Biography of De Roos Bailey

De Roos Bailey
De Roos Bailey

Of the younger element of our prominent, energetic and influential citizens, none are better known than De Roos Bailey, one of the distinguished attorneys of the northwestern part of Arkansas, whose home is at Harrison. During the years that he has practiced his profession here he has shown that he is endowed with superior ability, and his comprehensive knowledge of the law, together with the soundness of his judgment, secured his almost immediate recognition at the bar. Since that time to the present he has so identified himself with the affairs of his section that its history can-not be recorded without according him a conspicuous and honorable part.

He was born in Carroll County, Arkansas, May 27, 1857, and traces his ancestry back to his great-great-grandfather, William Bailey, who came to this country from England many years prior to the Revolution and is supposed to have settled in one of the Carolinas. His son, William, however, was born in Virginia, from which State he enlisted in the Colonial Army during the Revolutionary War, at the age of sixteen years; he died at the advanced age of eighty-six years. John Bailey, the grandfather of De Roos Bailey, was born in the Old North State, and was the first to establish the Bailey family in Tennessee. At a very early day he came with his wife, Beersheba (Cunningham) Bailey, to Arkansas and located on a farm on Crooked Creek, Carroll (now Boone) County, and died in 1876. He and his wife reared the following children: M. J. (Rosson); W. W.; M.. of Walnut Springs, Tex.; Calaway, who died in 1887; Washington, of Alexander; and J. M., also of Texas, all the sons being soldiers in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. The father of these children was a farmer by occupation, and he became a well-to-do citizen. His wife died September 27, 1889, at the age of ninety-five, being the oldest person in the county at that time.

The early life of W. W. Bailey was spent in Pope County, Tennessee, and after acquiring a practical education in the common schools he began teaching, an occupation he followed in the Indian Territory for some time, after which he came to Arkansas in 1852. He was born in Polk County, Tennessee, May 4, 1827, and when the Civil War broke out he, in 1861, enlisted in the first company that organized in Carroll County-Company D, Sixteenth Arkansas Infantry, from which he was honorably discharged in 1863. Soon after this he again became a member of the company, and was an active participant in the engagements at Wilson’s Creek, Elkhorn, Prairie Grove, Pierce Springs, and a large number of skirmishes and smaller engagements. He received one wound in the hand, and with the exception of one, all his brothers were wounded while in the service. Mr. Bailey held the rank of first lieutenant and his brother, J. M., was captain of a company. He was married in this county, in 1856, to Miss H. M. Wasson and soon after located on the old Bailey farm, a well-known landmark in the county, on which he resided until 1874, when he was elected a member of the constitutional convention of that year. Upon his return home he was elected sheriff of Boone County and took up his residence in Bellefonte for the purpose of giving his children good educational advantages. At the end of about three years he removed two miles west of that place to what was known as the Smith farm, which he purchased and on which he lived until about 1890, when he sold out and bought another farm near Elmwood, of which he is still the owner. Since 1893 he has resided in Harrison, and is retired from active business life. He has always been a Democrat, is a man strong in his convictions, and socially is a member of the A. F. & A. M. His wife was born in Tennessee in 1825, and came to Arkansas with her parents during the early history of this section. She and her husband reared two children: De Roos, and Josephine, wife of Judge Hudgins.

De Roos Bailey spent his boyhood days on the old Bailey homestead, on which he learned the habits of industry and perseverance which greatly aided him in his labors in later years. He attended the common schools up to the age of sixteen years, then entered the public schools of Bellefonte, which were at that time the best in the county, and there he pursued the paths of learning for four or five years, and stood at the head of his class. After leaving school he became a teacher and after a year or so thus spent he took up the study of law and in March, 1881, was admitted to the bar. Soon after this he formed a partnership with Judge B. B. Hudgins at Harrison. After remaining with him a year or so he became associated with Col. J. F. Wilson, then of Yellville, and was a successful practitioner of that place up to 1886. He then located in Marshall, Searcy County, Arkansas, and after the Legislature had created the Fourteenth Judicial District, composed of the counties of Newton, Boone, Searcy, Marion, Baxter, Fulton and Izard, in 1887. Mr. Bailey became a candidate for prosecuting attorney of the same and was elected over the Republican candidate, Samuel Murphy. At the expiration of his first term he was reelected, and soon after came to Harrison, where his home has since been. He declined the nomination for a third term as prosecuting attorney, and has since given his undivided attention to the practice of his profession in all its branches, and is with reason called one of the most successful attorneys in the State. He has conducted and given much attention to the study of cases of a criminal nature, is a man of much intelligence, and is one of the foremost in all respects in his section. He is justly looked upon as a leader of the Democratic party and is a member of the Democratic State Central Committee. He was married, while living in Marshall, in 1887, to Miss Lillie McDowell, a daughter of George W. McDowell, a merchant of Yellville, who is still making his home in that place, a widower. Mrs. Bailey was born in Rally Hill, Boone County, Arkansas, in 1871, and her union with Mr. Bailey has resulted in the birth of three children, only one of whom is living, Lillie L., an infant. Ruth died at the age of twenty-two months, and Edith died at the age of ten months. The mother died April 17, 1893, three days after the birth of her last child. She was reared in Marion County, Arkansas Her education was gained in Yellville and she was a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. Her untimely death was deeply deplored, not only by her immediate family, but by all who knew her.



A Reminiscent History of the Ozark Region: comprising a condensed general history, a brief descriptive history of each county, and numerous biographical sketches of prominent citizens of such counties. Chicago: Goodspeed Brothers Publishers. 1894.

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