Life Story of Elizabeth Young Bailey

Mother of Alice Bailey Stay, and first wife of George Brown Bailey

Elizabeth Young (Bailey) was the first-born child of Isaac Young and Anna Davis

(Young). She was born April 30th 1833 at Bristol England. She was the eldest

of six children, Elizabeth; Ann; Ellen; Caroline; Isaac and Aaron. She learned

to work early in life. He father was a tanner by trade and each morning he took

her to the home of two maiden ladies where she did such little jobs as dusting

the chairs, threading needles, running errands and wiping the tea things. She

used to tell of one time just after she had dried the tea dishes and one of the

sisters came into the room, observing her closely, she said, "Elizabeth, did you

dry the dishes with that soiled pinafore on?" "Yes ma'am, I did," was the reply.

"Then child you must don a clean one and wash them over." However they took an

interest in her education and helped her in many ways. Schooling was expensive

and she received little of it, excepting what she learned in Sabbath school and

the aid she received from these two ladies.


When she was about sixteen her mother and grandmother Davis persuaded her to go

and listen to some Mormon Elders speak. She became interested in their doctrine

and on Feb. 15th 1849 she was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of

Latter-day Saints. She was baptized by Edward Brain and was confirmed by Elder

John Rolls. As they were walking to the place where the baptism was to take

place, they saw her father coming towards them, so Elder Brain lowered the

umbrella before their faces and they were able to walk by him with out notice.

However her father joined the Church later.


Isaac Young (her father) was expert in his trade as a tanner and because of the

need for this in Utah, he was advised to immigrate as early as possible, he went

to Liverpool and there put all of his luggage aboard the ship "Saluda" ready to

sail for America, but he was prompted to remove his luggage again and wait for

the next ship "Ellen Maria". He was later thankful for this prompting, because

this ship sank before it ever reached America. He sailed with the first company

that used the Perpetual Immigration Fund in 1852.


From the Mississippi he drove an ox team hitched to a Santa Fe Wagon. In the

wagon was the body of an Elder who was being taken home for burial. Abraham O.

Smoot was in charge of this company and they arrived in Salt Lake City September

the 3rd 1852 and immediately secured work in the tannery of Ira Ames.

Now that the father was in America, the rest of the family desired to go to

America more than ever, the women helped to earn the passage money by taking in

washing, but they did not neglect their local meetings, and it was at one of

these meetings that Elizabeth met George Brown Bailey, from Bath Somerset. He

was a graduate of the college at Bath and had apprenticed himself as a

cabinetmaker. He was born at Bath on Feb. 15th 1833 and was also a member of

the Mormon Church. When Elizabeth first saw him at church she spoke of him as

that "Great Long Deacon" because he was so thin and tall. Never the less, they

fell in love and were married very quietly by Elder John Alexander on Feb. 10th

1853. George had left his work in the middle of the day and with Elder

Alexander came to the home of Elizabeth where upon their arrival she dried her

hands of soapsuds and on entering the living room, they were made man and wife.

After tea, each of them went back to their work and none of their friends even

knew about the marriage until they were on their way to Zion.


Ten days after the marriage, they left Bristol and went to Liverpool where they

awaited the boat to sail to America for a month. The trip lasted six weeks but

they finally landed at New Orleans, and it took three more weeks to sail up the

Mississippi River to Keokuk Iowa. The worst part of the journey was yet ahead of

them. It took thirteen weeks to cross the plains with the Appleton Harmon

Company. The trip was especially hard for the bride as she walked most of the

way. She tried to bake bread with buffalo chips, she feared the Indians and was

terrified when there was a stream or river to be crossed. She never did

overcome this aversion to water. They arrived in Salt Lake City in October



In 1854 the Council House was built and many went there to be sealed for time

and eternity. Among them were Isaac Young and his wife Anna Davis Young, also

George Brown Bailey and his wife Elizabeth. Since the last couple named were

the youngest of the group, Brother Heber C. Kimball called them to be first,

consequently they were sealed for eternity before her parents were.

In the fall of that year, Sept. 1854, George and Elizabeth’s first child was

born, whom they named Joseph Hyrum. Shortly after this her father cut his

thumb while skinning a poisoned cow; blood poisoning set in and he died

September 26th 1854.


When Elizabeth’s father first arrived in the valley they drew a lot in the city

and built a home on it. (This was the way they acquired lots then). But some

time after his death, Bishop Raligh asked the widow (Anna Davis Young) to deed

the property over to him in exchange for another lot located else where in the

City. This she did, but the Bishop then refused to deed any land back to her,

he said that the lot was taken to pay for the Perpetual Immigration Fund, which

Isaac Young has used but never paid back. George Bailey objected to his mother

in law giving up this land so the matter was taken up with President Brigham

Young, who said, "Let him have it, Bro. Bailey, and the Lord will bless you ten

fold." A few days later, as he was going home from work, a man by the name of

John Ebbe asked him if he would like to get a ten acre farm out at Mill Creek.

