If anyone has other Bailey/Mitchell/Matherly/Prather photos they would like to add to this collection please email them to the address shown at the bottom of this page, thanks!
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My Grandmother Chappell's side of the family.
My Grandmother was adopted at around the age of three and for most of her life did not have contact with any of her natural family.
The couple who adopted her were the Prathers, John and Mary.
The Prathers came to Oklahoma in the land run of 1889. In 1898 they adopted my Grandmother Mabel.
The Prathers had no children of their own and Mabel was their only adopted child.
Great Grandmother Susan was born in Crawford County Indiana to James and Zinia Mitchell. I'm not sure when she was born, sometime after 1858.
She married and had a family prior to marrying my Great Grandfather Frank Bailey.
Her first husband's name was Thomas Matherly he died in 1889. Together they had four children.
1) David Marion b: May 29 1881 d: Mar 29 1961 ( Bakersfield )
2) Margaret Ellen b: Sep 5 1887 d: July 12 1962 ( Cincinatti )
3) Thomas b: ? d: ?
4) Ida May b: Aug 5 1889 d: Mar 26 1962 ( Bakersfield )
( Ida May was born after her father Thomas Mathery's death in 1889.)
Following Thomas Matherly's death Great Grandmother Susan left Indiana and went to live in the newly opened Oklahoma territory with her aunt/sister(?) Ferbia/Ferby Mitchell and her husband E. J. "John" Mingus. ( Jasper? )
Susan left her Matherly children with one of her brothers to keep them until she was settled but shortly after she left the brother took her children to the local poor farm and reportedly she never saw the Matherly children again.
Shortly after Susan arrived in Oklahoma she married Great Grandfather Frank Bailey, who had five children from a previous marriage.
Joseph E. b: 1882
and a third girl, Hattie(?) b:(?).
Frank and Susan had three children together.
1) Henry Bailey b: May 24, 1891 d: July 6, 1974 ( Portland OR )
2) Ray Bailey b: Nov 24, 1895 d: ? ( Missouri? )
3) Mabel E. Bailey b: Nov 24, 1895 d: Jun 13, 1968 ( El Reno OK )
( My Grandmother Mabel and Ray were twins. )
It seems that times got hard for the family soon after the twins were born. There is a story about the family farm being sold at a sheriff's auction but I have been unable to find any documentation to support this.
I don't know what happened to the five older Bailey children after 1898. Sophia, Olive and Charles were over 21 years old and had probably gone their own way well before then. Joseph was about 16 years old in 1898 and I would assume Hattie was also a teenager, I don't know what happened to them, if they stayed with their father or another relative.
7 year old Henry Bailey was reported to have been adopted by a family named Bortner but he is said to have ran away from them, he lived for a time with his aunt and uncle, Ferbia and John Mingus.
Ray Bailey was adopted by a family named Morgan.
and my Grandmother Mabel was adopted by the Prathers.
No one knows what became of Susan Mitchell after the family was split up. One family member said that she died around 1905.
For over one hundred years no one in my branch of the family knew exactly what became of Frank Bailey after the family split up but recently I found a note on the internet posted by a Bailey cousin saying Frank had died 1930 in Pawnee Oklahoma.
Armed with this information I visited Pawnee and found a headstone for a "B.F. Bailey" ( photo below ). I then visited the Oklahoma Historical Society library and found this obituary in the Dec. 25, 1930 issue of the Pawnee newspaper.
Benjamin F. Bailey was born at
Sandusky, Ohio, Oct. 3, 1849 and died
at Pawnee Okla., Dec 12, 1930 age
67 years, 2 months and 9 days. Came
to Oklahoma and homesteaded in Can-
adian County. Lived near Cleveland
for past 10 years.
Funeral at Pawnee Saturday at 2:30
P. M., Dec. 13 by Rev. R. J. Palmer
of M. E. church who had known him
for over 35 years.
Based on the information in this obituary I believe this is indeed my Great Grandfather Benjamin Franklin Bailey. ( Note that obituary date of birth does not match date on headstone and the age stated is clearly off by 14 years, 1930 minus 1849 is 81 not 67 ).
I've recently located Great Grandfather Frank Bailey on the 1890 Oklahoma Territorial census for Canadian County.
He's listed as Frank Bayly and on the census he reports that he had been living in the territory for 13 monthes which seems right as he came for the 1889 land run.
The census lists him as being there with 3 of his children; Sophia age 16, Charles age 12 and "George" E. age 7 ( a typo, should be Joseph E. ). All dates/ages match previous information.
No mention of Olive age 14 or of the mysterious "Hattie" age unknown. It seems somewhat unlikely that Olive was married at age 14 so perhaps she was in Ohio with family or perhaps she was deceased by 1890. As yet haven't found any mention of Hattie in any census.
On the 1890 census it shows Joseph/George as being born in KS, approx 1883. All others listed as being born in Ohio. In the 1880 federal census the family is living in Ohio so apparently they had moved to Kansas between 1880 and 1883 and lived there until ?, don't know if they had returned to Ohio before going to Oklahoma territory in 1889.
To view the various census records I've found click this link.
If any descendents of Frank Bailey's older children read this I would very much like to hear from you.
Ferbia Mitchell and John Mingus lived the rest of their lives in Oklahoma. Ferbia's grave is in the Murray cemetery in Binger Oklahoma.
The inscription on her stone reads...
Wife of E.J. Mingus
Died 10 Apr 1908
Aged 48 years
There is some confusion about whether Ferbia was Susan's aunt or sister, based on the date information on the stone I'm inclined to believe that this Firby/Ferbia was her sister but I believe she also had an aunt named Ferbia.
My Grandmother did not remember any details of her life with her natural parents but in about 1960, after several years of searching, her older brother Henry found her and shared the family history with her.
When Henry Bailey was a very young man he changed his name to John David "Dave" Mitchell. He said that he had changed his name in order to join the Army because he was underage.
During his military career he served as a doughboy in France during World War One.
I have copies of a couple of newspaper articles relating to Henry's search for his long lost brothers and sisters. He was in his 60s before he was able to track them down. I believe the first ones he found were his half brother David Marion Matherly and David's sister Ida May, both living in Bakersfield California at the time, that was in 1958.
Henry found my Grandmother Mabel soon after that, he came to Oklahoma to visit her in 1960.
I think she was skeptical of him at first but in 1961 she and I went by train to visit Henry / Dave in Oregon. I was about 7 or 8 years old at the time and don't remember too much about the visit except for the long train ride from Oklahoma to Oregon.
My Grandmother Mabel ( Bailey/Prather ) Chappell as a young woman. My Grandmother Mabel ( Bailey/Prather ) Chappell in the 1920s(?). My Great Uncle Henry Bailey in his WWI soldier uniform.
My Grandmother's brother.
Henry Bailey around 1960 Margaret Ellen Matherly ( My Grandmother's half-sister ), Henry Bailey and his wife around 1960 David Marion Matherly ( My Grandmother's half-brother ), Henry Bailey and Ida May Matherly ( My Grandmother's half-sister ) around 1960
Headstone of Ferbia ( Mitchell ) Mingus at Binger Oklahoma cemetery.
My Grandmother's Aunt.
John Prather, my Grandmother's adopted father. John Prather, my Grandmother's adopted father. John and Mary Prather, my Grandmother's adopted parents. Mary Prather, my Grandmother's adopted mother. Headstone of B. F. Bailey in Pawnee Oklahoma. Location of headstone of B. F. Bailey in Pawnee Oklahoma.