Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens
Lawrence County Pennsylvania 1897


John Bailey

[p. 483] the revered pastor of the United Presbyterian Church of Mt. Jackson, Pa., was born near Candor, Washington Co., Pa., May 22, 1835. His great-grandfather, Alexander Bailey, was a Highlander, living near old Billie Castle, Scotland; on account of his pronounced religious views, he was driven from his native country, and settled in the north of Ireland, where he lived with his family a few months, and then emigrated to America, taking up his residence in Carlisle Barracks, Cumberland County. There he lived until about 1773, when he moved farther west to Washington Co., Pa., where he died at the age of ninety-seven. It is a rather curious fact that his wife lived to be one hundred and seven years old, thus exceeding his own very advanced age by ten years. The names and years of the births of their children as found in the old family register are as follows: Matthew, born 1749; William, 1752; Ann, 1753; Mary, 1755; Jeanette, 1758; Alexander, 1761; James, 1763; and John, our subject's grandfather, who was born Sept. 24, 1765.

John Bailey took up the occupation of farming, and lived on his farm in Washington County all his life, dying at the age of eighty-seven. His wife, whose maiden name was Margaret Gailey, married him June 18, 1799, and lived to enjoy sixty-seven happy years of life. Their children were: Jane; Matthew; Nancy; James; Marguerite; Alexander; Mary; John; Ann; and William.

Matthew Bailey, the father of Rev. John A., was born in Washington Co., Pa., and married Ann Smiley, daughter of William and Sarah (Brownlee) Smiley. He inherited a farm adjoining his father's estate, and became a very progressive and well-to-do man, following general farming all of his days, his death taking place when he was aged seventy-five years. For many years he occupied the responsible position of elder in the Associate and United Presbyterian Church. His wife was taken to the world beyond in her seventy-seventh year. Their children included these members: Rev. John A.; William S.; Sarah; Alexander; James P.: Margaret; Samuel M.; and Matthew C.

Rev. John A. Bailey passed his early years on the farm, and perfected by hard work that rugged manhood that has descended to him from his Highland great-grandfather. When nineteen years of age, having already completed the course of studies required in the district schools, he entered the Westminster College, from which he graduated July 7, 1859. Immediately thereafter, he became a student in the Allegheny Seminary of the United Presbyterian Church of Allegheny City, Pa., where he took a full theological course of four years, and was licensed to preach the Gospel Sept. 3, 1862, by the Lake Presbytery of the United Presbyterian Church, and was ordained and installed June 23, 1863, as pastor of the churches at Sheakleyville and New Vernon, Mercer Co., Pa., and continued over that charge for six years, giving entire satisfaction as a teacher of the Gospel, and proving his ability as a winner of souls to the Standard of Christ by increasing the membership of the churches in large measure. He was then called to Sidney, Shelby Co., and to Wellsville, Columbiana Co., Ohio, and on Jan. 1, 1883, assumed the duties of pastor of the U. P. Church at Sharon, Pa., where he officiated until Nov. 8, 1892, when he came to Mt. Jackson, and began his work in the U. P. Church with one hundred and twenty-five members, and by his earnest efforts has increased the membership to one hundred and sixty-six. The church was organized about 1820 or 1822, and the first church home was erected in 1825; this structure was replaced with a frame edifice in 1857, in dimensions 40x50, which is still occupied, and is located a half a mile south of the village. Mr. Bailey has also been instrumental; in beautifying and remodeling the parsonage. He is a man of great power, of exceptional organizing ability, and merits well the esteem in which he is held; he is popular among all classes, the rich and the poor and the old and the young, for he has always a friendly greeting ready for everyone, and ever looks on the very brightest side of life.

His life-partner, with whom he was united in marriage bonds Oct. 19, 1860, was before her marriage Belle Porter, a daughter of John M. and Isabella (Guy) Porter. She was born in Mahoning township, this county, but passed the most of her years of young womanhood at Clarksville, Mercer County.

It affords us great pleasure in being able to present the portrait of Mr. Bailey which appears in connection with this sketch on a preceding page.

[For more information on this Bailey line, see these Beers and Crumrine references.]

Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens Lawrence County Pennsylvania
Biographical Publishing Company, Buffalo, N.Y., 1897

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Updated: 10 Jul 2001