George answered in the affirmative. He had to work out a seventy dollar

assessment and was given three years in which to do it. He had taken President

Young’s advice and now felt that this was a fulfillment of the words of his



The family moved out on this land which was covered with sagebrush, oak brush

and willows, in fact the country was so wild that a deer ran close by the wagon

as they were driving along. In this wagon were all their worldly possessions

and it also served as their home and in it their eldest child learned to walk.

Later George made some chairs for a Mr. Boket and thru this he secured some

adobe with which to build a house and together they laid the walls. He hauled

three large logs to get across the top of the walls and secured some sheeting

lumber that he nailed to the logs with square wooden pegs. The cracks were

covered with slabs and this floorless, windowless hut became their home. This

home was never the less a big improvement over the wagon box. It was a two

roomed house with two fire placers, four holes that were covered with slabs or

sheets served as windows and a door that hung on leather hinges. It was built

in 1855.


The writer remembers that once when the fire had gone out and they had no tinder

(tinder was made by burning a rag) and this was kept in a sardine can along with

flint steel, that George loaded his gun with powder and a rag, and then fired the

gun, which made the rag ignite and a fire was soon burning.


During the winter, George’s mother, Ann Smith Bailey, his sister Elizabeth, his

brother Rueben and a nephew, William Lamborn came to the valley and lived with

them. These extra mouths to feed caused a food shortage in the Bailey home, and

food became a real problem that winter.


In the spring, the ten acres were planted to wheat and George went in to Salt

Lake to work. He was no farmer and never learned to be one.  One Sunday, they

saw their wheat green and promising, but on the very next Sunday the ground was

absolutely barren, the grasshoppers had eaten it. Then they replanted it with corn

and squash and both crops matured.


Elizabeth and her younger sister gleaned wheat where they could, threshed and

cleaned it by hand and ground it in a coffee mill and then made it into bread or



One day a strange woman came to the Bailey home and asked Elizabeth is she would

trade her some squash that she had raised for a table big enough to serve four.

Since Elizabeth could well use another table, she agreed. The next day she

carried ten squash one at a time the length of the ten-acre field and waited for

the table. Soon the woman arrived with the table, she was amazed go see that

the table she had bargained for was made of rough lumber and measured about

eighteen inches square. How ever she kept her agreement and gave her the

squash, but after the woman left she sat down and cried.


At the time of the reformation, President Young told the people that they must

all repent of their sins and cleanse themselves of all their iniquities, or God

would punish them further, as they had already been punished by a shortage of

food. At this time, this same woman came back to Elizabeth and asked for her

forgiveness and said the reason that she had misrepresented the table was that

she needed food for her children and was afraid that if she told her the size of

the table that she would not be able to get the squash.


About this time, Grandmother Young (Elizabeth’s mother) who lived in the

nineteenth ward gleaned enough wheat to earn half a bushel. She and her two

children walked about ten miles to Bishop John Neff’s mill located in the mouth

of Mill Creek Canyon and had it ground into flour. Then they carried it down to

the Bailey home and made a cake with saleratus and buttermilk. They had a cup

of tea with it and felt that they had really enjoyed a treat. Elizabeth and her

sister walked part way back into town with her mother and figured that they had

walked about twenty-five miles that day.


Elizabeth’s husband George had plenty of work in Salt Lake City, but received

very little pay. He walked home twice a week, got up early the next morning,

walked back the seven miles and then worked ten hours that day. One evening he

failed to bring home a parcel as he had promised, because he had been unable to

collect any money. Elizabeth was so disappointed and felt so badly that he laid

off work the next day, got two bushels of corn from a man who was indebted to

him, carried the shelled corn into town and bought five yards of factory type of

un-bleached muslin but of a much poorer quality and three yards of bright yellow

calico to make baby clothes for the child who was born the next day. (This was

Ellen Maria, who’s married name was Humphrey)


The Bailey’s had suffered so much hardship that she was not too happy about

bringing another child into the world, they had subsisted mostly on roots from

the cat-tail plants that grew in the pond near by and greens that grew wild in

the fields. Their bread was made from bran that had been sifted so many times

that a loaf would not hold together in its baking. So naturally the baby girl

was a tiny sickly little ting during her childhood. However she lived to a ripe

old age in Salina Utah, and was loved and respected all her life for the good

she did to her fellow men.


