Judge Lawrence D. Bailey, long a resident of Emporia and the pioneer lawyer of Southwestern Kansas, also accomplished much in forwarding the agricultural interests of the state. He was a New Hampshire man, born at Sutton, Merrimack County, August 26, 1819. He was of an old Euglish manufacturing family, and his American ancestors are said to have built the first woolen factory in America at what is now Georgetown, Massachusetts. The judge was educated in Pennsylvania, read law and was admitted to the bar in July, 1846, and after practicing three years in New Hampshire started for California, by way of Cape Horn. After spending four years on the coast, engaged in lumbering, gold digging, practicing law and editorial work, he returned to New Hampshire in the fall of 1853. He then practiced law in his native state until he started for Kansas in the spring of 1857.
On the second of April, of that year, Judge Bailey settled on a claim near Clinton, Douglas County, but in the following September opened a law office at Emporia. In 1858 he was elected to the Territorial Legislature; in the following year became associate justice of the Supreme Court of Kansas, under the Wyandotte constitution, and in 1862 was re-elected for six years, under statehood. In 1863 he assisted in organizing the State Board of Agriculture, serving as its president for four successive terms. In the same year he established the Kansas Farmer, and was one of the founders of the State Normal School. The later years of his life he spent in the management of his large agricultural intereats, becoming a resident of Garden City, where he died in October, 1891.