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George Smith Bailey

(Son of George Brown Bailey and Elizabeth Young)
Compiled from accounts of his life and my memories of him
By Mildred B. Hacking


Compiled from accounts of his life and my memories of him
By Mildred B. Hacking – March 1978

It is my desire to write an account of some of the important events in the life of my father, GEORGE SMITH BAILEY, who was the second son of George Brown Bailey and Elizabeth Young. I want his posterity to become better acquainted with their ancestor who was such a sincere, honest, trusting man. He was a firm father and a loyal friend who lived by just laws and expected others to do the same.

Because we did not write down his stories as he told them so many times when he was with us, I am indebted to those who have included facts about him in their histories. From accounts in the Journal of George Brown Bailey and Elizabeth Young Bailey, life histories of Ann Smith Bailey, Elizabeth Young Bailey, Ellen B. Humphrey, Elizabeth B. Humphrey, Alice B. Stay, Victoria C. Bailey, and the “I Remember Father” accounts written by his children, I have taken the liberty of extracting pertinent and interesting parts of my father’s life to help portray his personality, talents and character. I do not claim to have done a complete account of his life and urge others to add to this, correct my mistakes, or do what you feel will help Dad’s posterity to love and appreciate him for the good man that he was.

I should like to begin this story with a poem written one and one-half years after his death.


George Smith Bailey – just my Dad
Eager to work for all he had,
Onward and upward he aspired,
Reaching down for a friend grown tired.
Giving each child an honorable name
Ever honest and free from shame.

Showing, by leading, the path to tread
Making by diligence, his daily bread.
Industriously working ‘till close of day,
True and prompt each debt he’d pay;
“His word’s as good as his bond”, folks would say.

Bigness in stature as well as soul
Active through a life full of struggle and toil;
Insisting on prayer and family order
Looking to God as his Guide and Recorder.
Ever he’ll watch when I’m good or I’m bad
You may be gone—but you’re near me, my Dad.

--Mildred Bailey
Feb. 2, 1934 Jensen, Utah

The events in the courtship and marriage of his parents, George Brown and Elizabeth Young Bailey are well told in other stories. How they established a home on Mill Creek and endured the pioneer struggles of that era, faced hunger and cold, followed by an exodus to Fish Traps, Jordan Narrows to escape the invasion of the Johnston Army, is inspiring to read in other histories.

The life story begins for GEORGE SMITH BAILEY in a two-room adobe house on Mill Creek, April 13, 1859, after their return to Mill Creek following the time spent at Jordan Narrows.

From his father’s original journal, I quote—

“Joseph Hyrum Bailey was born in Great Salt Lake City on 14 day of September 1854 at 3:00 a.m.

Ellen Marie was born in Mill Creek, Salt Lake County, on the 10 day of December 1856 at 8 o’clock p.m.

George Smith was born on Mill Creek on the 13 day of April 1859 and Elizabeth Davis on the same day being twins born within two minutes of each other at half past eleven a.m.”

The twins were so small at birth that no one acquainted with the facts thought they would live. When they were three days old, Elder John Scott took both of them on his left arm and blessed them, promising the parents that they would live to become a father and mother in Israel. This promise was fulfilled as George was the father of twelve children who all grew to maturity. It was told that Elizabeth placed her babies in shoe boxes and wrapped them in cotton. She slipped her wedding ring on her little girl’s arm where it fit as a bracelet on the tiny arm.

Eight more brothers and sisters were born to this family—Isaac Young, Anna Russell, Reuben Josiah, David William, Aaron Charles, Caroline Esther, Rhoda Ann and Alice Elmina. Years later a terrible epidemic of diphtheria struck this family causing the deaths of Isaac 17, David 11, Aaron 9, Caroline 6 and Rhoda Ann 2, all of them dying between January 26, 1878 and February 24, 1878. One brother and three sisters lived to raise large families. The blessing given George and Elizabeth was truly fulfilled.

The spring of 1859 George B. planted four acres of fruit trees, mostly peaches. This was a fortunate project because they later brought in many dollars. Young George learned about fruit raising and planted his own orchards on his own farm after he was married.

In the fall of 1859, George B’s young brother, Reuben J. Bailey, who was taking care of their mother, Ann Smith Bailey, on a farm in Spanish Fork, accidentally shot himself in the leg and died a few days later. This necessitated George B. taking his little family of four children to his mother’s home to help her harvest her crops.

This was perhaps little George’s first long trip and it almost proved to be a most disastrous one. As there were no bridges over the Provo River at that time, it was necessary to ford the river. Even though it was autumn the river had a lot of water in it. While fording the river with an ox team the wagon box with Elizabeth, her four little ones and a crippled woman who was riding with them, floated downstream off the wagon chassis. The wagon box floated to a sandbar which saved their lives as the father vainly tried to hold the wagon together. The oxen swam ashore with him following after them. He got help and rescued his family from the sand bar. The children were recovering from the measles and as a result of this, Elizabeth the twin, caught cold and lost her hearing for many years.

The family lived in Spanish Fork for awhile but because there was so much trouble with the Indians, they moved back to Mill Creek. Here they found that a cloud burst had caused Mill Creek to flood and carry rocks over the young orchard. A channel had been washed under the north room of their adobe house. They tore it down and built two small rooms back of the south room.

When George was nearly nine years old, his father married a second wife, Elsie Marie Anderson, February 8, 1868. The two women lived in peace and harmony. Elizabeth helped her husband and sons with the fruit and bees while Elsie took care of the small children. The peaches had begun bearing which brought in more income. The first stove that they had was purchased at this time. The children were very glad when their father took a second wife because all the men in the community had more wives, better dishes and homes than they did.

One time the family found a swarm of bees in a small tree. These they caught and hived, thus beginning another profitable business for them. George Brown was called “Bailey the Bee Man.”

Young George learned many trades as a youth. When he married and started his own home and farm, he put this knowledge into practice on his own place.

When the new year of 1878 came in all was well with the Bailey family. For the first time all of the children had underwear and there was plenty to eat. Ellen Maria had married Thomas Griffith Humphrey, December 21, 1874 and Joseph Hyrum had married Ann Crane, December 27, 1877. These were the two oldest members of the family and they had moved to Salina, Utah.

