Bailey Bonds, A Vintage Vignette

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Bailey Bonds
A Vintage Vignette by John P. Rankin
June 22, 2008

The publication “Valley Leaves” in March of 1974 on page 150 printed a query about the Bailey, Moore, and Tribble families of the 1830s Madison area. The query was submitted by George R. Bailey of Athens, Alabama. It stated that Josiah Bailey had siblings Matthew M., John, Hezekiah, Sarah, William J., and Elijah. Matthew married Sally Allen; John married first Jemima Burns, then Nancy Barham (“Basham” per Madison County Records Center on-line listing); Hezekiah married Martha Moore first, then Louisa Gooch; Sarah married Louis Landers; William J. married Sarah A. Johnson; and Elijah married Martha Ann Vaughan in Limestone County on December 14, 1833.

There are indications that this Bailey family was closely linked to that of Madison area pioneer James F. Bailey, who was the subject of an article in The Huntsville Times of May 23, 2007, page 7. James was stated by descendants to be a son of Moses Bailey in several earlier publications. The will of Moses mentions only his wife Judith and his son William Jackson Bailey, who was probably the same person as the above-listed sibling of Josiah.

Josiah had a son named Henry J. Bailey who lived with Hezekiah Bailey after Josiah’s death before 1840. The 1830 census shows Hezekiah Bailey living between the households of Elijah (“Elias”) Bailey and a man named William Jackson, who was probably the namesake of Josiah’s sibling with those given names. Hezekiah’s very detailed Last Will and Testament of 1847 named his siblings and was witnessed by James F. Bailey, who was not included among the siblings in the provisions of the will. The omission suggests that James was perhaps not a son of Moses, but he could have been an uncle or a cousin of Hezekiah, Josiah, and their siblings. James may have been either a son or a brother of another Madison County pioneer, David Bailey. David lived in today’s Monrovia area along Johns Road and deeded land (the deed was witnessed by James) in 1816 for the Salem Baptist Church along “Funnel Creek” (today’s Dry Creek fork from Indian Creek). Of course, it is possible that James was in fact a son of Moses and that Hezekiah did not include James in the provisions of his will due to James’ own request as not being needful of any of Hezekiah’s property.

However they connected, the Bailey families of the area were thoroughly integrated into the community. For example, Hezekiah’s wife Louisa Gooch was a daughter of Roland and Elizabeth Gooch, early settlers who are buried on the hilltop east of Hughes Road at the eastern end of Plaza Boulevard. John Bailey’s wife Nancy “Barham” perhaps was Nancy Parham, of that local pioneer family. Sarah Bailey’s husband Louis Landers was no doubt of the area Landers clan. Elijah Bailey’s wife, Martha Ann Vaughan, married Hezekiah Bradley Cartwright after Elijah’s death. Cartwright is buried on the south shoulder of Palmer Road very near County Line Road. However, Martha is buried beside Orrie, one of their daughters, in the old section of the Madison City Cemetery. Orrie married John Lipscomb, first public school educator of Madison. Mattie Cartwright (buried in the same cemetery) was another daughter of Martha. She married Madison merchant Arthur H. Lewis. They had a daughter, Cora, who married Herman Humphrey. Lewis and Humphrey descendants are numerous in the area.

Mattie Cartwright Lewis had a half-brother, James E. H. Bailey, son of Martha by her first husband, Elijah Bailey. James E. H. Bailey was the first owner of Lots 32 and 33 in the original Madison town plat. He was also a co-owner of Lot 16 (21 Front Street today) in partnership with John Cosby, a relative of George Washington Martin, first lot purchaser and storeowner in the town. Cosby operated a kiln to produce bricks for the early buildings, including the oldest storefront, owned by Martin and still standing at 110 Main Street. James E. H. Bailey was a blacksmith, doing business with his partner under the name Cosby & Bailey. The Bailey linkages with the historical families of Madison are just a part of the incredibly interwoven connections of the town’s citizens. Future articles will describe more ties that bind the Bailey, Vaughan, Cartwright, Gray, Abernathy, Dillard, Parham, and Pettus lines of this area together.

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