Thursday, April 25, 2019

Dr. Claudius H. Bailey and Family

Near the top of the hill in Smithland Cemetery are a collection of stones that mark the graves of the family of Dr. Claudius H. Bailey.  It is difficult to read the names carved on the stones, but it appears they are as follows:

Catharine Bailey  consort of C.H.  died Dec. 10, 1849 in the 53d year of her age.
Margaret Bailey  daughter [the rest is illegible] [carved on side of above stone]
Mary Ann   [no last name and no visible dates]
Catharine  [no last name and no visible dates]

Bailey Family Plot
Smithland Cemetery

The tombstone of Catharine Bailey , who died in 1849, has various initials and dates, especially 1913, carved into the top.

Consort of
C.H. Bailey
died Decr 10th 1849
in the 53rd
year of her age
Smithland Cemetery

Who was this Dr. Claudius H. Bailey?  From public records, we know he was in living in Lincoln County, Missouri  during the 1830s. In 1836, Claudius H. Bailey and his wife, Catharine Ann Bailey, conveyed land adjoining the town of Troy, Lincoln County.[1] The next year an advertisement appeared in a local newspaper announcing Dr. C.H. Bailey's candidacy for the office of Circuit and County Clerk of Lincoln County.[2]  He sold land in Lincoln County in 1843 and, by 1845, had moved to Livingston County, Kentucky.

The first record of Dr. C.H. Bailey in Livingston County was the marriage of his daughter, Mary Ann, and Henry A. Harmon on 22 July 1845.[3] Was this Bailey daughter the Mary Ann buried with the other family members at the top of Smithland Cemetery? If so, she likely died before 1850 as Henry A. Harmon appears that year in his mother's household and there is no mention of Mary Ann.[4] Henry died in 1855 and is also buried in Smithland Cemetery.[5]

 His first appearance on the Livingston County Tax List was 1846, when he was taxed on one slave and a store valued at $800.[6]

In 1848, Dr. Bailey leased lot # 15 in Smithland and later purchased it. Located on this lot were the drugstore and dwelling house of Dr. Bailey.[7] He also purchased part of lot #51 in 1848.

The 1840s were not good to Dr. Bailey. His wife, Catharine, died 10 December 1849 and it appears he lost at least three daughters about that time.   A few months after his wife's death, however, Dr. Bailey married Mary Coker on the 19th of August 1850.[8]

Dr. Bailey and his new wife, Mary, were enumerated on the 1850 Livingston County census. Dr. Bailey, age 52, was born in Maryland and Mary, age 39, was born in Kentucky. Also in their household was Thos. W. Bailey, age 27, born in Maryland.[9] Was Thomas a son of Dr. Bailey? No other record for Thomas was found.

Tragedy struck Dr. Bailey on Christmas Day 1850 when a destructive fire broke out in Smithland, consuming the businesses of C.H. Hodge and W.H. Delavan, dry goods merchants; R. Clopton, grocer; three tailor shops and Dr. C.H. Bailey, druggist.[10]  Two weeks later Dr. Bailey sold his two lots in Smithland and moved away - location unknown.[11]

No further record of Dr. Bailey has been founded.  After the deaths of his wife and daughters, was the fire too much for him to handle?  Did Smithland evoke too many sad memories for him?  Where did he go?

[1] Lincoln County, Missouri Deed Book D, p. 255, Claudius H. Bailey and wife for the use and benefit of the inhabitants of Township 51, Range 1 West; also several lots of land in the town of Troy. Recorded 19 Sep 1839.
[2] Salt River Journal, Bowling Green, Missouri, 12 Dec 1840, p. 3,
[3] Joyce McCandless Woodyard. Livingston County, Kentucky Marriage Records Including Marriages of Freedmen, Vol. II (Aug 1839-Dec 1871), (Evansville, IN: Evansville Bindery, 1994) 38.
[4] 1850 Livingston County, Kentucky census, Household of Clary Harmon, Roll M432_210, p. 323A, Image 337,
[5] Find A Grave Memorial #7542278, Henry A. Harmon, no birth date; only year of death (1855).
[6] 1846 Livingston County, Kentucky Tax List, C.H. Bailey
[7] Livingston County, Kentucky Deed Book HH:538, Weaver to Singleton and Singleton to Bailey, dated 21 Jan 1848, recorded 2 Feb 1848. Deed Book HH:601, Ford to Bailey, dated 9 Aug 1848, recorded 4 [sic] Aug 1848. Also Deed Book 1:11, Fowler to Bailey, dated 30 Dec 1848, recorded 1 Jan 1849.
[8] Woodyard. Livingston County, Kentucky Marriage Records Including Marriages of Freedmen, Vol. II (Aug 1839-Dec 1871), 62.
[9] 1850 Livingston County, Kentucky census, Roll M432_210, p. 380A, Image 451,
[10] "Destructive Fire at Smithland, Ky," Hartford Courant, Sat., 4 Jan 1851, p. 2, citing Louisville Courier, Dec. 28,
[11] Livingston County, Kentucky Deed Book 1:345, Bailey to Hodge, parts of Lots #15 and 51, dated 15 Jan 1851, recorded 21 Jan 1851.

Published 25 Apr 2019, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

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