Joseph Baily

Joseph Baily (1810 – 1885)

Born March 18, 1810 in Pennsbury Township of Chester County, Pennsylvania. As one of 12 children, Baily attended the common schools, as his parents couldn’t afford the education beyond what could be procured during the winter months. He worked on the farm until 16 and then apprenticed in the trade of a hatter, which he carried on in Parkersville. He then saved enough money to attend a boarding school in New Jersey for one year.

Baily returned to journey work in New Jersey and started a shop in 1832. In 1840 Baily served in the State House of Representatives and in 1843 became a member of the State Senate. Baily moved to Perry County in 1845, where he purchased “the Caroline furnace estate”. He stayed out of political life while he got the furnace working so that there could be iron manufacturing. 1851-1853 Baily was again elected to the State Senate. In 1854 he was appointed the position of State Treasurer of Pennsylvania and also joined the Know Nothing Party.

After his one year stint as treasurer, Baily spent 2 years studying law at an attorney’s office in New Bloomfield, Pennsylvania, and was admitted to the bar in 1860. Baily was elected and served as a Democrat to the House of Representatives from 1861 – March of 1865. During his tenure Baily became involved with the case of Charles Garretson, who the York Union League accused of being an ultra copperhead. President Lincoln became involved in the matter and replied to Secretary of War Stanton please have a full report of this case sent to me. Hon. Baily says the man went home last fall on the loyal side, and actually fought for the privilege”. Representative Baily may have gained a modification of Garretson’s dismissal, for later references give Garretson as “mustered out” rather than dismissed. Garretson was assistant quartermaster of Volunteers.

Baily did receive a notice from the War Department inviting him to attend the remains of Lincoln to Springfield with transportation back. Baily was out of office when he received the invitation to participate.

Baily died at Bailey Station, Perry County, Pa. on August 26, 1885. His internment is in the Bloomfield Cemetery, New Bloomfield, Pa.

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