A Tale of Two Otways – Part 1

Who the heck would name their son Otway Licepious Bailey?  Apparently, several people.

My great-great grandfather, Hume Field Bailey, had a brother named Otway Licepious Bailey.  And Hume had an uncle named Otway Licepious Bailey.  But, who would think that there would be two Otway Licepious Baileys living in fairly close proximity to each other, born about the same time, and not obviously connected?  Well, it happened.  And here’s how we untangled them.

This will end up as maybe several posts.  Ol’ Myrt, one of the premier genealogists around, pointed out that a blog post should answer a single question.  This one will focus on the “my” Otway.  We’ll see where he was when.  Then, we will look at the “other” Otway and his story.  Finally, we will connect the dots between them.

I had always known of “my” Otway and had a little bit of information on him.  I had his birth, death, marriage, list of his children, but that was about all since he wasn’t in my direct line.  I also had found what I thought was a Confederate service record for him.  It was for Otway L. Bailey from Arkansas. Got to be this guy, right?  I was young and impatient back then.  So I added it and moved on, years ago before I became quite as suspicious as I am today.

Years pass and I get an email from another researcher, Jane.  She is working on an application for the United Daughters of the Confederacy and thinks this might be the ticket in.  Could I help with some more information?  See, she had found the “other” Otway living in a nearby county.  Are they really the same person or are they different?  And the more I started to think about it, the Confederate service seemed so unlikely to me, based on the rest of the family.  This was my grandmother Susan Louise Bailey’s family and she was always pleased with the fact that none of her Bailey ancestors had served in the Confederacy.  (I guess she didn’t know about her Deshazo ancestors service or all those Bailey slaves back in the day.  Other stories for other days.)

“My” Otway – Otway Licepious Bailey, born 1831, Virginia

“My” Otway Licepious Bailey was born 25 Mar 1831 in Mecklenburg County, Virginia. 1  His parents were Francis Baker Bailey and Evalina Belmont Hill.  The family moved around quite a bit.  They started in Virginia, moved on to Kentucky, through Tennessee, and on to Arkansas.  Otway’s biography says that his father even made a prospecting trip to Texas in 1848.  It appears that the family was in central Arkansas just prior to Arkansas statehood. 2 That’s another research topic for another day.

Francis and Evalina had twelve children and eventually settled in Missouri.  I’ve got a number of letters back and forth between the children, their parents and the cousins on both sides that pretty well nail down who was where when, at least after they settled in Arkansas and Missouri.

Otway was no stationary target, himself.  By the time he was a teenager, the family had settled in Pope County, Arkansas around Gally Rock (Galla Rock).  In his later years, a biography of Otway was published in a history of Tarrant County, Texas. 3  It tells a lot about his migrations.  Every few years, there was a move a little farther west.  Otway took an apprenticeship as a gunsmith and blacksmith in Clarksville, Johnson County, Arkansas.  Then he moved to Little Rock, Pulaski County, Arkansas to work as a gunsmith.  In the 1850 census, we find him back with the family in Gally Rock. 4 By 1853, he had moved to Fort Smith, Arkansas to work as a gunsmith and married Amanda G. Colvin there.

Amanda was a native of Illinois, having moved south with her family, possibly after a stint in the Republic of Texas.  That’s another research topic for another day.

In May 1856, Otway and Amanda moved to Austin, Travis County, Texas and then moved to Dallas County a year after that.  They remained in Dallas County for some eighteen years, more or less, before moving to Tarrant County, just one county west.  In 1902, they moved north to Edmond, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, presumably to be closer to their daughter’s family.  This is all born out by letters from Otway and Amanda, census records, and county histories. 5 6 7 8 9

According to his obituary in the Edmond (Oklahoma) Sun, though Otway never served in the military during the Civil War, the local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy awarded him the Southern Cross of Valor for his service overseeing an armory in Lancaster, Dallas County Texas, owing to his experience as a gunsmith and blacksmith.

There was certainly an armory in Lancaster and the pistols it produced are some of the most sought after by Civil War gun collectors today.  But to date, nothing indicates that he was in any way in charge of the armory or in a management position.  We have not even found a record that he worked there, though it certainly seems plausible.

Otway and Amanda had twelve children, according to the 1910 census, with only five of them still alive in 1910.  It appears from a family record that there could have been several children born late in their marriage that did not survive young childhood. 10

Otway died 8 Oct 1914 in Edmond, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, where he and Amanda had moved some years earlier to be near their daughter, Lucy. 11

In the next chapter of this saga, we will meet “the other” Otway.

 


  1. Family data, Otway L. Bailey Family Bible, The Holy Bible containing the Old and New Testaments: translated from the Original Tongues and with the Former Translations Diligently Compared and Revised, (New York: American Bible Society, 1866); original owned by [address for private use], copies received from Susan Louise Bailey. 
  2. History of Texas together with a Biographical History of Tarrant and Parker Counties: Containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families (Chicago, Illinois: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1895), p. 623. 
  3. History of Texas 
  4. 1850 U.S. Federal Census, Pope County, Arkansas, pop. sch., , p. 276, dwelling 502, family 502, Francis P. Bailey. 
  5. 1860 U.S. Federal Census, Dallas County, Texas, pop. sch., Farmers Branch, Precinct No. 21, Page 66, Dwelling 445, Family 445, O.S. Bailey. 
  6. Ancestry.com, “Texas, Voter Registration Lists, 1867-1869,” database, Ancestry.com (http://ancestry.com : accessed 20 March 2016), O.L. Bailey, No. 684. 
  7. 1870 U.S. Federal Census, Dallas County, Texas, pop. sch., Precinct 1, Dallas, Page 220, Dwelling 1402, Family 1395, Barley, Otway L. 
  8. 1880 US Federal Census, Tarrant County, Texas, pop. sch., Oak Grove, Precinct 7, ED 98, Page 1, Household 4, O.L. Bailey. 
  9. 1900 US Federal Census, Tarrant County, Texas, pop. sch., Precinct 7, ED 120, Sheet 5, Household 66, Family 66, O.L. Bailey. 
  10. 1910 US Federal Census, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, pop. sch., Edmond City, ED 190, Sheet 17B, Dwelling 392, Family 399, 575 South Broadway, Otway L. Bailey. 
  11. Otway Lysuipous Bailey, Edmond Sun, Edmond, Oklahoma Co., Oklahoma, 15 October 1914. 
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