While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


Anna Hallstein

BAILEY'S PRAIRIE, TEXAS. Bailey's Prairie is on State Highway 35 and Farm Road 521 between Angleton and West Columbia in southwest Brazoria County. The town was named for James Britton Bailey, a veteran of the War of 1812 who came to the area in 1818 with his wife and six children to occupy 4,587 acres of rich, flat land granted by the Spanish government. Stephen F. Austin disputed Bailey's right but ultimately recognized his claim, and Bailey took new title to the land on July 7, 1824, thereby becoming one of the Old Three Hundred. The town grew up around Bailey's plantation and the league of land granted by the Mexican government to M. S. Munson. Settlers established large sugar plantations, and some plantation owners also ran cattle. A local Methodist church was organized in 1839 by Rev. Jesse Hord. By 1936 the community had a church, a cemetery, scattered dwellings, and Bailey's Prairie oilfield nearby, but most of the surrounding land remained part of several large family ranches. Bailey's Prairie had a population of 228 in 1972, 410 in 1988, and 634 in 1990. In 2000 the population grew to 694.


Brazoria County Federation of Women's Clubs, History of Brazoria County (1940). Lester G. Bugbee, "The Old Three Hundred: A List of Settlers in Austin's First Colony," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 1 (October 1897). James A. Creighton, A Narrative History of Brazoria County (Angleton, Texas: Brazoria County Historical Commission, 1975). Houston Chronicle, October 13, 1980. Houston Post, September 23, 1962. Worth Stickley Ray, Austin Colony Pioneers (Austin: Jenkins, 1949; 2d ed., Austin: Pemberton, 1970). Noah Smithwick, The Evolution of a State, or Recollections of Old Texas Days (Austin: Gammel, 1900; rpt., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1983).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Anna Hallstein, "BAILEY'S PRAIRIE, TX," accessed July 07, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hlb03.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Modified on October 24, 2018. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Texas AlmanacFor more information about towns and counties including physical features, statistics, weather, maps and much more, visit the Town Database on TexasAlmanac.com!
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...