Then the terrible epidemic of diphtheria struck the family. On the 26 of January 1878, Caroline age 6 died. One by one, Isaac 17, Rhoda Ann 2, David William 11 and Aaron Charles 9, died with the same disease. Also two of George Bailey’s second family, Mary Ann and Frank, died within the month. What a sad experience this must have been for those who had to help bury the dead! A whole volume could be written of the heartache, long days and nights of caring for the sick. George S. being only nine years old, surely shared the sad responsibility of caring for the sick and burying the dead members of his family.

In July of this same year, 1878, Joseph Hyrum, the oldest son contracted diphtheria and died in Salina, Utah, leaving his young wife, Ann, to bear his child five months later. She was named Josephine and was called Josie.

One of Elsie’s babies, James Andrew, had died in June 1876 at six months of age. Then when her eight-year-old, Mary Ann, and five-year-old Edward Francis died of diphtheria, in the disastrous month of February, 1878, it must have been almost more than she could bear. Only her six-month old Heber John survived. Other sons and a daughter were born later and grew to adulthood. George loved his half-brothers and sisters and they often visited in his home.

His father wrote the following poem which expressed their grief:

--In Loving Remebrance (By George B. Bailey—1878
(Written by Edwin Lamborn in the family record book)

Our Carrie dear, and Isaac too,
And Rhoda dear so fond
With Mary Ann and little Frank
David and Charles are gone.
And now our boy our first born child
Has gone to join the rest,
He was cut down though young in life
And left his wife bereft.
He was esteemed, he gained a name,
Among the Saints of God
His life was spent in doing good
He bowed beneath the rod.
We miss our boys, our darling girls,
When we are all alone.
We see their hats, their clothes, their toys,
Around our silent home.
Now they are gone to realms of bliss,
Far, far from wicked men,
While we are left to mourn their loss
Until our days shall end.
And when our time shall come at last,
To meet them all again.
May we be found, faithful and true
With Christ our King to reign.

George’s father was a great horticulturist and often was asked to give advice to his neighbors. It was said that he developed a green rose. From the humble beginning of one swarm of bees, he developed a profitable honey business. Young George learned to care for bees and produce honey, also to make molasses from sugar cane and help with the fruit drying and selling. In 1869 the family cut and dried 1300 bushel of peaches which they sold to Teasdale Store for ten cents a pound.

My father was not an educated man as far as the 3 R’s were concerned. It makes me wonder why his father who had been a school teacher in England and in Salt Lake Valley, didn’t help his son to become more scholarly. But he knew how for his land, plant orchards and make them produce, train horses and work them well, apportion precious water to all on the ditch and to care for cattle.

He loved youth and had great skill in handling them at ward parties and dances. Sunday School was held in the Old Mill Creek Ward house. In the spring buggies could not get through the mud so George rod his horse, Old Tom, to church where he was the librarian. The love of his family, his children, grandchildren, neighbors and their kids and the ward members, didn’t need the 3 R’s to influence them to respect and enjoy him.

One of George’s best friends was George Lund. They courted the Price sisters on West Temple near the present 33rd South. George Lund went to see Isabelle and George Bailey took Victoria. Both girls had been purposely named for queens and were expected to act like them. The first time he went out with Victoria Caroline was to a show in Mill Creek Ward. Most of the time the young men came together in a big two-seated wagon that they called Noah’s Ark. Sometimes they would come on horses and George and Victoria would go horse-back riding. One fourth of July the four went to a celebration where the City and County Building now stands given by the Eighth Ward. They went to see Fort Douglas which was the first time for the girls. As was the custom then, the parlor was kept for very special company and occasions, so the sisters entertained the boys in the kitchen.

They were married in the Endowment House on November 2, 1883, two weeks after George Lund and Isabelle were married. George Brown Bailey bought enough material for the wedding dresses of Victoria, Isabelle and Elizabeth, George’s twin sister who was married the same day he was to William Bird Humphrey. The brides had to accept his choice as money and meterial were very scarce. Victoria said her dress did not look too bad as her mother was an excellent seamstress and had taught her daughter well. She and Belle helped each other.

They lived in the large upstairs bedroom of her parent’s home for several weeks after their marriage, then moved to their own home on the present east 33rd South, then known as 14th South. George must have been an ambitious young man because he had purchased 15 acres of land from his father on which a two-room brick home had been built. Other additions were later made. In this home all twelve of their children were born and here George and Victoria died in 1932.

The young couple worked very hard together to make the farm pay. They also found that fruit raising was a profitable business so they planted peaches, also cherries, apples and plums. Besides these they planted small fruits like strawberries, raspberries and black currants to supplement their income which they needed to care for their large family. Many people from the city came to buy fruit. Much of it was taken in a buggy to the big city market early in the morning. Sometimes they took the fruit up on the Avenues where the richer people lived and the peddled it from door to door.

George had to go away from home to get work, leaving Vic to care for the farm, the animals and their little children, who came along quite regularly every two years. He drove a high water wagon for the county. He hauled gravel from the gravel pit in East Mill Creek. (I loved to ride with him on the high seat and eat sandwiches from his lunch.)

He developed asthma which caused him much discomfort when he had to work in the hay. His sons soon grew up to take over their share of the farm work. He suffered many years from the asthma attacks and it was a traumatic experience for his young family to watch him gasping for breath.

He loved horses all of his life. At age 19 his father let him take his team to haul freight to Fort Thornburg in Ashley Valley, near present Vernal, Utah. This trip was over some rough country but his father must have trusted him. An account is included with this history.

Freighting to Fort Thornburg
(As related by my father, George Smith Bailey)

“How would you like to take a load of freight to Fort Thornburg?” my father asked me one evening in the early autumn of 1880 when I was 19 years old.

“There are four wagons to leave in the morning and I’ve told them you’d go along with my wagon. You can drive Jane and Polly. They are in good condition.”

I was rather surprised at the idea because it would be my first experience like that I’d had. I had heard of the many dangers that early freighters had encountered like crossing the tricky Green River, but I will not attempt it under any consideration.

“They’ll know at Park City whether you’ll have to cross the river or not, so you can find out there before you load up”, my father advised me.

I offered to drive my own team, but my father’s horses were in much better condition for such a strenuous trip. I was promised that during my absence my younger brother would not be allowed to drive or use my own team.

Early next morning I was ready to stat with the other men—Haymond Reynolds, Otto Green, both older than I, and Henry Boden with a friend, John Redmond who went just for the trip, and who were my age.

