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W. T. Bailey Lumber Company (Virginia, Minn.) (1897-?) | Archives and Special Collections, Kathryn A. Martin Library, University of Minnesota Duluth

Name: W. T. Bailey Lumber Company (Virginia, Minn.) (1897-?)
Variant Name: Bailey's Town Pump

Historical Note:

In 1897 William Thomas Bailey organized the W. T. Bailey Lumber Company around a mill purchased from J D. Rickey in Virginia, Minnesota. W. T.'s son Richard Roberts (R. R.) Bailey, who was secretary-treasurer of the company, owned 97 percent of the stock until 1906, when he divided it between his father, mother, brother, and sister. W. T. Bailey died in 1914.

The W. T. Bailey Lumber Company operated the Rickey mill until 1908 when they erected a modern band mill of 40 thousand feet capacity. That mill burned May 10, 1928. In 1930 they erected a mill of 50 thousand feet capacity which had an electric planer.

R. R. Bailey was the moving force in the corporation following establishment of the company in Virginia, Minnesota. Later William Bailey, Jr. came in as an operational partner. R. R. was born in MIchigan, Februrary 23, 1875. In 1906 he married Berniece Lee of Lakota, North Dakota. They had three children, Rebecca Lee, Richard Roberts Bailey, Jr. and Berniece. R. R. Bailey died on June 7, 1962.

The Baileys' efforts in the retail lumber industry ended in 1951 when the company was reorganized around Bailey's Town Pump, a retail gas and oil company in Virginia and a wholesale electric planing mill.

Rebecca (Bailey) Raley, R. R. and W. T. Jr.'s sister, sued for liquidation of the company in 1955, claiming R. R. and other officers had fraudulently failed to inform her that the company was being reorganized, that the corporate purposes had failed, and the corporation should have been dissolved and the assets distributed.

See Digital Content for more information.

Note Author: B.H. Bruemmer

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