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History of Bailey

If you have any suggestions or information that would be helpful, please email the Town Administrator at administrator@townofbaileync.orgThank you so much.

To begin with, enjoy this 26 minute video, entitled BAILEY CENTENNIAL 1908-2008...

Fun Facts


1st organized sport > basketball at Mt. Pleasant High School in 1926


1st mayor > Mr. I.N. Glover.


1st commissioners > Mr. J.D. Finch, Mr. M.C. Bissette and Mr. J.D. Farmer.


1st marshal/constable > Mr. Rufus Benson


1st business > A store owned by J.D. Farmer, later sold to Mr. Irvin N. Glover


1st Postmaster > Miss Sue Vick


The 1st suggested name "for the Bailey Township was Farmer, the name of the site owner", J.D. Farmer.

(Source: "Bailey History" by Ms. Penny Jackson)


Many of the dogwoods that line Alternate 264 and are within the central area of the town,

were planted by A.H. Farmer starting when he was 17 years old. (Source: "Bailey History" by Ms. Penny Jackson)


In October 1907, "...the first train, a special to the North Carolina State Fair [a.k.a. the "Fair Special"] in Raleigh and composed of five cars, departed from Bailey at 9:00 a.m. With a full load of passengers including some in the baggage car, the train arrived at the end of its 40-mile journey three hours later." (Source: "Bailey History" by Ms. Penny Jackson)

The Town of Bailey was incorporated on the "1st day of February, A.D. 1908" as "the town of Baileys." (Source)

The first school, which started with six teachers, was built in 1910. (Source: "Bailey History" by Ms. Penny Jackson)

The corporate limits of "the town of Baily's, in Nash County" were amended on "the 1st day of March, 1911." (Source)

"In 1913 the Town of Bailey got its first school... Bailey School, a two story building with six rooms downstairs and auditorium upstairs... [and] three teachers... The first class to graduate from Bailey High School was the class of 1918. Seven graduates received their diplomas and the town was in its proudest hour." (Source: "Bailey History" by Ms. Penny Jackson)

"In 1919 Bailey had established itself as a small but promising tobacco market until the depression of the 1920's." (Source: "Bailey History" by Ms. Penny Jackson)

"In 1921 the Town of Bailey issued bonds to the value of $20,000 for the purpose of constructing, installing and equipping an electric light system for the town." (Source: "Bailey History" by Ms. Penny Jackson)

"Carnivals and other tent shows" were prohibited in "the town of Bailey, Nash County" on "the 13th day of February, A.D. 1925." (Source)

"In 1926 Bailey became heir to Mt. Pleasant High School [once Bailey School], bringing the enrollment to 431, the number of buses to 6 and the teachers to 14." (Source: History of Bailey School)

The number of town commissioners was raised from three to five on "the 11th day of March, A.D. 1929." (Source)

"In 1929, a book club was organized in Bailey, the Viginia Dare Book Club", which is directly responsible for the establishment of our town library, the Bailey Community Library, later renamed Wesley Privette Memorial Library. (Source: "Bailey History" by Ms. Penny Jackson)

"The US 264 highway [currently Alt 264] from Raleigh to Wilson through the town [paved 1934-1935] was helpful in connecting Bailey with the rest of the state." The first water system was completed around this time. (Source: "Bailey History" by Ms. Penny Jackson)

"Bailey had a newspaper, The Bailey News, at one time. The first edition was published on May 21, 1951... [However] the franchise discontinued after two years." (Source: "Bailey History" by Ms. Penny Jackson)

President Harry S. Truman made a visit to Bailey when he was in office from 1945-1953. "In 1954, Bailey was host to President and Madame Bayar, President of the Republic of Turkey, and his staff of approximately 35 aides and press representatives. At this time Bailey gained national attention." (Source: "Bailey History" by Ms. Penny Jackson)

Several chapters of the N.C. General Statute regarding Bailey were amended, along with electoral timelines and terms of office for the mayor and commisioner offices, on "the 7th day of June, 1963." (Source)

The history of this community dates back to the 1700s when Drewey Bailey settled in the area. (Source: "Bailey History" by Ms. Penny Jackson)

"The Township of Bailey was formed in 1860 when William Joseph Bailey, whose family came from England in 1565, was given a grant of 640 acres two miles from the present town. During the Civil War, according to local history, this area was called Bailey’s Mustering Ground, the place where soldiers assembled for duty or were discharged, and the area was also used as a hospital." (Source: "Bailey History" by Ms. Penny Jackson)

The Bailey Township began in 1900. (Source: "Bailey History" by Ms. Penny Jackson)

In 1907, the Town of Bailey was founded by Joseph D. Farmer, a prominent landowner in Bailey Township. That same year, the Norfolk and Southern Railroad laid its first tracks through Bailey's Township (by prison labor), establishing the Bailey as a railroad depot, opening our sparsely-settled town to the region and developing the Town for the prosperity of its citizens. Before that time, the Bailey area was known as Eatmon's Post Office. (Source: "Bailey History" by Ms. Penny Jackson)

Mayors of Bailey


First mayor was Irvin Glover

Robert W. Jones (1948-1949)

Leamon Tapp (1949-1951)

John D. Bissette (1951-1953)

M.H. Griffin (1953-1956)

Tony S. Stott (1956-1957)

Johnnie R. Patterson (1957-1959)

Roland C. Glover (1959-1963)

Johnnie R. Patterson (1963-1966)

H. Groves Barnes (1966-1969)

Junius B. Stone (1969-1975)

Jack Farmer (1975-1994)

Johnny Earl Temple (1994-1998)

Junior Dement (1998-1999)

John Boykin (1999-2000)

Robert C. Frazier, Sr. (2000-2007)

Owen Strickland (2007-2015)

Tim Johnson (2015-2016)

Shelly Carrol (2016-2017)

Thomas Richards (2017-2023)

Owen H. Strickland II (2023-)

Local Articles on the History of Bailey

History of Bailey School (PDF)

Written in February 1957 by Journalism Class

Bailey, North Carolina: A Rural Community Analyzed (PDF)

Written in 1968 by Mr. Thomas Deans

Bailey History (PDF)

Compiled in April 2005 by Ms. Penny Jackson

More on the way!

Articles on the History of Nash County
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