BAILEY, TEXAS. Bailey is on State highways 11 and 78 eleven miles south of Bonham in south central Fannin County. Settlement began in the late 1850s, when farmers moved into the area to take advantage of the rich blackland. Cotton and corn became the principal agricultural products. As the community developed, two prominent residents competed to have it named after themselves. Doctors Josiah S. Bailey and A. J. Ray owned land that was to become the townsite. The quarrel between the two men ended in 1885, when the St. Louis Southwestern Railway used the land donated by Bailey for its right-of-way. Two years later a post office branch opened. The railroad stimulated twenty years of economic growth. By the early 1900s Bailey had 300 residents, two churches, a school, a bank, a hotel, one of the few picture shows in the county, and a dozen businesses. In the mid-1920s the population peaked at 350. Bailey was incorporated in 1933. During the years of the Great Depression and World War II the population declined. By the mid-1950s the number of residents had decreased to 198. Bailey was the first town in the county to establish a "free lunch" program. By the mid-1970s farmers had abandoned cotton and corn in favor of small grains and cattle. In 1988 Bailey had an estimated 220 residents. In 1990 the population was 187. In 2000 the population was 213.
Fannin County Folks and Facts (Dallas: Taylor, 1977). Floy Crandall Hodge, A History of Fannin County (Hereford, Texas: Pioneer, 1966).
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, David Minor, "BAILEY, TX," accessed July 03, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/HLB02.
Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Modified on June 24, 2020. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.