The purpose of the trip was to freight food supplies to Fort Thornburg where government soldiers had been sent to try to keep the peace between the White River Indians who lived east of Green River, and the Utes who were located west of the river. Both tribes at this time were on the warpath.

Fort Thornburg was located in the northwest part of Ashley Valley in Uintah County, in the section now known as Maeser. Part of the old Fort is still standing near the residence of Mr. J. P. Hacking.

At Park City, which was a thriving little mining town, almost as large in the eighties as it is now, we loaded our four wagons. The freight consisted of strong wooden boxes filled with canned foods of all varieties – peas, beans, tomatoes, all kinds of fruits. We were to be paid by the tonnage we carried. Officials very definitely warned us not to be friendly with any Indians we might meet – that is, not to camp, eat or trade with them. I was relieved to find that we did not have to cross any river, so was eager to be on the way.

Heber City, which was then a little town, was our next stop. When we passed a ranch house at the south of Daniel’s Canyon, I realized that would be the last house of any kind we would see until we reached Ft. Thornburg. The roads, which were really just trails, were difficult to travel over through the canyon. One of the men said he’d wager anyone that we crossed and recrossed the canyon stream 90 times. It took us three days to reach the head of Daniels.

The roads through Strawberry Valley were not so bad as there had been other freighters and Indians travel over them during the summer.

One night we stopped near Soldier Creek. Not far away a tribe of Utes was camped. Haymond Reynolds could speak and understand a little of the Indian language so he went to the Ute Chief to inquire of the chances for our safety. Here began one of our most interesting and amusing incidents. These Indians were on their way to Salt Lake to get winter supplies. The old chief shook his head sadly and pointed to the group around the fire. For several days he had tried to get them to travel farther but there they sat in a ring, gambling. Their game was somewhat like the one we play called “Up Jinks”. They were divided into two sides with a pile of money and sticks between them. One side would pass a stick behind them, chanting aloud in a monotone all the while. The player on the opposite side would point his finger and grunt to the person whom he thought had the stick. If he were right in his judgment, he was given a stick which could later be pawned for the money.

We camped a ways from the Indians, but when darkness came we drew closer to watch the gamblers. When I thought it was time to go to bed I suggested that we go to the wagons.

“Him scared, him scared,” an old squaw laughed as she drew the attention of the group to me. I tried to tell her I wasn’t afraid, but she repeated it seeming to enjoy my embarrassment.

As we neared Red Creek we sensed trouble for the stream was booming. It took six and eight of our best horses to pull one wagon across the stream and on to the top of the ravine.

We met one lone man who was carrying his load on his back across the water and up the extremely steep hill. He had been with another party of freighters, but they had left him behind. Realizing that his team could not cross with the wagon loaded, he was having a dreadful time relieving their burden by carrying it on his back.

It had been Henry Boden’s and my work to catch the horses each morning which had been turned loose the night before to find food, while the other men had prepared breakfast. The morning we were to leave our camp which was located then near Ft. Duchesne, we arose very early in order to have the horses ready to leave soon enough for us to get to Ft. Thornburg in good time. Henry and I hunted for several hours, but no horses could be found, not even their tracks.

We called for the other men’s help and finally followed a stream to where it widened and there was a small green plain by the banks and here we found our horses grazing very contentedly. By this time it was too late for us to make the proposed trip so we waited until the next morning to leave, finding our horses in the same place as on the previous morning.

The trip to Ft. Thornburg was so easy that we arrived in plenty of time to unload our freight at the soldier houses and return to our former camp near Ft. Duchesne that night.

Our return trip was not difficult, but a great surprise awaited us when we met a man on horseback at the head of Daniels Canyon who stated that word had been carried to Park City that the Indians had killed all of us, and he had been sent by the Government to verify the story.

It was a splendid trip, taking only twenty-one days, which was record breaking time. My team which had been sleek and fat on leaving were now showing signs of the hard trip.

The weather had been perfect. At Park City we encountered our first storm, and also met our Indian friends facing the snow and sleet.

Our wages were paid at Park City, mine amounting to $72.00. This I took to my father as was the custom, but he said, “You take it, you’ve earned it all right.”

George needed good horses to pull the water wagon he drove to wet the country roads. His team was capable of hauling heavy loads of gravel. Nan was a fine mare that he was proud of but her colt, Jack, was a greater delight. Jack was a large spirited workhorse—a real challenge to a teamster. The buggy horse was Queen. She was trained to pull the surrey for the women to drive. Victoria loved to ride out through Holiday with Queen pulling the buggy or surrey.

What a delight for his family when George would hitch up the team to the bob-sled with sleigh jells jingling around the horses’ necks. He would fill the wagon box with straw, lay the oven-warmed rocks in just the strategic places, then throw in innumerable quilts to cover his happy family, neighbor youngsters, or anyone who wanted a sleighride in the cold, frosty air of winter.

I remember going to the Brighton area with him one time to Uncle Reub’s sheep camp. Dad rode in the saddle and I hung on behind feeling perfectly secure that he could guide the horse through the thick timber up the steep mountain to the sheep camp. When the first children were small they had to walk two miles to school. Sometimes George would hitch the horse to the buggy and take them. He never learned to drive a car because cars didn’t stop when he said, “Whoa!”

A popular resort in those days was Calder’s Park. He would occasionally take his little family there to enjoy the boat rides.

George was a very honest man and he paid his church obligations first. He worked in the Sunday School for many years and always wanted to be on time. If he couldn’t be on time, he preferred to stay at home. He often was disturbed when his younger daughters loitered in getting places promptly. His nephew, Leonard, tells of the time he thought he was late for Sunday School but when he saw Uncle George going by he knew he still had time to get there.

He served on the Recreation Committee of the ward and controlled the dances. The somewhat rowdy youth had great respect for him and he was able to conduct the dances and plays in an orderly fashion and still let them have a good time.

Records show that he was baptized 3 October 1867 and ordained a priest in Mill Creek Ward, 28 January 1883 by Jens Hansen.

He was a tall, thin man who was active until his last illness slowed him down. He could sit on his feet with his toes turned to the outside. This position put him on the level of his grandchildren whom he loved to play with. He loved to walk through the peach orchard and bring in choice samples. He wasn’t able to eat much fruit but he loved to watch others enjoy it.

