Biography of Wilshire Bailey
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Mr. Bailey was born in the State of Alabama, in the year 1824, and came to Texas with his parents in the year 1835. He married Miss Gage, a daughter of E. N. Gage, in the year 1852. To this union were born 8 children, seven of whom are still living, five girls and two boys. His boys are both married and are thrifty and well to do farmers and tax payers. Four of his daughters are married, their husbands are farmers and stock raisers, are good men, upright and honest in their business relations, and have the confidence of the people. Air. Bailey has led a very active life, he is a typical Texan, open hearted, outspoken and impulsive, will fight at the drop of the hat, is a good clever fellow, knows everybody, and everybody knows him. He has a good strong mind, but little education. He likes to be in a crowd, and can talk against a brass band. He has one daughter living with him, a nice young lady, somewhat reserved, yet pleasant and agreeable in her manners, she is very much devoted to her aged parents and attached to her country home, a beautiful locations on the prairie, so situated as to have a lovely view of all the country for miles around.
Mr. Bailey’s father stopped when he came to Texas in the neighborhood of where Clarkesville is now situated, He remained in camp for about two years. At this time a war was in progress between the United States and the Republic of Mexico. His father was engaged in this war. Upon the return of his father after peace had been declared, he moved to a point near Blossom prairie and settled. His father was a farmer. In a few years the family moved to Hopkins County, it was Red River District at that time. Mr. Bailey has been a resident citizen of the county ever since he came into the county. With Robinson Crusoe he could say as he stood and viewed the vast wilderness in all of its verdant wilds: “I am master of all I survey.” He has seen sights and heard sounds emanating from every living creature common to Texas clime, some of which sent terror to his heart and caused his hair to stand on end and his cheeks to turn pale as death. The country was a trackless wilderness, No friendly call from human kind-no neighbor’s dog to bark-no smoke to rise from the top of an inhabitant’s cabin-no mild cow to offer up a friendly and motherly call to her infant calf-nothing to drive away the gloomy monotony of his environment save the sad shrill notes of the whippoorwill, the midnight hooting of the lonely owl, the solemn cooing hen, and the frightful crying of the catamount, and the nightly screams of the panther, and the saddened chanting of the rain crow. To add to these distressing sounds the war whoop of the wild Indians was to be heard in the land. He has lived for months in constant dread of the wild tribes of Indians. He has often been forced to leave his cabin and seek shelter in the brush for safety from the savages.
He was a Texas ranger and served his country as such under Captain Mansel Matthews. On one occasion when he was called out by his officer to guard the country against the ravages of the Indians, he and Lieutenant Branom were detailed to ride out a few miles from the camp and look for Indian signs. When about four miles distant from the camp they came suddenly upon a large gang of Indians nestling in the thick brush. There appeared to be about one hundred and fifty in number. They both turned for camp with all possible speed. Mr. Bailey was riding a small mustang pony while Lieutenant Branom was favored with a blooded horse. Bailey’s pony ran with lightning speed for a short distance and then began to show signs of fatigue. Lieutenant Branom observed this deplorable condition, and said to Bailey, “Whip up your pony or we will both be captured and killed.” Bailey replied: “I am doing all I can.” Lieutenant Branom said: “I will ride on into camp and report the situation, but before I go let me ask you to prepare for the worst, and say your prayers.” The company at camp, seeing Lieutenant Branom riding with hat in hand and homing toward them with the fury of a tornado, instinctively knew that something awful had transpired with Bailey and Branom. They ran for their horses and arms and proceeded with all possible haste to meet Lieutenant Branom. They all turned after receiving Branom’s report and went after the indians. They met Bailey and all went in pursuit of the Indians. The Indians were overtaken, seven or eight of them killed and only one Ranger wounded. Thus this exciting incident, ludicrous as part of the story appears, ended in driving the enemy of the white man from the country. This occurrence took place in the neighborhood of where MT. McCombs now lives in Delta County.
Mr. Bailey was happy over the termination of this exciting and alarming incident which left him in possession of his scalp.