Bailey House

The Bailey Log House, now located in Bluefield, Va., is one of the many ways Richard Bailey left his mark on the region generations ago. 

BLUEFIELD — A simple question from his granddaughters about his history set Bluefield native Robert E. Bailey on a quest to write about his ancestor, pioneer Bluefield-area settler Richard Bailey.

Bailey, now residing in Selbyville, Delaware said, “A year or two ago, my granddaughters asked me ‘Where are you from Grandpa?’ which started me on a search for Richard Bailey the pioneer.”

A native of Bluefield and a graduate of Bluefield High School, Concord College (now University) and the University of Missouri, Bailey is a seventh –generation direct descendant of Richard Bailey. He is also a self-described “reader of Colonial American history” and the Revolutionary War. He said “My wife and I have visited a lot of battlefields from the Revolutionary War and have accumulated and read over 100 books from this period, in particular, about the Founding Fathers.”

He felt guilty that he had all four volumes of Mary Ellen Howe’s history of Richard Bailey and hadn’t really studied them. She wrote four books over a 40-year period, which he called “dedication.”

“ I first met her when I attended the 2017 reunion and was immediately impressed. She had a great technical team assisting her and she is an excellent researcher in her own right”, he commented.

As for his “Richard Bailey Story” he said he wrote it to be a factual narrative and summary of Howe’s books which covers the history of the Bailey family from Jamestown, Va. in 1610. “I could not have started nor completed the Richard Bailey Story without the support and assistance of Mary Ellen Howe. I also included footnotes and a reference guide in the narrative to the Four Volumes”, he said.

He added, “We plan to sell the Richard Bailey Story binder at the reunion for $10 and leave the unsold books with Lois Miller, Mercer County Historical Society (MDHS) to sell for $15. All of the proceeds will go to charity, the MCHS and the Bailey Family Reunion.”

Bailey concluded by saying, “By writing this story, I hope to keep the Richard Bailey legacy alive.”

The Bailey Family Reunion will be held at Glenwood Park on Sunday, July 14.

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