Perhaps it was about a year before his death that he noticed that he was losing the feeling in his legs and feet. One day he didn’t come in from his walk around the place. When someone found him he was up in a peach tree and couldn’t feel his way to step down. That was his last tree climbing. In January of 1932 he went to his bed and was bedfast until September 1932 when he died on a Sunday afternoon. Mrs. Belva Barlow became an important member of our household as she came every day to care for him. During his illness he would lay in bed and sometimes listen to carpenters up the street driving nails in by hitting them many times. This bothered him and he would say, “They only need two hits to drive in those nails”.

He had loved to take trips and would tell in great detail about them, especially his trip to Catalina Island with Ed when he became so seasick. He loved to go to Idaho to spend some time with Edith’s George R’s and Irene’s families.

I remember telling my friends that my dad had gone to Idaho to buy a farm and we were all going to move up there. Perhaps if he had had better health he might have done this.

Myrl lived in Coalville, Utah and a trip to see her family was such a pleasure to him.

He had a good time with his Five Little Girls. We always said that even though he claimed to be deaf, he could hear what he wanted to. Sometimes we would say things that he would scold us for saying when we didn’t think he had heard us. When he was so ill we liked to play jokes on him like putting glasses on him without any lenses and asking him if he could see better, or we would fix new desserts to tempt his appetite. He loved our youth and sorrowed to be so incapacitated. His illness was diagnosed as pernicious anemia. His body had been weakened for years by an asthmatic condition. He died September 25, 1932 and following funeral services held in the Wilford Ward Chapel, he was buried in Wasatch Lawn Burial Park near his beloved daughter, Chrystal, who had died December 19, 1930.

This is the account written in the Salt Lake Tribune after Dad’s death—

September 26, 1932 – George S. Bailey

George S. Bailey, 73, retired farmer, died at his home, 1728 East Thirty-third South, Sunday at 5:30 p.m. of pernicious anemia. He was born in Mill Creek, April 13, 1859 and lived there all of his life. He was a member of the L.D.S. Church. Surviving are his widow, Mrs. Victoria C. Bailey and the following children: George R. Bailey and Mrs. Amos B. Jacklin, Blackfoot, Idaho; Mrs. W.E. Thomas, Riverton; W. Francis, Gerwin P., Beatrice W., Verna V. and Mildred L. Bailey and Mrs. Erland Sondrup, Salt Lake; Joseph E. Bailey, Los Angeles, Cal, and Mrs. Lester M. Norberg, Coalville.

To every child in a family the impression of parents is different depending on various conditions—place in the family, age of parents, financial conditions, the sex, individual’s personality, etc. In writing their part of “I Remember Father”, my brothers and sisters show these differences.

Being the baby girl when finances were better and I could go to the University of Utah, made life completely different to that of my oldest sister, Edith, who had to work hard with her parents to get a start in life. Keeping this in mind I am sure you will enjoy these accounts of Father as his children remembered him and loved him.


The following memoirs were written of George Smith
Bailey by his children during 1954 and 1955, for the benefit
And enjoyment of those who knew and loved him, and of the
Many descendants who had not the privilege of living in his


I remember Father as being a very good man, but his word was law. We knew when he spoke we were to mind. I never remember him slapping me. He always called me “Eddy”. He always wanted his meals on time—breakfast at six, dinner at twelve and supper at five. I did most of the cooking after I was fourteen. I was called at five every morning. Father wanted potatoes for every meal, every day in the week. He cooked potatoes and creamed them one day when Mother had gone to town-I never tasted potatoes that tasted like they did. He always expected me to have the wash basin full of warm water for him to wash in when he came in for meals. After he retired he would come to our home on washdays to have dinner with us. I always had to cook dinner for Ame. He would say the folks at home don’t fix dinner until they are through with the wash. We always enjoyed his visits. He was a very good sport to go on a trip with. He did not care to fish, but would cook the meals.

When we lived in Gannett and Bellevue, he went to the canal one day (the water had been turned out) and caught a bucket full of white fish. He surely was thrilled. He stayed with us for six weeks one fall.

When we were small we had two miles to go to school. If he was not working he would hitch the horse on the buggy and take us. Also, when we were young and went to Hills Park for the day, he would take us boat riding. He would give us fifteen cents apiece for spending money. We could buy a big sack of candy with that much money. It was a big day for us.

Whatever I did for Father, I was told to hurry, even when I went to get him his cup of tea. He was a very honest man and always paid his church debts first. He worked in the Sunday School for many years. It was a long ways to go to Church. We had a two-seated buggy so he always took a big load with him. When the circus came to town he would hitch the team on the big wagon and take all the neighborhood kids to see the parade. That was the day we all had pink popcorn. I could write many pages about him. He was a wonderful man. My family loved to have him come and stay with us.

Were I blessed with a better memory there are no doubt many interesting incidents which could be recalled to help provide a good picture in words of Father. His was a life of constant struggle for the material things of life as fourteen grown or growing individuals of his household made demands for food, shelter and clothing, besides many other incidentals. Since memory does not serve me too well, it is hoped the following impressions may add at least a little to the picture his children are trying to provide. No chronological order is followed as it seems many of these things began early and continued over the years, while others were just incidental.

Two among the many virtues of father stand out in my recollections. He was honest to the nth degree and tardiness was unforgiveable and nigh a cardinal sin. The first is well illustrated by a homely example and the remark made by Bro. Harline to an acquaintance of father. This individual wished to buy a certain cow and had asked father about its qualities. In turn he had also talked with Brother Harline and repeated father’s evaluation. Brother Harline’s reply was, “If George Bailey says that’s what the cow is, that’s what it is”.

It seems but yesterday that early each Sunday morning we were all astir preparing for attendance at Sunday School. Not all the twelve children had arrived at the Bailey home when the long trip to Millcreek Ward was necessary, but mother washed, dressed and fed the earlier arrivals and we were loaded into the wagon and hied off to church. I recall that at least enough of us had opened out mortal eyes to make Sunday morning one of considerable hustle and bustle. Suffice to say we were never late. Father was either on time or he stayed at home. He was a religious man, but in no sense sanctimonious. I recall each morning’s family devotion was as regular as the breaking of the day. Just to get on our knees together as a family had its values, even though the same prayer was voiced each time by father. Part of it was always a mystery to me, but it was done with the best of intent and sincerely expressed. Aid in constructing the new Wilford Ward Chapel was given in many hours of labor. He helped direct the ward dances as a member of the ward amusement committee, and as a youth, I marveled with some pride at his reported procedures in handling the ruffians who occasionally tried to disrupt the evening’s entertainment. He was afraid of no one, but fair in his dealings with everyone.

