Jeff Harvey

Continuing with what William Sanders II had to say about Richard Bailey’s descendants in his book “A New River Heritage, Volume IV”, (McClain Publishing, 1994, we first come to the Calfee Memorial Christian Church in Green Valley which was first established in the homes of the residents in the 1840s as one of the oldest churches of the Disciples of Christ denomination. It then met in the one-room schoolhouse at the gap of the ridge for years then in the form of a log church near the Ada Road in 1906. The first minister was William Calfee who came from Wythe County, Va.. and the first written record was a transfer of membership of Samuel L. Calfee, wife Matilda and daughters Mary Jane and Esther in 1854.

An anecdote about Bailey/Calfee history in Green Valley concerned the Wilson Davis and Mary Jane Bailey Calfee home on the old Bluefield Road near Ceres. The house was originally built of logs by Wilson Calfee, who was too old to fight in the Civil War. During the Battle of Pigeon’s Roost, the Union forces sent out foragers to obtain whatever they could. Wilson had taken his horses and cattle into the wilderness of Bland County, leaving Mary Jane and son Kohler to tend to the house. Kohler sat on the porch with his injured leg propped up on a pillow which, unbeknownst to the Union forces, had a ham wrapped up inside of it.

Kohler, who was 6’4 and one-half inches tall, later married to Cordelia “Cordie” Pine, sister of Lewis Pine of Princeton and Island Creek. Their daughter, Martha Frances Dinkins, was still living at the home with her daughter Mrs. Jane Wood and son-in-law Donald Lee Wood as of 1994.

Sanders quotes Johnston’s New River History as stating that John Bailey, Richard’s oldest son built his own log home on the south side of Bowyers Branch on a farm owned by Thompson Calfee. In 1790, John and Nancy Davidson Bailey had just had their son Johnathan when a Shawnee incursion forced them to flee to the fort built by their fathers in the Bluefield area.

To wrap up this history of the Baileys and descendants, Sanders wrote that the Calfees of Gap Ridge (Green Valley) and the Clover Bottom/Lake Bottom area sprung from the Calfeess who came to Mercer County, starting with James Calfee in whose home the committee which organized Mercer County and Princeton first met.

See you next time.

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