*ASA R. BAILEY was born in the town of Nelson, N. Y., January 22, 1826. His parents, Anson and Roxanna (Payne) Bailey, were natives of this State. The father was a prominent farmer of his day, although he commenced his working life oddly enough, laboring by the month for M. Ruggles Payne, and proving so acceptable to his employer as to be rewarded finally with the hand of his daughter. For a few years after his marriage Anson Bailey followed the fuller and clothier trade, but afterward bought a farm in the town of Nelson, and adopted the occupation of farming for the remainder of his life. At the age of fifty-two he met with a sudden and appalling death by falling from the roof of a barn upon which he was working, and leaving a wife and three children bereft of his care and protection. Of those children, only one is now living,--Mrs. F. M. Darrow, now of West Easton, N. Y. Mrs. Roxanna Bailey, the mother, died at the age
of seventy years. The family were members of the Methodist Episcopal church.
David Bailey, father of Anson and grandfather of Asa R. Bailey, came to Madison County from his native New England State early in the present century. He settled in the town of Nelson, taking up new land which
was yet covered with its primeval woods. Here he erected his log cabin, and worked hard and persistently to provide for the wants of his large family, which consisted of ten children. Besides the labor of his farm, he was a shoemaker by trade, and used to go from house to house, making shoes for families. He was married three times, and died, at the age of eighty years, in the western part of New York State. In his politics he was a Whig. In his religious faith he followed the tenets of the Methodist church, of which
he was an ardent and hard-working member, holding many prominent offices.
The maternal grandfather of our subject, Ruggles Payne, was also an early settler of the town of Nelson, where he suffered all the hardships of pioneer life. While building his first home in the wilderness, his dwelling was in the woods, his couch a hollowed log, and his roof the twinkling stars, which kept
watch over his slumbers. But out of all these unpropitious conditions he worked success, and died, at the age of eighty years, on the farm of three hundred acres which he had brought to the highest state of cultivation. He was twice married, his first wife being Miss Susanna Daniels, and his second Miss Betsey
Farnham. He was a Republican in politics and a Universalist in religion.
Asa R. Bailey grew to manhood in the town of Nelson, attending the district schools, and receiving. a good common education. He remained on the home farm until 1849, when he was married to Miss Cemantha M. Farnham, who was born in the town of Nelson, November 28, 1829, daughter of Calvin and Nancy (Donaldson) Farnham. Her mother was a native of Scotland; and her father was born in the town of Nelson, where he became a successful farmer. Mr. Farnham died at the age of forty-two years, leaving a wife and
eight children, five of whom are now living, as follows: Maria (Mrs. Holt), residing in Morrisville, N.Y.; Clark A., living at Nelson; Mrs. Bailey, wife of subject; John D., a resident of Minnesota; and Caroline M.
Lelland. Mrs. Bailey's mother died at the age of ninety-one years. They were Baptists, and Mr. Farnham was a member of the Democratic party.
Asa Bailey after marriage worked a farm on shares for a few years, and then bought the
farm, residing on it until his death, February 15, 1892, at the age of sixty-six years. His widow manages this farm of one hundred and seventy acres, with the assistance of her son-in-law, Thomas H. Roberts, who resides with her. Mrs. Bailey has no children living, her one daughter, Helen M., who was married to
Mr. Roberts, having died at twenty-eight years of age. Mrs. Bailey is a worthy and intelligent lady, displaying excellent ability in the management of her affairs, and highly respected by her neighbors and friends for her Christian character. She is a consistent member of the Methodist church, as was also her
late husband, giving ample proof in their lives of the beauty of their religion. Mr. Bailey was a stanch adherent of the Republican party, and held many minor offices in his town.
*See Errata page.
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