Mary C. Thackston & Andrew McKenzie Bailey, California pioneers (Pt 1)

Some biographical material about the family of Mary C. Thackston (1824-1894, daughter of James Thackston and Elizabeth Anderson of Bracken County, Kentucky, granddaughter of Nathaniel Thackston and Elizabeth Foster of Prince Edward Co., Virginia, great-granddaughter of James Thackston and Mary Wimbish), who married the Rev. Andrew McKenzie Bailey, and moved to California in 1853.  Note:  Some biographical material is posted in in Part 2.

From the San Francisco Bulletin, 21 Aug 1890:


FENTRESS–In this city, George W. Fentress, a native of North Carolina, aged 43 years.


San Jose Evening News, 24 Aug 1915

From the Evening News 25 Years Ago Today

G. W. Fentress formerly librarian of the San Jose library died in San Francisco last Thursday.  He was well known here.


San Jose Mercury News,  11 Feb 1891:

BORN.  BAILEY–In San Jose, February 10, 1891, to Mr. and Mrs. James A. Bailey, a daughter.


San Jose Mercury News, 11 Feb 1892:

The residence of Rev. A. M. Bailey on the Stevens Creek road was burned yesterday; loss $1,600, insurance $800.


San Jose Mercury News, 15 Oct 1892:

A. M. Bailey, who resides on North Fifth street, was thrown from his buggy on North Third street last evening and two ribs were broken.  The injured man is over 71 years of age and is one of the oldest pioneers of this county, having lived until recently on a ranch west of Santa Clara.


San Jose Mercury News, 11 Apr 1918:

25 Years Ago Today

Miss Laura E. Bailey was united in marriage to Capt. John Hanna.  Rev. A. M. Bailey performed the service, assisted by Rev. John Hannon. 


From the San Jose Mercury News, 22 Feb 1894:


The Wife of the Retired Methodist Minister A. M. Bailey

Mrs. Mary C. Bailey, wife of Rev. Andrew M. B. Bailey, died this morning at 2 o’clock at family residence 393 North Fifth street of bronchitis.

The deceased was a native of Kentucky, 70 years of age and the mother of seven children who with her husband survive her. They are George H. Bailey and James A. Bailey of San Jose; Mrs. M. E. Fentress, San Francisco; Mrs. Thorton, Tres Pinos; Mrs. Hannah, Lancester, California; Mrs. Williams, Newport News, Va.; and Mrs. Browning, Kentucky.

The funeral will take place Saturday afternoon from the First M. E. Church.



San Jose Mercury News, 24 Feb 1894:

The funeral of Mrs. Mary C. Bailey took place this afternoon from the First Methodist Church.  The discourse was delivered by Bishop O. P. Fitzgerald.


San Jose Mercury News, 21 Mar 1894:

Mrs. Bailey Wants to be Free

An action for divorce has been begun by Alice Bailey against George H. Bailey on the grounds of deseretion.  They were married in Santa Clara County in 1878.  The plaintiff has been deserted since 1888.  Gabriel & Dwyer are attorneys for the plaintiff.  [Note: later articles refer to George as the plaintiff.]


San Jose Mercury News, 26 Apr 1894:

The Testimony Taken

The report of Court Commissioner L. Montgomery in the divorce suit of George H. Bailey against Alice Bailey has been filed.  The testimony shows that the couple intermarried in January 1878 and ten years later the wife deserted the plaintiff.  Gabriel & Dwyer represent the plaintiff.



San Jose Mercury News, 21 May 1894:  the following divorces were granted:  Alice Bailey against George H. Bailey.  [Note: the newspaper says “vs.” when the wife is the plaintiff.]


Oakland Tribune, 14 Jan 1898:

An Aged Minister Will Wed Again

At the Age of 75, Rev. Bailey Will Marry a Dixon Widow

BERKELEY, Jan. 14—The Rev. A. M. Bailey, over whose head seventy-five winters have passed and left their snowy traces, will wed again and has selected a widow seventeen years his junior, Mrs. Luvena A. Kerr, as his second mate.  His first wife died after forty-seven years of married life, and three years ago Mr. Bailey met Mrs. Kerr at her home in Dixon where he was in charge of the Methodist Church at that place.  Five months ago he was transferred to the church at West Berkeley.  He was formerly in charge for a term ending two years ago, when he retired voluntarily, only to accept a second call to Berkeley.  He was born in Tennessee, and came to San Francisco in 1853 as a missionary.  He has been in the ministry fifty-eight years.  His first wife died four years ago, leaving five daughters and two sons.