He was the peer of band cutters on the old horsepower threshing machines, with a crew composed of John White, Joseph Waller, Edward White, John Lithgoe and William Waller. A lover and excellent judge of good horses –old Fan, Nan, Prince (the one-eyed horse which Geo. R. traded off for a balky buggy horse) and Jack, the son of Nan were among the many he prized. A trip to the circus parade in the large wagon with dad was a gala occasion. There were some fearful moments as the horses became excited at the elephants or the sound of the caliope. We probably were taken to the parade because it was free, but never to the circus. The bobsleigh rides just for fun and the trips to and from school are now just fond remembrances. The sleigh was usually filled to overflowing with kids. Going to the canyon for winter logs and bringing back as a bonus a sack of wild chicken, which he proudly deposited on the kitchen floor, was always most interesting to us youngsters. Many trips were made with father as he took a load of grain to old Husler’s Mill in exchange for our winter flour. Jury duty and the court contest with White’s to hold irrigation rights were much discussed experiences. Brick hauling provided most of the money income and trips with him were sort of an adventure. The shoulder injury occurred as he and I were hauling hay on the Spear’s property, now Wasatch Lawn Cemetery. He was on the load which was about finished when without warning the horses started and father was thrown to the ground. He never had medical attention and though he suffered considerably he carried on with his work.

Father was a man of action and the last year or so of his life must have been tragic for him. He often commented while confined to his bed, that with winter passing, the warm sunshine would help mend his wasting body. He was honored and respected by many and I honor his memory and appreciate the heritage he in part imparted.

—By – W. FRANK BAILEY (No. 5)

[The following are notes made by Gerwin not long before he passed away on December 30, 1954] 1st remembrance: 3 yrs. Old in family picture. Took us to Millcreek Ward Sunday School in wagon. Drove Band Wagon in Jubilee celebration. Remember father going to get grandmother Bailey to help out at sister Myrl’s birth. Grandma showed her to me. Old Nan’s birth about 1900. Mother told me father had something special to show me out in the stable. Her image as a colt still stays on my mind. The A.M. Bea was born, dad hustled Frank and I off to Thirkelsons to pile hay. We rode skinny old Fan with a special spur made from an old wire hairbrush – what a life. Dad’s concern and help to mother in caring for me when I was sick (at age 7) with rheumatism; calling in Jesse Murphy as Doc.; going or sending to Jas. Alexander for drugs. As I remember, all the prescriptions tasted like sweet nitre. (In those days you weren’t a good gorse if you didn’t get better on sweet nitre) Going to Aunt Bell’s for a red crib for me. It stood on exact spot where I am now writing this, and laid up with rheumatism.

Father’s sending Geo. R. on mission to Southern States – their worry and concern about his contraction of malaria. Father hauling the stones for foundation of Wilford Ward meeting house. Always willing and ready to do his part. His going up the canyon for load of wood (quaking aspens) with Geo. R., Uncle Heber Bailey and Dave Davis and bringing back young eagle. Eagle grabbed Dave by leg and almost got away. His going to get Old Ewes on the sheep trail which he brought back for $1 each, using the legacy of $5.00 which I received from Grandmother Price for having the name of Pratt. Also his going to Wm. C. Winder on 27th So. & 4th E. with the colt (which Frank received from Uncle Brig. F. Price for having the name of Francis) to trade for Lady, the shetland pony. What fun we kids had with her. This must have been about 1905-6. I was a deacon and Frank and I drove Lady in the 2-wheel cart to Granite Stake House to sing in the Evan Stevens boys’ chorus. Dad and mother always insisted on us going to our P.H. meetings. Early recollections: Father, Uncle Heber and I, or three others that I do not recall, drove a sheep wagon to Idaho Falls about 1900. They were looking for farm land-couldn’t find any worth having. Wow! I remember listening to dad tell about his freighting trips to carry supplies to U.S. Army up near Fr. Duchesne. He was about 15 yrs. of age at the time.

Something to do: It was the lot of Frank and I to haul the manure out of the corrals and sheds in the winter time, and then hoe the weeds in the summer. I recall the growing of sorghum on the place, the stripping of the leaves by the girls and boys and then hauling it to Hy Murphy’s mill, where several times the juice got burned and could not be used. The sleigh rides on a Saturday afternoon; the trips up the canyon to pick hops; the time dad, Amos Jacklin, Geor. R., Frank and I took a 3-day fishing trip down East Canyon, the days when dad gathered up all the pet calves in the Valley, the branding, etc. and the fun we had getting them started out in the right direction; the way the Rasmussen boys and old man would pop those critters on the side with a -2-ft. blacksnake.
-G. P. Bailey (No. 6)

I remember father as a very honest and trustworthy man; his word was as good as his bond. I will start with my fondest memory of dad which was his and Crystal’s visit to California, highlighted by his and my trip to Catalina Island. He was game and thrilled to try the ocean trip, but it wasn’t long after leaving port that he was so seasick that he had to lie down. He felt better after we landed on the Island and seemed to enjoy the sights very much, but said he would give a lot if he didn’t have to go back by boat; he was seasick again on the return trip. I remember his stories of freighting supplies to the Duchesne territory and experiences with the Indians on those trips.

My last whipping he gave me lives on in my memory. I was supposed to be helping to spread apricots on the roof to dry when a herd of sheep went by. I wanted to watch them, and he gave me permission, but said not to follow them. I disobeyed and followed them – he was soon following me, and when I looked back and saw him coming after me, I knew the consequences, so I cut thru the field and back to the job, but he came back and made me get down off the shed and gave me a whipping that I have never forgotten, wore out two sticks and used his hand for good measure. After all is said and done, I don’t think I ever got any more whippings from him than I needed.

