ABRAHAM BAILY, the oldest child of Jacob and Elizabeth Baily, was born at Parkerville, Chester County, PA, 9, 12, 1801. During his minority he was apprenticed to his uncle, John Parker, of the same place, as a stone-mason. He continued to work at his trade for several years., and in 1833-34 was employed by the Reading Company in the building of its bridges and culverts, when that road was first laid out. In connnection with Chalkley Jefferis and Mr. Ingram, of West Chester, he constructed the U.S. Naval Asylum at Norfolk, VA, and was one of the superintendents of the foundation work of Girard College. By hard toil and business perseverance he acquired a competency, and settled down in the meridian of his days upon the old homestead farm, where he died (unmarried) 7, 5, 1873.

EPHRAIM BAILY, second child of Jacob and Elizabeth, was born 5, 4, 1803. He was engaged in stove-manufacturing and the tin-smith business, and had extensive shops at Parkerville during the latter years of his life. He married Sibilla Way, and resided in the stone house now or lately occupied by Bernard Hawley, at Parkerville. He died 6, 21, 1837.

HON. JOHN P. BAILY, son of Jacob and Elizabeth, was born 1, 17, 1805. He attended the common pay-school of his neighborhood and assisted on his father's farm until he was sixteen years of age, when he was apprenticed to the saddler's trade. This did not suit his taste, and at the end of a year, he gave it up. He again resumed his studies, teaching school at intervals, and ending his academic education with Samuel Gummere, at Burlington, N. J. His taste was mathematical. While engaged in teaching a select school in West Philadelphia in 1826, he was selected, with John Edgar Thomson and other young men, to assist Major John Wilson, of the United States Topographical Corps, to locate and construct a railroad from Philadelphia to Columbia, but before it was completed he was appointed by the Mine Hill and Schuylkill Haven Railroad Company to locate and contruct their coal road in Schuylkill County, remaining in their service until it was completed. He was then appointed to locate and construct a railroad from West Chester to intersect the Columbia Railroad at a point near Paoli, which he did satisfactorily. He was then appointed as a civil engineer in the United States Topographical Corps, and performed important service in the Western country in the location of a national road from Toledo (Ohio) to the Mississippi River, and the survey of the Cumberland River in Kentucky and Tennesee. In 1836, he was appointed by the Pennsylvania Legislature as chief engineer of the public works, which he held until the law creating the office was repealed. He was subsequently appointed, and for a year or so served as chief engineer to the Fredericksburg and Richmond Railroad, in Virginia.

In the winter of 1840 he commenced to read law with Henry S. Van Amringe, of Pittsburgh, formerly of the West Chester bar. After his admission to the bar, Mr. Baily removed to West Chester, where he opened a law-offiice in 1843. In the winter of 1858 he was appointed by Governor Packer as associate judge of Chester County, Vice Judge Srickland resigned. When the Rebellion broke out he, with many other Democrats, became a supporter of the Administration in the prosecution of the war. At the next vacancy of associate judge he was nominated and elected by the Republican party to that position,and was re-elected the following term, --ten successive years of incumbancy. He subsequently visited Europe, and made a trip across the continent by the Pacific Railroad. Soon after he took up his residence at his native place, Parkerville, with his brother Abram. He died at the residence of Isaac B. Webb, in Pennsbury on 12, 13, 1874, in the seventieth year of his age.

JOSEPH BAILY, son of Jacob and Elizabeth (Parker) Baily, and a descendant of Joel Baily, was born in Pennsury township, near the Brandywine battle-ground, March 18, 1810. He worked on his father's farm until he was sixteen years of age, when he was bound apprentice to the hatting business. At the expiration of the term of his service he spent a year at the boarding school of John Gummere, in Burlington, NJ, paying for his own schooling. His funds being then exhausted, in the spring of 1832, instead of going home to live on the bounty of others, he packed up a small bundle of clothing and started out to seek his fortune among strangers. He soon obtained work at his trade near Plainfield, NJ, and there earned the first money he could lawfully call his own. After traveling over the country and working at many places, he finally started a shop of his own in his native village of Parkerville. Urged on by the force of an indomitable will, he pursued his business successfully for a number of years, when, in the fall of 1839, he was elected a member of the House of Representatives of Pennsylvania from Chester County, and in 1842, was elected to the Senate from the district embracing Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties. His colleagues from the district were Dr. Huddleson of Delaware, and Abraham Brower, of Montgomery. At the expiration of his senatorial term, in the spring of 1845, he purchased a blast-furnace, with a large tract of land attached, on the Juniata, in Perry County. He moved thither, and was soon engaged in the manufacture of iron. He pursued this business with great diligence and success for a number of years, when in 1850, he was again elected to the Senate from Perry and Cumberland Counties. After the expiration of his second term in the Senate he was elected State treasurer by the Legislature, and in 1860 was chosen to represent the Fifteenth District, composed of the counties of Perry, Cumberland and York, in the United States Congress, to which he was re-elected in 1862.

Up to this time, Mr. Baily had acted with the Democratic party, and as soon as Congress assembled in 1861 he urged his Democratic colleagues, who had been left in a hopeless minority after the Southern members had treacherously abandoned their posts, to take a determined and bold stand in enacting prompt measures to crush out the Rebellion.

Guided by his own better judgement, he cordially joined the noble band of patriots who rose up in defense of the country, and the most important act of Congress, the adoption of the thirteenth amendment to the Constitution, declaring slavery to be forever abolished and releasing more than four million people from bondage, received his active and cordial suppport. At the expiration of his second term in Congress, on the 4th of March, 1865, he again retired to private life, but in 1872 he was elected one of the delegates to represent the counties of Perry, Snyder, Northumberland, and Union in a convention to amend the State Constitution.

Mr. Baily has now passed the term of three score and ten years, yet he still takes a lively interest in everything calculated to promote the welfare and happiness of his fellow-men.

This page updated on February 26, 2009