The wedding will take place on the evening of Tuesday, January 25th, in the West Berkeley Church.  Regular services will begin at 8 o’clock, at the conclusion of which the wedding ceremony will be performed.  Rev. W. W. Case of San Francisco will officiate.


From the San Jose Evening News, 05 Jul 1898:

HANNAH–At Los Angeles, Cal., June 29th, 1898, Captain John C. Hannah, son-in-law of Rev. A. M. Bailey, formerly of San Jose, a native of Mississippi, aged 56 years.


San Jose Mercury News, 08 Feb 1900


Dispute About Money Matters Makes Trouble in the Bailey Family.

“I promised my son George a home if he would come and live near us,” told A. M. Bailey, a white-haired South Methodist minister to Judge Rhodes and a jury today.  “He was blind and mother and I wished to have him near us.  After the death of my wife, I made an agreement to give him $50 a month.  I turned over property which would bring him in a total of $37.50 and gave him my note for the remainder.  Afterwards I deeded him twelve acres of the home place and we said we would call it square.  I never thought of the agreement and did not believe that George would bring it up against me at this time.”

And so, trembling with suppressed emotion and with tears in his eyes, the father told of the estrangement between himself and his son James on the one hand and the blind George on the other.  In one way, it was a pathetic trial, although the parties contested stubbornly and bitterly.

The suit was that of James Bailey against his brother George on an assigned claim from A. M. Bailey, the father, to recover $200.  The money was given to George to assist him in an attempt to recover his eyesight four years ago.  The latter considered the money as a gift, but his father did not.  The old gentleman wanted to assist the family of his son James and the latter brought suit before Justice Herrington of Santa Clara, where a jury brought in a verdict in favor of George Bailey, the defendant.  The case was then appealed.

A. M. Bailey went over the story in detail today to the court.  His son, he said lost his eyesight some eight or ten years ago and went to the State asylum for the adult blind in Berkeley.  The old folks wanted him home and offered him a life lease on a house and lot near them.  Rev. Mr. Bailey said that George came home; that his mother died very soon; that a new agreement was drawn up by which his son was given three houses with a monthly rental of $37.50, a month, during the life time of the latter.

Rev. Bailey went East and stated that after his return, he gave his blind son twelve acres of land on the home place and that the matter of the payment of the $12.50 a month was considered as void; that after this suit was commenced, George Bailey filed a cross-complaint for payment of money on this agreement.  At this point the old man nearly broke down in his testimony.

Speaking of the $200, he said:  “I sent that money to George because I knew he wanted to have his eyes treated, but I always expected him to pay it back.  My other son has a daughter, who is trying to fit herself to become a nurse and I told James if he would collect this $200, that I would buy his daughter a wheel and pay for her schooling.  That was how we happened to bring the suit.  I never wanted to sue my boy and have had no intention of getting his property away from him.”

That, with certain documentary evidence, constituted the case of the father against the son, or brother against brother.

George Bailey, in his own behalf, told of his agreement with his father and gave the jury and spectators some idea of unpleasantness in the Bailey family.

The jury selected to try the case was as follows:  F. Perkins, J. J. Bennetts, C. D. Willey, O. F. Mann, W. H. Mantz, J. C. Hayes, W. F. Anthes, J. B. Wyatt, Simeon Saunders, William F. Cord, George S. Barlow and J. Likens.

Judge Reynolds represented Rev. Mr. Bailey and James Bailey, the plaintiff by assignment, and H. A. Gabriel and D. B. Buchard appeared for the defendant.

The testimony of for the defense was brief and consisted of little but the presentation of the agreement between A. M. Bailey and his son George.

The case was argued this afternoon and given to the jury.


San Jose Mercury News, 09 Feb 1900:


George Bailey, the blind man, won a victory in the courts.  Less than an hour after the case of J. H. [sic] Bailey against his brother was submitted in Judge Rhodes’ court the jury returned with a verdict for the defendant.

