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A Trip to California in 1853 by Washington Bailey

Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).

Errors listed in the Errata have been corrected.

The original spelling and inconsistencies have been retained except as listed at the end of the book.

The table of contents was generated for the reader's convenience. The original does not contain a table of contents.


Brief Biography Of The Author CHAPTER I, Uncle Joshua's Visit And Our Preparations For The West CHAPTER II, On The Western Plains--Some Of Our Experiences CHAPTER III, Among The Foot Hills And Troublesome Indians CHAPTER IV, Over The Mountains Into California CHAPTER V, Prospecting For Gold--Some Hard Experiences ERRATA APPENDIX





Recollections of a gold seeking trip by ox train across the plains and mountains by an old Illinois pioneer

LeRoy Journal Printing Company 1915

_Mr. Bailey was induced by some of his friends to put in writing his recollections of an overland trip made by "prairie schooner" to California, over sixty years ago. These recollections were published in the LeRoy Journal in series, and later collected and reprinted herewith in book form on the solicitation of his friends who desired a permanent record._


Washington Bailey, the author of this narrative of a trip to California in 1853, was born October, 1831, in Adams County, Ohio. Afterwards he, with his parents, came to Fountain County, Indiana, from which place he went to California, returning in 1856 to Cheney's Grove, now Saybrook, Illinois.

While in California, he sent money back to his father, who bought for him, fifty acres of land, where Bellflower village now stands, paying $5.00 per acre. This he sold in 1856, getting $6.00 per acre. He then bought 85 acres north of Saybrook, adding to it later 40 acres, at a total cost of $1,400. This was sold in 1864 for $1,875. The next year he purchased 141 acres in DeWitt County, Ill., where Mike Walden now lives, paying $22.00 per acre. He purchased more land bordering this farm until 1891, when he moved to LeRoy, where he has since resided in a commodious home south of the city park.

This farm of 261 acres was divided up among his children and afterwards sold. Mr. Bailey later invested in 160 acres in DeWitt County, which he now owns conjointly with his wife, having deeded 80 acres to her. Besides his residence, he owns another residence property in LeRoy.

Mr. Bailey was married to Julian Brittin, March 19, 1857, and they are parents of three boys and three girls, all living. They are: A. G. Bailey, who was serving his second term as mayor of LeRoy, when this volume was published; Henry Bailey, of Normal; Lincoln Bailey and Mrs. Nancy Van Deventer, of LeRoy; Mrs. Sarah Brown, of Maroa, and Mrs. Emma Vance, of Farmer City.

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