JOHN BAILEY, of Newaygo, was born at Vergennes, Vt., Dec. 8, 1848, and is a son of John and Julia (LeMay) Bailey. His father died at Vergennes in 1850, and his mother was married again in 1853, to David Jarse, of Glens Falls, N.Y., who two years later removed with his wife and her children to Newaygo. The pleasant, promising village was then almost in a state of nature; Main street was a thoroughfare of stumps, and civilization was represented by the energetic prosecutors of the lumber interests, which almost wholly attracted hither and held the population.
Mr. Bailey found his first employ at Newaygo in the shingle-mill of Fairchilds, and afterwards in that of George H. Hess and others, where he spent some years. In May, 1876, the year after the death of his stepfather, he rented the Jarse House of his mother and conducted it as a hotel one year. In 1877, he began to manage a saloon business on Main street, where he operated successfully until April, 1883, when the fire destroyed his busiess and two buildings where he was located. He sustained a loss of $3,000, with no insurance. He at once entered upon the work of re-construction, and has erected on the same site an elegant building of the same variety of white brick used in the edifices on Main street that are rapidly relacing those destroyed in the "big fire" which, ruinous as it was, paved the way for the growing and substantial beauty of the chief street in Newaygo. The block erected by Mr. Bailey is a double front, 50 x 75 feet in dimensions and two stories high. Mr. Bailey occupies one front and rents the other. Besides his village property he owns 40 acres on section 2 in Grant Township. In addition to his regular business he operates as a loan broker quite extensively.
Mr. Bailey was married at Newaygo, June 20, 1874, to Sarah E., daughter of Silas and Aurelia Bement, a native of Centerville, Crawford Co., Pa., born Jan. 29, 1855. March 15, 1875, Lola and Lulu, twin daughters, were born to Mr. and Mrs. Bailey; also, June 21, 1877, John, and Dec. 26, 1882, Harry. The latter died Sept. 22, 1883. Lulu died Sept. 25, 1876.