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Bailey Family Papers

 Collection — Container: 1
Identifier: SC-028

Scope and Contents

The Bailey Family collection consists largely of materials curated by Fred and Ethel Bailey from their missionary trip to Mexico from 1907-1911. Documents found in the collection include sermons written by Fred and Charles, church documents pertaining to the Methodist and Catholic churches, correspondences from before, during, and after their stay in Mexico, and various personal papers. Books found within the collection are primarily about the Methodist church, but also include nonfiction and fiction materials. The family compiled photographs in the form of postcards, both sent and unsent, unframed photographs, and framed photographs. These photographs show several members of the extended Bailey family. Several objects can be found within the collection, the majority of which are from Fred and Ethel’s time in Mexico. Fred and Ethel procured kitchenware, tools, toys, dishware, clothing, and household items from their stay in Mexico.


  • Created: 1848-1962
  • Other: Majority of material found in 1907-1911
  • Other: Date acquired: 07/07/2017


Conditions Governing Use

The donor grants Baker University Archives all right, title, and interest, including all copyright, trademark, and related interests, in and to the described property. The donor retains the right to access the property upon request by family members.

Biographical or Historical Information

The Bailey Family Collection contains documents, books, photographs, and objects collected by various members of the Bailey family. Several members of the Bailey family are alumni of Baker University, and worked for the United Methodist Church. This collection focuses primarily on two members of the Bailey family: Charles and Fred. The patriarch of the family, Charles William Bailey, was born in Boscobel, Wisconsin on February 10, 1848. Charles was a Civil War veteran, enlisting in the Union army at the age of fifteen. Charles fought under General Grant in the Battle of Vicksburg. After the war, Charles worked as a cattle rancher on the Chisholm trail. Charles stopped ranching after meeting Mary E. Stark, whom he married on December 4, 1877. During the first four years of marriage, Charles and Mary lived on a farm in Humboldt, Kansas. Inspired by his faith, and with a natural inclination to preaching, he enrolled at Baker University in 1881 to study Methodism. While a student at Baker, Charles would ring the bell at 8:00 a.m. announcing students to go to class, and at 10:00 p.m. for students to return to their dorms. Charles also worked as a custodian while attending classes. In 1887 Charles graduated with his Bachelor of Arts degree from Baker University, and was ordained a pastor shortly thereafter. Charles graduated from Baker University in 1890 with a Master’s degree, and from Allegheny College in 1897 with a Ph.D. After finishing his schooling, Charles and Mary lived in various towns in Kansas: In LeRoy from 1888-1889, Princeton from 1889-1893, Louisburg from 1893-1897, Cherryvale from 1897-1900, Yates Center from 1900-1906, and Garnett from 1906-1909. Charles became the district superintendent for the Methodist Episcopal Church Ft. Scott district from 1909-1916, and was a representative in the Methodist conference for two years. Charles retired in 1916 and returned to Baldwin City, Kansas. Despite retiring, Charles continued to work as a pastor for the New Century and Valley Chapel churches in Franklin County, Kansas. Charles lived in Baldwin City until his death in 1951; Charles passed away on January 29, 1951 at the age of 102 years old. Charles and Mary had eight children, all of whom attended Baker University: Fred Mark, Clara Jane, William Arthur, Henry Irving, Etta May, Herbert Augustus, Lois Hazel, Esther Charlotte, and Phebe Cornelia. The eldest son, Fred, was born in Allen County, Kansas on July 1, 1879. Following in his father’s footsteps, Fred graduated from Baker University in 1905. As a student, Fred met Ethel G. McCaughey, whom he married on June 1, 1907. Shortly after marrying, Fred and Ethel moved to El Oro, Mexico as a missionary; the couple would stay in Mexico for four years. The couple lived in El Oro, Mexico from 1907-1909. During their time in El Oro, Ethel gave birth to the couple’s first child, Dean Allen. The family lived in Pachuca, Hidalgo, Mexico from 1909-1911. The couple collected several objects from their stay in Mexico, in addition to photographs in the form of postcards. Shortly after arriving in the states, Fred began working throughout Kansas: Oswego, Kansas from 1911-1914, Ottawa, Kansas from 1914-1918, Kansas City, Kansas from 1918-1920, superintendent of the Kansas City district from 1920-1926, and Independence, Kansas from 1926-1928. During their time in Kansas, Fred and Ethel has three additional children, Yvonne Adele, Gerald Fay, and Beryl Aletha. Fred and his family moved to Missouri, where he began working in St. Joseph, Missouri. Fred worked in St. Joseph from 1928-1930, Carthage from 1930-1932, and Springfield from 1932-1935. During this time Fred received a Doctor of Divinity degree from Baker University in 1929. Fred briefly acted as district superintendent of St. Louis, Missouri from 1935-1939, and Jefferson City, Missouri from 1939-1941. After working as superintendent for several districts, Fred worked in Kirkwood, Missouri from 1941-1948 and St. Louis, Missouri from 1948-1951. Fred retired in 1951 and moved to Robinson, Illinois. Like his father, Fred continued to work after officially retiring. Fred continued to work as a minister in Methodist, Presbyterian, United Presbyterian, Baptist, Christian, and Congregational Christian churches. Apart from working, Fred continued working in the community as a member of the Rotary Club and Masonic Temple. Fred saved several sermons and correspondences from his time in Illinois. Fred passed away on December 17, 1962 in Robinson, Illinois.