On one trip I went with him hauling lumber to Brighton. I remember being left at the top of each hill while he went back with his team to help the next wagon up. At one of these stops, I went to a nearby spring to get a drink, and lying down on my stomach, I looked into the water and saw a pocket watch which had fallen from someone’s pocket. I was so excited I forgot to get the drink. The watch was full of water, rusted and would not run, but when we got started back after unloading the lumber, the jar of the wagon over the rough road started it to run, but as soon as I got off the wagon the watch stopped, so dad sent it to the repairman and had it fixed for me, but it was never a good timekeeper, so I traded it to dad for something and what finally became of it, I don’t remember.

I will always remember the hog killing days in the fall. It always seemed dad picked the coldest days for that job. Father was very disgusted with me because I couldn’t milk one of the cows without having trouble with her.

To me, father was an example of the kind of people it would take to make an Utopia of this world.

As I sit and wonder just where to begin, my thoughts go back to the time when I was a small child and father and Ame administered to me. He held me on his lap. I must have felt very sure in his arms because I was soon asleep. Then there was the trip to Woodland: as we were riding along, a coyote ran across the road. It was the first one I had ever seen, so father stopped the horses, and we watched until it was out of sight. Then not long after we saw some sage hens which dad was certain must be someone’s turkeys because they were so large.

Now my thoughts are of the time when he drove the school wagon. If we weren’t ready when he came, he never waited very long for us. He treated us no differently than anyone else who rode. I always hated Wednesday because that was Religion Class day and when we reached Highland Drive, father would stop and say, “Everybody out and get over to the church”.

When winter came and tere was plenty of snow, father would come to school and get us in the sleigh. I can hear those sleigh bells now. I never remember dad drinking milk, but oh!! how he loved a dish of clabbered milk. He would get the sugar bowl and cover part of the pan of milk with sugar and then eat it like it was a very choice dessert. And he loved Rhode Island greening apples. When he pitted them in the fall, he always kept a few choice ones out and put them in his dresser drawer until they were soft and yellow. Then he would cut them in two, get a spoon and go in by the stove, sit in his favorite chair, wind his legs around each other and scrape the inside from the apple – very seldom breaking the skin. This was the only way I ever saw him eat an apple. I can see his old glasses parked in the east window. To this day I can’t see how he kept them on, never did go around his ears – just poked into the side of his face, but “he sure could see good with them”, so he said. There was the can of ashes he kept under the stove to spit in. Mother always worried for fear the grandchildren would find it.

Father had been brought up to think that man was superior to woman, so he or the boys always prayed or asked the blessing, and when we girls took some of the food first, he would say, “Remember the boys haven’t had any”, and he would keep an anxious eye on us until we finished. His food always had to be very hot. One day when he was in bed, I took bowl of soup right from the stove into him and when he tasted it, he said, “Girl, this tastes just like swill”. Uncle Reub was there, and in his own explanatory way, told dad that it was even too hot for him to eat. He loved lots of pepper-his fried eggs were nearly black with it. When we washed the dishes we never could put soap in the water because dad had to have it for the pigs. What good they ever got out of the few little bits of food in it is doubtful.

The pads dad wore on his hands when he hauled brick always intrigued me, also the corn husking peg that he made and kept hanging in the granary. There were the big sacks of popcorn hung high in the roof of the barn so the mice couldn’t get to them. I can see him now as he husked the corn, putting the stalk under his knee after he had taken all the ears off. I always marveled at the way he could tie a bundle of grain that the reaper had failed to tie. The grain had to be stood up straight in the shocks so they would dry. Then came the day for the threshers-what a day! Mother and the older girls cooked the day before so there would be more than plenty for the men. In those days the men would come and stay at the place until the threshing was done, but we kids loved it because after they had gone we could go out and run around the place where the horses had been and then we would hunt for strawstrings. We were never allowed to climb on the stack-the straw must be kept good to use for bedding for the animals and chickens.

I can remember father serving as water master on the Hoagland Ditch for many years and how many times he threatened to take the Whites or Neffs to court if they didn’t stop stealing water. Father was a great friend of the Negroes. Many were the times old man Chambers came down to ask father’s advice and Henry Leggroan came down to talk to dad about Sarah’s trouble. I always held my breath when the gypsies came. Father never hesitated a minute to tell them to get going; that he didn’t want anything to do with them. I remember the time mother wanted to have the water in the house and dad just couldn’t see why we needed it when the ditch was so close. But he finally gave in and a barrel was put in at the top of the field and a pipe ran down to the house. He enjoyed it just as much as any of us. He also fought against having the toilet put in the house, but finally agreed to that also.

I guess I was the closest to dad when we picked fruit together. He was always there to move the ladder, take the full buckets and get more boxes. I think he enjoyed hooking up old Queen or Jeff and coming over to Paradise to haul back the fruit. There were many little things dad loved to do for us. I remember him buying me a pair of overalls to wear while I picked fruit because he was afraid I might get hung up by my dresses. There was the time after I was married that he saved me some very nice peaches – one or two left on a tree. When father picked strawberries, I never remember him eating one. He told us to always put the berries in the box just as we picked them – not to keep the large ones for the top.

Dad was always on time. If he wasn’t he would turn around and go home. We always got a kick out of Aunt Lizzie’s visits; she delighted in telling things about dad, and he would get disgusted and say, “Now Lizzie, you know that’s not true.”

The first time we took him out to Coalville, he was so thrilled to show us where he had hauled coal from the horses and wagon. I still wonder how he slept under so many covers. There was the pair of woolen socks mother had knit, then a hot brick or water bottle, then a quilt folded several times, besides the regular bedding – and still his feet wouldn’t get warm. I remember father’s box he kept on the shelf in the bedroom containing all his tax receipts and the paper for his water turns, also his store teeth he never could wear. During the cold winter days, the water would freeze in the ditch, so father would put two large barrels in the sleigh and go to Leggroans to fill them with water. We kids generally went too. I can remember father fixing umbrellas on pitch forks so we could shade ourselfes while picking black currants. I can see father out on the lawn with his legs under him and his feet turned out. Then there was the night mother and father had the Ward Reunion at home. Father spent nearly all day putting up just as many swings as he could in the big old boxelder trees west of the house. He and mother always seemed to differ on how often the horses should be fed: dad would feed them 3 times a day whether they were working or not, and mother insisted that twice a day was enough in the winter time. Father always fed his animals very well. I can remember when father would take something really hard to eat, mother would say, “George, you can’t chew that”, and he would reply, “I’ll gum it”. Then mother would say, “Your gums aren’t strong enough for that”. Dad would answer, “Just put your finger in my mouth and I’ll show you how hard I can bite”. I never remember dad writing a letter.

