Joshua J. Bailey, numbered among the early settlers of Sacramento county and now residing near the Cosumne river, dates his residence in the state from 1850. He was born in Adams county, Ohio, March 27, 1828, his parents being Isaac E. and Polly (McNeil) Bailey. His father was a native of Ohio and was of English lineage. The mother died when her son Joshua was eight years of age, nd in 1840 he accompanied his father and the other members of the family to Wisconsin, their home being established near what is now the town of Darlington.

There Joshua J. Bailey was reared to manhood, and his education was acquired in the public schools of his native state and of Wisconsin. He pursued his studies through the winter months and in the summer assisted in the farm labor upon the old family homestead. In 1850, accompanied by his father and brother Isaac J. and a cousin, Joseph J. Bailey, he started for California with a party of emigrants, two years after gold had been discovered as the lodestone which drew many worthy settlers to the Pacific coast. Mr. Bailey and his relatives started across the plains with a horse team, journeying by way of Salt Lake City and Truckee. They made their way direct to Nevada county, California, and, hoping that he might rapidly realize a fortune in the gold mines, Joshua Bailey spent five years in different diggings in this state. At the end of that time he was convinced that he might have better opportunity for a successful business career if he devoted his energies to other pursuits. Accordingly in 1855 he came to Sacramento county and was employed as a farm laborer for a time. He afterward engaged in freighting to the gold mines from Sacramento and Folsom, and when his labors had brought to him sufficient capital to enable him to engage in agricultural pursuits on his own account he leased a tract of land near his present ranch and began farming. In the fall of 1876 he settled upon the place which has since been his home, and he has here six hundred acres of valuable land devoted to general farming and stock-raising. He also engages in the dairy business, which he finds profitable. In the conduct of his farm he has shown close application, careful management and keen business discernment, and his splendid and valuable property is the visible evidence of his life of thrift and industry.

Mr. Bailey was united in marriage to Mrs. Louise D. Benton, a native of Missouri, and to them were born the following children: Mary L., now the wife of John P. McClenahan, of Farmington, San Joaquin county; Isaac N., who is living in Sacramento county; James W., of the same county; Alice J., the wife of George E. Shaw, a resident of Sonoma county; and Alfred W., who is at home.

For a number of years Mr. Bailey served as a trustee of the Lee school district, and during a part of this time acted as clerk of the board. While not a member of any church he contributes to the support of Christian work, and is found as a stanch advocate and champion of many measures which are beneficial to the community. He is well known in his locality, and is numbered among the worthy pioneer settlers whose labors have contributed to the sum total of the progress that has been made in California and has wrought its transformation from a frontier district to a center of an advanced civilization, equal to that found in the older states upon the Atlantic coast.

Source: History of the New California Its Resources and People, Volume II

The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine

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