As stated before, this was one of the hardest years the Bailey family ever

experienced, often they did not have enough to eat, even of roots and greens and

one night they went to bed with out any supper at all, after praying that a way

might be opened up where by they might obtain food. Shortly afterwards they

heard some one at the door and on opening it they found a sack of flour lying on

the doorstep. Several days later a neighbor told them that he had gone to bed

but was pressed to get up and take the flour to the Bailey family as he felt

that they were in need of food.


The next year the crops were better, but the cloud of an invasion by an army of

the U.S.A. hung over the valley. Elizabeth took the canvas wagon cover and made

a shirt, cap and a pair of trousers for her husband to wear when he went out to

meet Johnston’s army with the state militia.


The Mormons had vowed that they would never again leave their homes and

possessions to invaders, so each group put straw around their homes, so that a

torch applied to it would quickly set fire to the whole city. Then each family

was to leave their homes and go south (down near Provo or Lehi) to a place

called the narrows near the point of the mountain out from Draper.

Before George left he put as much of their worldly goods into the wagon as they

could and put the remainder in a box to be buried if the army entered the valley

to take over and moved his family to the fish trap in the Jordan River Narrows.

Every ones nerves were on edge and the tension was high. Consequently when his

brother Ruben Bailey came in one day and cracked his whip, Elizabeth thought it

was a gun. The shock put her to bed and her life was despaired of. The

neighbors sent word to George and he walked the distance of 18 miles in less

than three hours.


The Johnston army did enter the valley, but it was in the terms of President

Young and other leaders and with them the problem of food was simplified

somewhat and clothing became more plentiful.


The family moved back to their homes in the spring. Soon after wards on April

13th 1859 a pair of twins were born to Elizabeth and George. They were so

small that they were regarded as a curiosity, and people came from all around to

see them. One day a Brother John Scott came and held them both in his left arm,

and in the name of Israel’s God, promised that they should live to be a father

and a mother in Zion. The boy was named George B. Bailey and at one month of

age weighed only four pounds, the girl was named Elizabeth Davis Bailey (married

name Humphrey, also, Ellen and Elizabeth married brothers) she weighed even less

than did her twin brother George. This promise which was pronounced upon them

was literally fulfilled, George grew to manhood and became the father of twelve

children and Elizabeth became the mother of seven and both of them lived to be

more than 75 years of age.


After settling back in their homes that spring, George planted four acres in

fruit trees, mostly peaches. This was a fortunate move because in later years

these peaches brought in many dollars, and in 1896 they cut and dried 1300

bushels of them and sold them at forty cents a pound to Mr. Teasdale.

Soon after the trees were planted George’s brother Rueben shot him self in the

leg and died in a few days. He and his mother had been living in Spanish Fork

at that time, so George left his ten acres of trees for a while and moved his

family there to help take care of his mother’s farm. Here they had more food to

eat but clothing was very hard to obtain.


Ellen Maria tells how she had no shoes to wear at all. Never the less, she was

sliding on the ice with the other children. She would slide a while and then

sit on her feet to warm them. Her father watched her for a period and then

turning with tears in his eyes said that he would make her some shoes out of his

boot tops, which he did. So she had shoes that year to wear.


That fall, when the grain was nearly ripe, the Indians drove their ponies into

the fields and dared the farmers to drive them out. The white men were far out

numbered to try to do so, but Brother O. K. Thurber persuaded them to take them

out, so blood was averted.


One day Elizabeth’s son Joseph took her and some neighbor women to Payson

Bottoms to gather saleratus, (an alkali that formed on the ground in some

localities). Ellen Maria was told to stay at home and to keep the door locked.

However her curiosity over came her prudence when some friendly Indians came and

she opened up the door and gave them all the bread there was in the house.

This same fall, Joseph was herding sheep on the bench with the two older boys

when they saw some Indian warriors approaching, they took hold of hands and ran

towards home, Joe was smaller than them and was in the center when an arrow was

shot over his head and between the heads of the other boys, after this Indian

trouble became constantly worse and finally they had to abandon the farm at

Spanish Fork and move back to Mill Creek. While they had been away, a

cloudburst in Mill Creek Canyon had carried rocks over the orchard and washed a

tunnel under the north room of the house. Consequently they tore down this room

and built two small rooms back of the south room, which had withstood the flood.

Elizabeth learned to spin wool and weave cloth to cloth her children. The men

scoured the sheep before they sheared them; this was done by taking them to a

stream and rubbing them with sand trying to clean the wool. But this was hard

work, so sometimes the sheep were sheared without it. Then little bits were

picked out of the wool by hand, washed in warm water and greased for carding.

