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Biographies ~ Bailey, Jennie (1865 - 1958)
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Jennie Bailey was the first Californian in her family. She was born at an inn called Four Mile House, near Lower Springs Road May 29, 1865. The area is now securely covered by the asphalt of Highway 299W.

Joseph H. and Hester M. Hewitt Bailey had two sons, William, born January 13, 1857 in Iowa and Charlie, born October 1, 1858 in Illinois when they joined the Bailey-McMurphy party for the trip to California. The wagon train came by way of Council Bluffs, Iowa; Omaha, Nebraska; Fort Laramie, Wyoming; Salt Lake City, Utah; Humboldt River and Lovelock, Nevada.

The Bailey-McMurphy party had thirteen wagons, thirty-five yoke of oxen, and forty mules and horses; each family had one or two cows to supply milk during the journey.

After leaving Omaha, they met another train of twenty wagons whose leader had made the trip before, so they traveled with them. Each night they circled the wagons with the horses inside and the other animals outside. Three or four men would patrol the perimeter at night. Sometimes they would stop for several days to rest their animals, but they had no problems with Indians until near the end of their journey when seven head of cattle were stolen.

Many of the party settled in Honey Lake Valley near Susanville; some went into Sacramento; Joseph Bailey and his family came to Shasta County settling in the Churn Creek Bottom area. When Jennie was ten they moved into the Bailey residence in the 1400 block on West Street, where Jennie lived until her death.

Jennie's father ran the ferry across the Sacramento River near the site of the Diestelhorst Bridge for some years and then worked as a watchman for McCormick-Saeltzer Company. He and/or his son, Charlie held that job until Charlie's death in 1915. Her older brother had died at the age of twenty-seven so after Charlie's death Jennie went to work. as janitor at West Side Grammar School to help her parents.

Jennie's father died in 1918 at the age of eighty-six and her mother died in 1928 at the age of ninety-five. Jenny remained in the family home and continued to work at the school until it closed about 1937. After her death one hundred-thirty-seven empty candy boxes were found in her home, souvenirs of the affection of children in the Grammar School.

Jennie's fiancee died and though she was described as "the prettiest girl in Redding" and "the prettiest girl in Shasta County" she never married She was active in the social life of the town, loved to dance and frequently appeared in local theatrical performances.

With the present city limits. Jennie lived all her life in Redding. At the time of her death. March 2, 1958. Jennie Bailey had lived in the original Redding (between East and West Streets and North and South Streets) longer than any other person--eighty three years! Do you know anyone who may have broken her record?

Source: Shasta Historical Society

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