kansas, had to live on it only a year to perfect his title. For many years he filled a place in the pension department, and is now in the National Hospital.
Emory Bailey, a son of M. D. Bailey, was a member of the famous Twentieth Kansas Regiment, organized by Col. Fred Funston at the outbreak of the Spanish-American war. General Funston at the time of his death was chief commander of the American forces on the Mexican border. Emory Bailey served with the Twentieth Regiment in all its gallant part in the Philippine war and returned to this country with his regiment.