I think the last trip he took was out to Coalville. He had come to spend a week with me while Lester was in Provo to school. His legs became very numb and he could hardly wait until Friday so he could go home. From then on his health failed and I never saw him many times after that. I was in bed after the birth of Carol when he passed away, but from what mother told me, I guess his last thoughts were of me. She told me that he insisted on their coming to see how I was, but they stayed just long enough for dinner and when they returned he said, “How is she?” They told him O.K. In a half hour he was gone.

My regrets are that I couldn’t have done just a little more for him, because he so appreciated the least little attention given him. May I live so I can be with him again. - By MYRL B. NORBERG (No. 8)

I often wish that in my earlier years, I had become acquainted with Dad as I did the last ten years of his life. Perhaps my recollections of childhood may not have been any brighter but a closer companionship and understanding could have been longer enjoyed. As a child, it was impressed on me that a certain aloofness must be maintained at all times –maybe due to his asthmatic condition. But to have sat on his lap or kissed the top of his bald head or placed a loving arm around his neck would have been good for the both of us. He was hungry for appreciation and affection.

To go back to my childhood memories, I would like to add some of the trademarks and events that marked George Bailey as our Dad. They may not be in chronological sequence but stand out as pleasant happenings to the #9 child. Remember the red pocket handkerchief? Always hanging part way out the back pocket of his bib overalls. Also, his old felt hats browned with sweat and dust. And his whiskers and moustache that must be trimmed ever so often. There was the gold watch grandfather gave him that had a shoelace chain for everyday but sported the gold chain, with fob, for best. The suspenders must always be worn to hold up the pants over those slim hips. The tie that someone always had to tie. His special walk up the street on his way from church especially if it were about time for a meal. Could see him clear down to Uncle Charley’s. The flu mask he wore so religiously because he was sure it helped clear up his asthma—a bit soiled at times and on winter days a fine frosting of ice was visible.

Such things as turning the water at 2:00 A.M., flooding the lawn, cleaning the chicken house, wondering if the cesspool would fill up, moving the outhouse, making cider in the press, knocking down early harvest apples to float downstream to the dam in the lawn, midwifing for a new calf some cold winter night, cutting potatoes for planning so an eye was there, cutting off a chicken’s head, bringing home white, round peppermints and a barrel of gingersnaps from town, getting the paper so he could read the news with those old dime store glasses, putting a lump of coal in our stockings at Christmas, digging pits for the carrots and winter pearmain apples, going to Jack Hill’s for ice to make that special junket ice cream, winding the old phonograph so he could hear “The Hand of Fate”, doing his best to beat us at Rook, collecting us for family prayers, scything the ditch bank, winding the big clock, administering to the sick, or spoiling the grandchildren were all part of his everyday living.

I can see him now, coming towards the house with his canvassed-glove hands cupped to show us a family of baby mice he had found while husking corn, or a new chicken from a hen who had stolen her nest, or the first ripe strawberries, peaches and new potatoes, or a new kitten with its eyes still closed, or a double-yoked egg or a small pullet egg. Those hands were always full of surprises.

Dad always took such pride in his horses, maybe too severe at times when Nan objected to the collar but oats and hay were always ready to cream them with. When he drove the school bus, brick or gravel wagon, the sprinkler wagon, hauled out manure, used the plow, harrow, or that old square log for a marker, there was certain finesse to handling the reigns that he alone knew. We could not even slide down the haystack because the leaves which the horses preferred may be knocked off. Jack was his special joy and could do no wrong. It was with pride and a bit of fear that I liked to hold the horses while Dad took the black currants in to the homes on North Bench. My, what a distance for a few dollars. When he’d hitch up the team for an excursion we were all excited. The trip up Parley’s Canyon to gather hops for our Fourth of July root beer was an annual occasion and about the only time Dad took over the cooking. The fried potatoes never tasted so good as when he tended them. The trip to Woodland stands out as a gay adventure. The white top was loaded to the top with about all it could hold of food, family, and small fortune. There was time to stop to pick enormous mushrooms and stop over for a visit with the Rasmussens. We were all loaded aboard the white top or surrey to go to town for the circus parade or the Pioneer Day Parade. If he weren’t too busy he’d take us to Wandemere Park for Field Day.

What joy filled our hearts when he decided the snow was just right for a bobsled ride. Clean straw lay on the bottom which was later covered with old quilts and blankets. Heated brick from the oven kept us toasty warm until we decided to ride the back runners. He was a good sport. We had a wagon box to put on the runners of the bobsleigh and he would take us for a ride out toward Holiday. He would sometimes hook up old Queen and pull all the neighbor kids who wanted to hook on behind. Once in awhile we would work him into taking old Queen down on Saville’s Hill so she could pull the sleighriders back up the hill. Especially was this enjoyable when we took the schooner the boys had made and she pulled it back up the Hill. Sometimes we slid on Bailey’s Hill.

He was always a kindly man to folks whether they were second cousins from Laketown or Mike Keller with his Raleigh remedies, Indians or gypsies, or tramps begging, or rich dowagers who wanted to pick a loaded limb of cherries half the size of the tree; the Davis kids (even grown ones); Uncle Reub with his politics; or old man Perry with his shovel over his shoulder headed east for some water after church. He could “build” more roads and bridges than any Gillis or other engineer. To make sure he never cheated anyone, he would come from the cornfield with sixteen or so ears of corn when only a dozen was ordered. Every bushel of peaches was heaped to the top until no space was left to add another one.

Remember the excitement when a swarm of bees came our way? Tin pans were banged and water was thrown until Dad was ready in his mosquito net veil to place them in the hive. He could take the honey by manipulating the rag smudge so that no bee took revenge.

He was really the organizer when the threshers arrived. He tried to be in all locations at once to see that the precious grain was not lost. The old granary was cleaned and ready for the new harvest. We always thought the threshers stayed a bit longer than was necessary because they knew they would be rewarded with a sumptious meal. Dad would always say he hoped they could make out a dinner, knowing proudly that they sat down to a meal that could not be surpassed.

When the Rasmussen boys came for the calves every spring to take them to the mountains, Dad, with his GB brand was chief official to see that the mark was burned on just right.

