The Bailey House was built in 1870, by Wells P. Bailey. It originally set about 1-1/2 miles east of Lyndon on land that had once been the site of a Sac & Fox Indian village.
The Bailey House was built in 1870, by Wells P. Bailey. It originally set about 1-1/2 miles east of Lyndon on land that had once been the site of a Sac & Fox Indian village. After a grass fire accidently burned off some of its clapboard siding in 1997, it was discovered that the 127 year old house was actually made of logs. The Bailey House was soon acquired by the Historic Preservation Partnership of Lyndon, in 1997. Since money was not available to purchase the land, funds were raised to move the house to the Lyndon City Park. The Bailey House was placed on the Register of Historic Kansas Places in 2010, and has recently undergone significant restoration. The Bailey House is one of the oldest existing structures in Osage County and has ties to both the county’s Native American and pioneer heritage.
Wells P. Bailey was born in Soden, New York in 18--. He made his living as a millwright.) Bailey and his family moved to Kansas in 1866, arriving in what is now Osage County in 1870. He preempted a 160-acre claim located 1-1/2 miles east of Lyndon. A Fox village had occupied the land purchased by Bailey, prior to the Indian removal. Bailey’s deed implies that he purchased his land for $240, along with “$54 in full of appraised value of Indian improvements on said land.” Wells Bailey formally purchased the land in 1874 and sold the west 80 acres to Samuel Holyoke who had been living there in one of the government-built Indian houses since 1867.
A manuscript was found at the Kansas Historic Society in 2003, which contained an interview with Wells Bailey in 1902, by C.R. Green—noted historian and author. In it, Bailey claims to have built his hewn log house in 1870, while he and his family stayed at the home of a neighbor. At some point, the house was sided over with clapboard, and “lath and plastered” inside. Wells Bailey lived in this house until his death in 1900. It remained in the Bailey family until 19--.
Bailey Log House Re-discovered
In the summer of 1997, a grass fire burned away some of the siding on the old Bailey house which had stood east of Lyndon for 127 years.
Upon discovery that the house was made of logs, the Historic Preservation Partnership of Lyndon (HPPL) was formed to acquire and preserve this unique piece of Osage County history. As the land upon which the house set was for sale, the owners graciously donated the house to HPPL, with the stipulation that it had to be moved offsite. HPPL raised funds and had the house moved to the Lyndon City Park in the fall of 1997.
The Historic Preservation Partnership of Lyndon immediately began researching the history of the log house. Early research soon led to the belief that the Bailey House may have originally been one of the houses built by the United States Government for the Sac & Fox Indians
After the discovery of the Green manuscript, years later, questions still remained about the origin of the house. During the restoration of the Bailey House in 2012, preservation professionals found architectural clues which indicate that Wells Bailey may have actually constructed his log home from materials salvaged from the abandoned Indian houses that were located on his land.
Although moved from its original location, the Bailey House stands today – a symbol of the transition of two cultures and an important reminder of both the Native American and pioneer heritage of Osage County.