Col. G. W. K. Bailey (Page 1)


    Was born in the state of Missouri in the year 1823, and remained there until the spring of 1844, when he moved to the state of Illinois, and settled on section 35, in Pleasant Hill township, Pike county, when he engaged in blacksmithing and farming until the year 1856. He then sold his property in Pleasant Hill and purchased a large and valuable tract of first-class land in Pittsfield township, where he has been extensively and successfully engaged in farming and raising stock ever since. In January, 1847, he married Miss Mursena E. Galloway, who was born in the state of Missouri in the year 1824. She came to the state of Illinois in the year 1832, with her parents, who settled in Pleasant Hill township, where she remained until her marriage with Mr. Bailey.

    In the year 1862, when the dark clouds of secession hung heavy over the country, Mr. Bailey, seeing the necessity of prompt action on the part of the government, laid aside all care of his large farm, and, with that energy and perseverance for which he is so noted, went to work, and in just twelve days succeeded in raising an entire regiment of as good and brave men as ever shouldered muskets. This regiment — the 99th Illinois, composed entirely of Pike county men — was organized and officered on the 23d day of August, 1862, at Florence, Pike county. At its organization Mr. Bailey was unanimously elected colonel. He led his regiment in many hard and well-fought battles; in fact, in every battle in which it engaged, with the exception of a scrimmage at Heartsville, Missouri, at which time he was necessarily detained at home on account of sickness, which circumstance he regrets to this day. At the first battle at Vicksburg, which was on the 22d day of May, 1863, Col. Bailey received a severe wound in his right leg, which, disabled him for duty for about six months.

    On account of failing health, the Colonel was compelled to resign and return home, which he did on the 30th day of December, 1864, receiving an honorable discharge. There never was a man or an officer who was more highly esteemed or more earnestly beloved by his men than Colonel Bailey.
    The Colonel commenced life a poor man, but, being blessed with good health, a strong constitution, and a determined will, he has become one of the heavy land and property holders of Pike county, and we know of none more deserving of success than he. He has always been a man of good habits, and ever ready to assist in all public enterprises calculated to advance the public good and improve the county. He is generous and benevolent, and does much to assist the poorer class of people. He is a warm and true supporter of his government and a heavy tax-payer.