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Sheriff Joseph Bailey | Vernon County Sheriff's Department, Missouri Vernon County Sheriff's Department, Missouri


Joseph Bailey

Vernon County Sheriff's Department, Missouri

End of Watch: Tuesday, March 26, 1867

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 41

Tour: 1 year

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Gun; Unknown type

Offender: At large

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Sheriff Joseph Bailey was shot and killed while attempting to arrest two brothers for hog stealing. The suspects robbed the Sheriff of his gun, horse, and money. Two of the suspects escaped, a third suspect was lynched. A fourth suspect who escaped was later killed in May 1875 when he tried to attack a guard in a Lincoln, Nebraska prison.

Sheriff Bailey had served with the agency for one year and previously as a Brigadier General during the Civil War and was a Freemason. He was survived by his wife and four children and is buried in section 3, lot 2 of Evergreen Cemetery, Fort Scott, Bourbon County, Kansas.

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Most Recent Reflection

I stumbled across your letters while an intern at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, and was instantly hooked, whether you were writing to "The Devil," (your lawyer and best friend), or to your wife. I like retelling your life's story, whether your saving an army, as DeGeorge notes below, using a technique that had created the city of Wisconsin Dells at the cost of two lives, or your friend's letters describing the beauties of Missouri, your future home. It's a shame that you should die such a needless death, at the hands of bushwhackers, but fitting that you should have died for your country. You will not be forgotten.

Kevin Axe
Private citizen
March 16, 2015


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