Dr. Fred Warren Bailey, a St. Louis surgeon, was born in Minier, Tazewell county, Illinois, September 30, 1876. His father was Dr. G. O. Bailey, also a native of that state and of Scotch descent, their family having been founded in America in early colonial days. The family was represented in the Revolutionary war and has sent its representatives to each of the succeeding wars of the country, including the Indian war. Dr. G. O. Bailey was a graduate of McKendree College at Lebanon, Illinois, where he won his Bachelor of Science degree and later he pursued a course of study in Rush Medical College of Chicago, which in 1865 conferred upon him the M. D. degree. He then continued to devote his attention to his profession until his death, which occurred in Los Angeles, California, in 1916, when he was seventy three years of age. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Helen Gertrude Arnold, was a native of New York and belonged to one of the old families of that state of Scotch and English descent. She can trace her ancestry directly back to Oliver Cromwell and also to Sir Walter Scott. She is now a resident of Los Angeles, California.
Dr. Fred Warren Bailey was the fifth child in a family of four sons and five daughters. He obtained a public school education in Tazewell county, Illinois, and then took up the study of pharmacy, which he later practiced up to the time of his graduation in medicine. He began practicing pharmacy in 1898 and completed a course of study in the St. Louis University Medical School in 1903, while in 1913 his alma mater conferred upon him the Bachelor of Science degree. Following his graduation he served for a year as interne in the St. Louis City Hospital. He is now a member of the surgical staff at St. John’s Hospital of St. Louis, having filled this position since 1905. He was at one time chief of the surgical clinic of the same hospital and formerly was professor of anatomy in the St. Louis Dental College, having thus continued in 1905-6. He was also at one time assistant instructor, assistant professor and at present associate professor of surgery of the St. Louis University, the period of his service in these connections covering from 1908 until the present time. During the same decade he was associate chief surgeon at St. John’s Hospital and since 1919 has been alternating chief surgeon.
Dr. Bailey entered the Spanish-American war as a member of the Fifth Illinois National Guard and later became a corporal and acting sergeant. In 1889 he was elected first lieutenant and in 1900 became captain of the company. He served altogether for five years as captain of Company D, Fifth Regiment of the Illinois National Guard. He again responded to the call for military aid during the World war and on the 29th of October, 1918, was made a major in the Medical Corps. For six months he was on duty in the surgeon general’s office at Washington, D. C., and during that period assisted in organizing the overseas unit, known as Mobile Operating Unit, No. 1. The following July he sailed for France, arriving there on the 14th of the month, at which time he was commanding officer of section No. 2, of the Mobile Operating Unit, having at that time sixty-five officers, two hundred and twenty-five men and fifty nurses under his supervision. There he continued in active service during America’s participation in the war, operating and directing surgical services in various field and evacuation hospitals. He was one duty at the battles of Champagne-Marne, Aisne-Marne, Oise-Aisne, the Meuse-Argonne, and YpresLys. He received from the war department a gold chevron and six battle clasps.
After the armistice was signed he became commanding officer of the entire Mobile Unit and prepared the organization for its return to the states. Dr. Bailey again reached America on the 1st of February, 1919, and upon his return was sent to General Hospital, No. 28, at Fort Sheridan, Illinois, where he organized the surgical service, remaining for several months. He was then ordered to the General Hospital No. 40, at St. Louis, Missouri, and there served as chief of surgical service until June 19, 1919, when he was honorably discharged. The important nature of his professional work, both in the military connection and in private capacity, ranks him as one of the eminent surgeons of St. Louis. He belongs to the St. Louis, Missouri State and American Medical Associations, the Southern Surgical and Western Surgical Associations, the Surgical Society of St. Louis, the Surgical Association of St. Louis, is one of the visiting surgeons of the St. Louis City Hospital and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.
On the 19th of October, 1904, Dr. Bailey was married in St. Louis to Miss Gertrude M. Pursel, a native of Indiana, and a daughter of John Pursel, who was born in that state and was a veteran of the Civil war. Dr. and Mrs. Bailey adopted a little niece, Lois Virginia Bailey, at the age of three, who is now ten years of age. Dr. Bailey finds diversion and recreation in outdoor sports, particularly golf, and he makes his home in the attractive suburb of Clayton. He worked his way through college as a pharmacist and his success has always been the direct outcome of his capability and thoroughness. Fraternally he is connected with Tuscan Lodge, No. 360, A. F. & A. M., and has attained the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite, while with the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine he has crossed the sands of the desert. He belongs to the Sunset Hill Country Club and the University Club and his religious faith is manifest in his membership in the Second Presbyterian church. His life has been one of great activity and usefulness and he rendered most important service in connection with the World war, in organizing and directing the overseas medical forces, in addition to what he could do personally in the way of operating and medical attendance. His patriotic devotion to the interests and welfare of his country had its root in an ancestral record which connects the family name with every war in ‘which America has engaged. He did not hesitate to sacrifice personal interests when the country. needed his assistance and for nearly three years he remained in the country’s service. Today he is regarded as one of the eminent surgeons of St. Louis.