This affirms the decision of Justice Herrington of Santa Clara and George Bailey is not obliged to refund the $200 which he received for the purpose of having his eyes doctored.  Judge Reynolds, counsel for Rev. Mr. Bailey, asked that the jury be polled and three Messrs. Mantz, Barlow and Likens, expressed their dissent with the verdict.  D. W. Burchard and H. R. Gabriel represented the defendant.


San Jose Mercury News, 02 May 1901:

BORN.  BAILEY–Near San Jose, May 1, 1901, to Mr. and Mrs. James A. Bailey, a daughter.


San Jose Mercury News, 24 Dec 1902:

BORN.  BAILEY–Near San Jose, December 14, 1902, to Mr. and Mrs. James A. Bailey, a son.


San Jose Mercury News, 30 Nov 1903:


Andrew McKendree Bailey, a prominent member of the Methodist church who is known throughout California died suddenly at his home in College Park on Sunday afternoon.  Mr. Bailey had been ailing for a long period, but was believed to be on the road to recovery.  He was suddenly taken ill shortly after noon Sunday and died within a short time.

Mr. Bailey was born in Tennessee in 1821 and for many years was a minister of the gospel in the Methodist faith.  He came to California in 1851 and has since made his residence in this state.

The funeral will be held tomorrow afternoon at 2:30 o’clock from the Methodist Church in College Park.  Dr. W. R. Gober, who has known the deceased more intimately and for a longer time than perhaps any other man in the valley, is to conduct the last sad services over the body of his departed friend.


San Jose Mercury News, 30 Nov 1903:


BAILEY—In College Park, November 29, 1903, Rev. Andrew McKendrie Bailey, beloved husband of Mrs. L. A. Bailey, a native of Virginia, aged 82 years.


San Jose Mercury News, 02 Dec 1903:


The funeral of Rev. A. M. Bailey was held on Tuesday afternoon from the College Park church.  The interment was at Oak Hill cemetery.  Rev. Bailey was one of the oldest Methodist ministers in point of service in this state and was well known for his devotion to the cause which he served so faithfully.


San Jose Mercury News, 13 Mar 1904:



Is Sent to a Sanitarium for Treatment – Blind for Twelve Years.

George Bailey, the eldest son of the late Rev. A. M. Bailey, was brought to the sheriffs office yesterday for examination as to his mental condition, the complaint having been made by Deputy Sheriff Richard Stewart.  Dr. D. A. Beattie and Dr. H. C. Brown assisted Judge Hyland in the examination, which resulted in the opinion that he was not insane, but that he should be placed in a sanitarium, where he could be cared for and physically controlled until his health is restored.

Mr. Bailey has been totally blind for 12 years as the result of a severe attack of rheumatism, but he has always been able to care for himself.  Recently he has been quite ill and for three or four days past he has been suffering from an acute attack of hiccoughs which have become very painful and have disordered his nerves so that he has become quite irritable.  Dr. Beattie who has been treating him, said that Mr. Bailey would not care for himself properly or permit any one else to do so, and that he would not follow his physician’s instructions.

Arrangements have been made for his treatment at St. Lukes hospital. 


San Jose Evening News, 28 Mar 1904:


George H Bailey died this morning after a brief illness.  Deceased was a native of Virginia and was 56 years of age.  He had been a resident of this city for many years and conducted a dairy.  The funeral will be held tomorrow from the undertaking parlors of W. L. Woodrow and the interment will be at the Santa Clara cemetery.


San Jose Evening News, 29 Mar 1904:


BAILEY–In San Jose, March 27, 1904, George H. Bailey, a native of Virginia, aged 56 years.


San Jose Mercury News, 11 Apr 1904:


The will of the late George H. Bailey, who died recently in this city has been filed in the probate court.  The will nominates the widow Lydia E. Bailey as executrix without bonds and she is devised all of the personal property and a life interest in the real property.  At her demise the estate passes to Mrs. Laura Hanna, a sister of the decedent.  The state is valued at [not readable]00.  N. Bowden is the attorney for the estate.


1 Comment

Filed under Biography, News, Obituary

One response to “Mary C. Thackston & Andrew McKenzie Bailey, California pioneers (Pt 1)

  1. I could not imagine to find such old information. Would like to thank you for your hard work and putting it up on your blog.

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