ROBERT M. BAILEY, proprietor of the City Mills at Belle Plaine, is a native of Connecticut, born in New London County, July 17, 1839, and is the son of Isaac and Hannah (Lester) Bailey. His father was born in the same county, his family being of English descent, and residents of Connecticut for several generations. His mother was also born in New London County; her people were of English descent, and longtime residents of New England. Robert M. left home when sixteen years of age and went to sea. he became an engineer and sailed in the coast trade between New England towns and New York. He subsequently filled the same position on a vessel running between New York and New Orleans. During the war this ship was employed in the Government service in Southern waters. After the capture of New Orleans he sailed on the "George Leary," a flag-of-truce boat which was employed in exchange of prisoners. He continued to follow the sea till 1868, when he came to Belle Plaine and engaged in his present business. The city mills are combined flour and saw mills, and have a capacity for grinding 120 bushels of wheat daily, besides feed, corn and buckwheat, and of cutting from 4,000 to 5,000 feet of lumber and wagon timber.
Mr. Bailey was married at Gale's Ferry, Conn., Aug. 10, 1865, to Miss Tabitha E. Hurlbutt, daughter of Ralph and Margaret Hurlbutt. Mrs. Bailey was born at that city, Feb. 15, 1845. Five children were born of their union, all boys: Charles H., the eldest, was born while they were yet in Connecticut, March 29, 1867; Maurice M., born in Belle Plaine, Sept. 12, 1871; Ralph H., born May 23, 1873, died September 13 of the same year; Robert, born June 29, 1877, died October 27 of the same year; Ross R. born Oct. 23, 1879. Mr. and Mrs. Bailey are attendants of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Bailey is a Republican and a member of the Iowa Legion of Honor. He is a man of good repute, and possesses the confidence and esteem of a wide circle of acquaintances.
Source Citation: "1887 Benton County, Iowa Biographies" [database online] Benton County IAGenWeb Project. <http://iagenweb.org/benton/>
Original data: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Benton County, Iowa." Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887, p. 288-289.
Transcribed by: Sue Soden. Submitted to the Benton County IAGenWeb Project on February 10th, 2009. Copyright © 2009 The IAGenWeb Project.