Pages 724-725, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




This well known citizen of Woodson County is one of the most extensive sheep raisers in Kansas and has been largely interested in improving the grade of stock raised in the state. His efforts have therefore been of public benefit for the improvement of stock adds to its market value and the wealth of the agricultural class is augmented thereby. The rich meadow lands of southeastern Kansas provide excellent opportunities to the stock-raiser, and this industry has become a most important one in the commercial interests of Woodson County.

Mr. Bayless, who resides in Center township, arrived in the county on the 24th of September, 1881, coming from Jasper County, Iowa. He is, however, a native of Pennsylvania, his birth having occurred in Beaver County, on the 1st of June, 1836. His father, Nathan J. Bayless, was born in Cecil County, Maryland, in 1796, but was reared in the Keystone state and throughout his business career carried on farming. He married Elizabeth Booth, a native of Virginia, and unto them were born seven children: Mary, who became the wife of George Billingsley, and after his death married Alexander McCalla, but is now deceased; Lydia, deceased wife of John Billingsley; Samuel, who has also passed away; Cassander; Hannah, wife of John McCalla, a resident of Salem, Ohio; Elizabeth, deceased, and Nathan J. The father of this family departed this life on the 26th of December, 1869, and the mother passed away April 27, 1863, at the age of seventy-one.

In taking up the personal history of Joseph F. Bayless, we present to our readers the record of one who is widely and favorably known in Woodson County. Educated in the district schools, he began his business career as a general farmer and stock raiser before attaining his majority. On the 11th of October, 1860, when twenty-four years of age, he secured a faithful companion and helpmeet for life's journey by his marriage to Miss Esther P. Duff, a daughter of William Duff, who resided in western Pennsylvania and was of Irish descent. His wife bore the maiden name of Esther Caughey and her parents were of Scotch


extraction. Mr. Duff served as a soldier in the war of 1812. His children were: Sarah A., widow of David Wallace, of New Concord, Ohio; Eleanor, deceased wife of Archibald McNair, of Mercer County, Pennsylvania; Samuel C., who is living in Beaver County; Mary and Eliza J., who have passed away, and Mrs. Bayless.

For ten years after his marriage, the subject of this review, remained in his native state and then removed with family to Bates County, Missouri, settling upon a farm which he made his home for about five years. He then went to Jasper County, Iowa, where he spent a similar period, and on the 24th of September, 1881, he arrived in Woodson County. Here he located on section fourteen, township twenty-five, range fourteen and owns three-fourths of the section. His land is divided into fields for cultivation and into pastures to afford grazing for the stock. He makes a specialty of the raising of sheep and his opinion is regarded as authority on that subject in this portion of the country. He also has some fine grades of horses, cattle and hogs, and in his fields he produces rich crops. He takes a commendable pride in keeping everything about the place in first-class condition, and fields and buildings all indicate his careful supervision and progressive methods of farming.

The home of Mr. and Mrs. Bayless has been blessed with five children: Lillie E., wife of B. F. Graham, of Whitman County, Washington; Stanton W., of Lake Charles, Louisiana; Laura M., wife of William McDaniel, of Okanogan County, Washington; Adelaide C., wife of Herbert P. Lewis, of Ashcroft, British Columbia, and Jessie G., a graduate of the Kansas Agricultural College, of the class of 1898. Mr. and Mrs. Bayless have many friends in their adopted county, and during the twenty years of his residence here. Mr. Bayless has been accounted one of the leading agriculturists of the community, not alone on account of the success he has achieved in business but also because of his fidelity and loyalty as a citizen and his earnest support of all that he believes will promote the general good.

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