With all the problems and worries rearing a family brings, I never saw Dad cry except the night I came home from Vernal to learn that Chrystal had passed away. I can’t tell how convulsed with sorrow his heart must have been but it about broke mine to see him sob so. He never would play Solitaire again after she wasn’t there to kibitz for him.

In his final illness he craved companionship, or shall I say an audience, while he droned on about his past life. I should have made notes at that time to be included in these memoirs although most of his thoughts were about his youth.

To some, my remembrance of Dad may not seem important but as one of the new songs goes, “Ever and ever, now and forever, little things mean a lot”.


Perhaps my first recollection of father was the occasion when all the children then at home were gathered around mother’s bed in the big west bedroom and father took his latest born child (probably Mid, his twelfth, because I would then have been at the impressionable age of five) into his arms and gave her a father’s blessing and a name. It was probably a very simple prayer, but we were all duly impressed with the importance and sanctity of the occasion. Father acquired a very important rating in my book when he was called to jury duty and had to dress up and go into town every day. Father stood for a lot of foolishness from us youngsters and when he could stand our tittering no longer, he would send us out of the room and tell us to stay away until we could behave ourselves. It was a special treat to sit on the high seat of the wagon with father and go with him when he hauled sand from the River or gravel from the pit on the East Bench. Father was basically very affectionate and it hurts to remember how little love any of us gave him, although, perhaps, we were not entirely to blame for the omission.

He loved to travel and made several trips to California to visit Ed. He was ready to go at any time. After we acquired the Model T Ford, he was always No. 1 man in the front seat. He knew every landmark in the country and enjoyed pointing them out – sometimes with near disastrous results if the point of interest happened to be on the driver’s side of the highway, for his long arm would cut across the driver’s vision. But we enjoyed having him go with us. As we grew older we discovered that he had a wonderful sense of humor and could be wheedled into doing things we would not have dared to suggest in our younger years – nothing bad, of course. His last days were a trial to him because he hated to be confined to a bed – he still had a lot of things to do and see. He was a great source of comfort to me in those last days when I was the only child still at home during the week. Father died on Sunday, September 25, 1932. His was the first death I had ever witnessed.
-By VERNA B. WILKE (No. 10)

As a child I loved to go into the fields with father, especially early in the spring when he did his plowing. The seagulls would alight in the furrows by the hundreds and he would tell us we could catch them if we put salt on their tails. We “little girls” would try so hard to do as he suggested and it amused him to watch us.

Father always drank green tree tea. I never remember him taking a drink of water. He seldom complained about anything, but he surely didn’t like Mother to let his tea stand or boil in the old coal stove. He’d say, “Ma, this is as bitter as gall”. Father always liked plain cake. If the cake had icing on it we children would always try to be the first one to speak for his icing. He never ate sweets, but he never went into town in the fall but what he brought home a big sack of candy after the taxes were paid. The candy was generally purchased at White’s Store on 33rd So. and Highland Drive, and it would be penny candy too.

I always loved to go to the gravel pit with Father. We’d always see blow snakes and swallows in the holes in the gravel banks. We’d spend our time while Father was loading gravel, picking the wild flowers which grew so thick all round the gravel pit.

The year before he died, I think I got closer to him than I had any time before in my life. Virginia was just a tiny tot, being born in 1930. I used to go out home and clean house two or three times a week and help him with the ironing etc. Father seemed to enjoy having his little granddaughter around. He’d play with her so much and delighted in teasing her with his cane. Virginia will always remember her Grandfather Bailey although she was just a baby.
-By IRIS B. SONDRUP (No. 11)

I REMEMBER FATHER as a rather stern person who would speak to us just once to discipline us and we never disobeyed. He belonged to the “old school” which taught that children should be seen and not heard. Many a time I felt I would nearly explode trying to keep back my childish laughter at the table and didn’t dare make any commotion. I never remember his spanking one of us, but we never quite dared to do anything in his presence of which he disapproved. I remember his devotion to his church duties. I was secretly proud to know he had been a member of the Bishops’ Court in the early days of the Church when difficulties within families and between neighbors were settled by the Church instead of going to legal courts. Grandfather Bailey had been a choir leader and a good singer, but my dad never inherited any of his talent. I remember standing by father’s side in Sacrament meeting and listening to his singing, “la, la, la, la” to every hymn. Whenever the ward teachers came, we had to all come in and listen to a lengthy discussion on water, politics, weather, etc.; then starting with father each of us would have to report on how we felt about the church.

I remember riding on the gravel wagon with father when he hauled gravel for the County. I loved to eat sandwhichs out of his lunch box with him. He was a true farmer, loving the soil. I remember following behind him walking in the furrows as he plowed. He had asthma very bad which was aggravated by being around hay, but he still did all he could with the farm work.

Father was a true-blue Democrat; Uncle Rueb Bailey, his only living brother, was just as staunch a Republican. They never got together that a political argument did not ensue. As a child I was always afraid they would end up fist-fighting, but they never did, and each went his way, just as strong in his political beliefs as ever and just as good friends. Father was as honest as a man could be and expected all his fellowmen to be the same. He lent money to people without a not to prove it and was sure they would repay.

He loved to go on trips. I remember the nights of getting to bed real early, then hardly sleeping from the excitement, then at 4:00 A.M. climbing into the Model T to go to Idaho to see Edith and George R. and families. It took all day and Dad loved every minute of it, and so did we. He always brought a barrel of ginger snaps or vanilla wafers for us to munch on. The last trip he took was in the spring of 1931. I had completed my second year of teaching in Cedar City, Utah. Bea and Dad came to get me and my belongings. We went home via Zion National Park, Bryce National Park and Salina, where we stayed overnight. He had to take his walking around a lot more slowly than we had noticed before, but he still wanted to see it all, so Bea and I helped him up the trails, so he didn’t miss a thing. I remember that he had his cookies along and we talked him into putting cheese between two to make a sandwhich. He thought we were crazy but he was a good sport on a trip.

His favorite name for us when we were little was “Dolly”. He wasn’t a person to show us much outward affection, but we knew he was proud of us when we had a special part to do in Church activities or in school programs.

George Smith Bailey was just my dad and I honor him for the good name of Bailey that he gave to me to use for twenty-five years until I was married to Grant L. Hacking.

Owner/SourceMildred Bailey Hacking
DateMar 1978
File nameGeorge Smith Bailey
File Size
Linked toGeorge Smith BAILEY

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