Note written by Anna M. Gordon


16.00 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Arrangement Note

The materials are arranged in four series: Documents, books, photographs, and objects. The document series is divided into four subseries: Sermons, church documents, correspondences, and personal papers. The second subseries, church documents, is organized into two files based on documents related to the Methodist church or the Catholic church. The correspondences subseries is divided into three files based on the date of correspondence related to the missionary trip to Mexico. Thus, they are organized into three files: pre-Mexico, during Mexico, and post-Mexico. The second series, books, is divided into four subseries: Methodism, miscellaneous religions, nonfiction, and fiction. The third series, photographs, are organized into three subseries: Postcards, photographs, and oversized photographs and artwork. The postcards subseries is divided into two files, unsent and sent postcards. The photographs are organized into four files: Charles Bailey photographs, Fred and Ethel Bailey photographs, family and friends photographs, and scenary pictures. The fourth series, objects, is organized into four subseries: Religious items, household items, cloth-based items, and toys. The household ojects subseries is the largest, and is divided into four files: ceramics, kitchenware, general household, and personal objects (such as collectable and unique objects).

Source of Acquisition

Angele Thompson

Method of Acquisition

Received from Angele Thompson on July 7, 2017 via the United States Postal Service.

Accruals and Additions

No further additions are expected.

Related Materials

The alumni folders of Charles and Fred Bailey are of interest to anyone viewing the Bailey Family Collection. There is also a recorded speech Charles Bailey gave to the Baldwin Rotary Club on February 12, 1940.

Processing Information

-The Catholic Church scrapbook found in Series 1, subseries A2, and file A2.2 is isolated from other church documents due to water damage. -Any newspaper clippings, photographs, postcards, or pamphlets found within correspondences were removed and placed in the appropriate file location. -Newspaper clippings, pamphlets, and personal documents are arranged as they are processed. The majority of the documents found in this subseries do not contain dates. -Papers found within the church tithe book which contain lists of amounts are kept together via archival paperclip. -The postcards are divided into two files, unsent and sent. The sent postcards contain postmarks on them, whereas the unsent ones do not. The unsent postcards may have writing on them, but no postmarks. -There is one photograph of Ethel Bailey which remained in its picture frame. This picture will be housed in the box containing Personal Objects, in the Household Objects subseries, and Objects series. -The recipe scrapbook compiled by Ethel Bailey is housed in its own box due to its condition. -Special boxes were ordered to hold the cloth-based objects found in the collection. -A telescope box was ordered for the arrangement of the parasol and walking sticks, found in the objects series.

Archon Finding Aid Title
Anna M. Gordon
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Baker University and Kansas United Methodist Archives Repository

518 8th Street
PO Box 65
Baldwin City KS 66006 US