G.M. Bailey
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The Beginnings of Gracemont, Caddo County, Oklahoma

Written by Mrs. G.M. Bailey in about 1950
Grandmother of T. Whisler [email protected]

About the starting of the town of Gracemont.

In Oct. of 1901 The G.M. BAILEY family with a large heard(sic) of cattle settled on road side about 1 1/2 miles west and north of the present sight of Gracemont and Mr. Bailey built a store & living quarters there and put in a general line of merchandise, a potition(sic) was circulated and signed by many who were settling around there about to get a Post office and Mrs. Bailey was made Postmaster in Jan. 11-02 . The office was given the name of "Ison" at the beginning -- mail was brought by stage twice a week from Anadarko to Bridgeport at that time. And in the fall of 1902 a railroad was put through from Enid to Warika(sic) through where Gracemont is now. And next step to be taken was to get a school- (as 'twas Indian land) through the Indian Agency of Anadarko enough land was set aside to build a school house (1 room). A school board was elected at a meeting in a wagon where the school house was built and the board consisted of G. M. Bailey, R. W. Billingsley and H.C. Franz. (All of whom have passed away of course).

Next step after school started Mr. Bailey moved his store building & P.O. down across the Ry. A depot was put there and the name was given ware as(sic) no prospects of a town was hoped for at that time. The Ry-Co- moved that depot to where Verden is and that is still there - later a town sight agent by the name of Frank E. Rickey of El Reno came along and took it up with the Indian agency again about opening a town there- it was passed on and Mr. Rickey had it surveyed into lots by M.E. Munsell surveyer of Anadarko. Rickey gave and deeded to Mrs. Bailey the choice business lot as she had the P.O. and Mr. Bailey built a store on it in which the P.O. was - that lot is second lot west of where Garland Bailey lives. The mail was carried by foot from Depot to P.O., then at the selling of town lots another depot was built and named "Gracemont" this time, so Mrs. Bailey potissioned(sic) P.O Dept. to change the name of the P.O. from Ison to the same as the depot "Gracemont" to save confusion in getting mail etc. it was granted.

Then as the town begun(sic) to grow three rural routs(sic) were established and later two country Post offices were discontinued - one out on Spring Creek called "Cullen" and one out N.E. of there named Radium - both of which Mrs. Bailey took in. Then the present school house was built and was consolidated with three other districk(sic) school buses employed, three grain elevators and three gins were built - one lumber yard and several stores until cars begun(sic) to be used then services stations etc. Highway no. 8 was the main road traveled from Anadarko through Gracemont on up to Bridgeport and Geary - Later the U.S. Hy. no. 281 was put in operation taking in no. 8.

Mr. Knudson, T.A. Vandeventer and G. M. Bailey were cemetary(sic) directors, they sold lots and looked after all burials.

The German Methodist church was first built but during Worlds War no. 1 it was torn down. The Baptist church was nexed(sic) built then the Methodist Church was built where the first school house stood. Wm. Granger bought the first school house and used it for part of his building his home. A part of Glen Drake's home now was the first home built in the town.

G.M. Bailey family lived in a new Indian lease house where the Highway passes the Methodist church now -Then when the Hy-way was put in it was sold. G.M. Bailey's residence next built it is where Geo. Gardner lives now. A lodge Hall was built where Comptons "drive-in" is now and the Woodman of the World and I.O.O.F. was organzied later. Modern Woodman & Royal neighbors, Woodman Circle & Rebekah Lodges were organized.

Don't remember when Ry- was taken out nor why - & lumber yd- & Elevators etc.