But to get grease for this was also a problem, the lard was usually all used up,

and so they often used their table supply of butter on the wool. It took one

pound of butter to grease ten pounds of wool. When this was done, it was taken

to the carding machine, and paid two pounds out of the five pounds of wool for



Lye was made out of ashes, and this was used to make soap. Grease for the soap

making was saved during the winter months from scraps of unusable fat.

Coloring wool was a quaint process. Black wool was colored with log weed and

copper, red was made from madder root, blue was made with indigo and chamber

lye, yellow with peach leaves and alum or rabbit brush blossoms and alum.

One spring Elizabeth hired her spinning done, she could not buy warp in town.

The girl could spin four skeins a day, each skein had ten knots in it and each

knot had forty threads two yards long in it, she was paid ten cents a skein for

filling and twelve and one half cents for warp.


During the time they lived at Spanish Fork another child had been born and later

three more were born in the old house. All the women of that time had all they

could do, but they often had to take time to help each other. Medical help was

out of the question and mid wives were scarce, so Elizabeth began by helping her

neighbors when childbirth time approached, she kept no record, but she estimated

that she had helped to bring more than a hundred babies into the world.

February 8th 1868 was a memorable day in the Bailey home because on this day

George took unto himself a plural wife. She was a Danish girl and only sixteen

years old, her birthday being the 13th of September 1852. Her name was Elsie

Maria Andrews. Ellen Maria writes that she was happy about this, because all

the men had more than one wife in their community, and she said further, they

had bigger houses and more dishes. (Showing what a Childs idea is of things

that count).


The peach orchard began to bear this next year, so from then on the financial

problems were not so difficult and Elizabeth and George purchased their first

stove. Prior to this time, they and cooked on the open fireplace.

About one year later the family all went out into the back yard to look at a

birds nest. There in a small tree near by was a swarm of bees. They all worked

together and caught them and they were the beginning of an apiary that brought

in thousands of dollars during later years. George was known as "Bailey the Bee



Elizabeth and George and the older boys spent their time working with the bees

and the fruit, while Elsie took charge of the housework and the care of the

small children. Everything was peace and harmony and the two women lived in

the same house like a mother and daughter.  After the bees and the peaches

began to swell the bank account George built a larger house. Life became a little

bit more comfortable.


They were only nicely settled in their new home when the dreaded scourge of

diphtheria hit the community. It raged from the 26th of January until the 24th

of February and when it had spent its force, Elizabeth had buried three sons and

two daughter and Elsie had buried a son and a daughter, she had but one child

left. The following summer the eldest son Joseph, who was now married and

living in Salina, died of Diphtheria also, this was almost more than they could

stand. (See a letter from Joseph to his family urging them to leave the house

and come to Salina to get away from the disease, also see newspaper account

about the George Brown Bailey family written by the Health Department Head).

In 1886, George was sent to the penitentiary in Salt Lake City, with many more

men for unlawful cohabitation. While he was there his two wives built a

two-roomed house for Elsie, in which she lived until she later deserted her

husband and six children for another man. Elizabeth took care of these children

during the next three years. (See The Internment of George Brown Bailey, by

Gary E. Stay).


This little episode hastened or at least shortened the life of George and on the

4th of November 1895 he passed away. Elsie then took her children to live with

her, all except the youngest one who refused to leave, so he was cared for by

Elizabeth until he grew up and was married.


Elizabeth was a devout worker in the Relief Society; she held the position of

treasurer in the Mill Creek Ward R. S. and then when the ward was divided she

retained her position in the Wilford Ward R. S. making a total of more than

twenty-five years. She also was a worker in the temple for six years.

She lived to se another epidemic; in 1918 influenza was as bad or worse than the

diphtheria epidemic because it affected adults as well as children and the First

World War had just came to a close.


She had given up house keeping in 1912 and spent her time living with her

children, mostly her two daughters Ellen and Alice, there also was her married

daughter Elizabeth.


When 82 years of age she learned to knit, and several pairs of socks were sent

to the fighting men over seas.


Shortly before her death she counted up her descendants and found that they

totaled 100, and she was happy to find that there was not a cripple or a

defective one among them. She was the mother of twelve children, six boys and

six girls, one girl died at birth and five children died of the diphtheria, also

the eldest son who died on the same after being grown and married and three

daughters and two sons survived her.


In 1918 she came to Salt Lake City from Salina, where she had been staying with

her daughter Ellen to attend October Conference, while there she contacted the

flue germ went back to Salina where she passed away, October 18th 1918. She was

buried in the Salt Lake Cemetery besides her loved ones who had gone before.

She died a true and faithful Latter Day Saint.