Buena Vista County, IA
USGenWeb Project

Extracted from:  Wegerslev, C. H. and Thomas Walpole. 
 Past and Present of Buena Vista County, Iowa
Chicago:  S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1909, p. 238-42.

Transcribed by Mary Alice Schwanke and Cyndi Vertree

Biography of  Judge Arthur D. Bailie

The legal profession demands not only a high order of ability but a rare combination of talent, learning, tact, patience and industry. The successful lawyer and the competent judge must be a man of well balanced intellect, thoroughly familiar with the law and practice, of comprehensive general information, possessed of an analytical mind and the self-control that will enable him to lose his individuality, his personal feelings, his prejudices and his peculiarities of disposition in the dignity, impartiality and equity of the office to which life, property, right and liberty must look for protection. Possessing these qualities Judge Arthur D. Bailie justly merits the high honor which was conferred upon him by his elevation to the district bench and that he has proved an able and competent judge is indicated by the fact that he is now serving for the third term.

Judge Bailie was born in Mason, Illinois, July 1, 1857. His father, Andrew Bailie, is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, and still resides at Mason, Illinois. He is of Scotch ancestry and a son of Robert Bailie, who was a farmer by occupation. Andrew Bailie, however, put aside the work of the fields and became a contractor and builder. He removed from Ohio to Illinois about 1853 or 1854, settling in Effingham county, where he worked at his trade. He became prosperous and was identified with many of the important building operations of that locality. At the time of the Civil war, however, he put aside all business and personal considerations and enlisted in defense of the Union cause, joining Company E of the Fifty-first Illinois Volunteer Infantry, in which he served for more than three years. He enlisted at Mason and saw much active service at the front. He still carries a bullet in his right arm, having been wounded in the battle of Stone River. His injuries necessitated his remaining in the hospital for some time, after which he rejoined his regiment. Later he was captured and was incarcerated in Libby prison for three months, after which he was exchanged and returned to his regiment. His life has been one of activity and honor winning for him the unqualified respect and confidence his fellow citizens. His political allegiance has been given to the republican party since its organization and he has filled a number of local offices. Fraternally he is connected with the Masonic lodge, while his religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Methodist Episcopal church, of which he is a trustee. He married Miss Sarah Winterringer, who was born in Knox county, Ohio , and was of Dutch descent. She, too, was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and died in that faith February 2, 1894. They were the parents of four children, of whom one died in infancy. The daughters are: Eva, the wife of Charles Sisson, now agent for the Illinois Central Railroad Company at Mason , Illinois ; and Gertrude, who is also living in Mason.

Judge Bailie, the only son of the family, obtained his education in the public schools of Mason and at Normal , Illinois. He also attended a private school for a limited period and later became a teacher in the district schools of his native state. He regarded this, however, merely as an initial step to other professional labor and began reading law in the office of Wood Brothers, attorneys of Effingham , Illinois , with whom he remained for three years. He was admitted to the bar at Mount Vernon , Illinois , in July, 1881, and in October of that year entered upon active practice at Storm Lake , Iowa , continuing a leading member of the bar until elected to the bench of the district court. He was first appointed to the position by Governor Leslie M. Shaw to fill a vacancy and on the 26th of June, 1908 , was re-nominated for a third term. His decisions indicate strong mentality, careful analysis, a thorough knowledge of the law and an unbiased judgment, and these qualities combined with the readiness with which he grasps the points in an argument make him one of the most capable jurists that has sat upon the district bench in Iowa.

On the 9th of November, 1882 , Judge Bailie was united in marriage to Miss May Mills, who was born in Charleston , Illinois , March 26, 1859. Their second child died in infancy and they now have a daughter, Ethelyn, and a son, Robert. The parents are members of the Presbyterian church, in which Judge Bailie is serving as a trustee. He also belongs to the Masonic and Knights of Pythias fraternities and in the former has attended the Knight Templar degree. His political allegiance is given to the republican party and he served for several terms as mayor of Storm Lake , giving to the city a businesslike and progressive administration. He also filled the office of county attorney and was formerly active in the work of the party, serving for some time as chairman of the county central committee but since his election to the bench he has withdrawn from participation in political work, allowing nothing to interfere with the capable and unbiased performance of his duty. He stands as one of the eminent members of the bar in his section of the state and is no less honored for his personal worth than his professional acquirements.