The Baileys of Drummond Island

Drummond Island was settled by Daniel Murray Seaman and family in 1853. In 1880, George Warren Bailey and family came to Drummond and soon the two families were united and became part of the history of Drummond Island.

In 1999, Jill Lowe Brumwell (a Bailey descendent) wrote a series of articles about the Bailey family of Drummond Island and these were published in a local newspaper, The Evening News. An index to the entire series of eight articles is here.

The Bailey Story: Installment Seven - Sunday, October 24, 1999

The Seaman clan figures prominently in Drummond Island's Bailey story

By Jill Lowe Brumwell
For The Evening News

Drummond Island - It would be impossible to tell the story of the Bailey family without mentioning the Seaman family because there were marriages that linked the families forever. The Seaman family arrived on Drummond Island in 1853, 27 years before the Bailey family. Daniel Murray and his second wife, Betsy Grandy Seaman, were the first white settlers on Drummond, having fled a Mormon colony on Beaver Island.

Seaman's first wife, Lovina Smith, died eight years after their marriage - but not before she had presented her husband with five children, two of them died in infancy. The three surviving children in order of age were Cecelia, known as Celia, who later became Mrs. Ludlow Hill; Manada, known as Naida, who became Mrs. Sam Chambers; and Samuel. About a year after Daniel Murray's first wife's passing, he married 21 year-old Elizabeth (Betsy) Grandy. She gave him five more sons and six more daughters.

D.M. Seaman died 10 years after arriving on Drummond Island. After his death, Betsy carried on alone and undaunted, a venerable matriarch of a huge rugged island. Their children were William James, Edwin Augustus, Lovina Elizabeth, Olive, Don Carlos, Eliza Melissa, Alice Fazie, Ludlow Albert, Lillie (Lily), Rosina, Phoebe Estelle, and Daniel Murray Seaman Jr. Lillie married Charles Fairchild. They had a daughter named Lily Myrtle, who married Warren Edwin Bailey, forming one of the three Bailey-Seaman links.

Ludlow Albert Seaman was born in 1857 on Drummond Island. He married Margaret Melvin, and their children were Lelia, Lee, Emma, Mynor, Theil, Charles, Bryce, and Holley. Emma and Theil married into the Bailey family, adding two more links to the Seamans.

Blaine Logan Bailey was born on Drummond Island on December 21, 1884. He was the ninth child born to George Warren and Cornelia Edgerton Bailey, the second born on the island, after his sister Alda. Blaine and Alda became the best of buddies. They hunted and fished together during their childhood.

Blaine and his brother, Marshall, grew up and fell in love with two sisters. Their brother Bryce Seaman said, "Marshall and Blaine Bailey used to come over to our house to see my sisters (Lelia and Emma). They would just sit down on the steps without saying anything. My dad used to send me out to tell them to come on in."

Emma and Blaine were a popular couple when they began to go through their courtship. Both had been born and raised on the island and attended the same school. Their trails had merged and parted over the years but were never far from the island.

Emma was born and grew up on the Ludlow Seaman farm off the Scammons Cove (Johnswood) Road. Her mother Margaret (Melvin) was born in Scotland, but her father, Ludlow, a member of the pioneer Seaman family, was born at the Seaman homestead on the shores of Potagannissing Bay.

Emma and Blaine were an item back in 1908 or 1909. There was no skating party, dance or boating excursion complete without them. Blain was a handsome man, with the famous Bailey charm, and Emma was a petite lady, with a wonderful smile.

Blaine had gotten his engineer's license, which qualified him to operate a ship. This added to his experience as a lumberjack, sawmill hand, carpenter, farmer and several other talents. Blaine lived on the Bailey spread, a farm on the Warner's Cove Road and, at times, in the Bailey town house in the Village.

Earle and Clifford were both courting and Frank was showing signs of out-stripping the rest of his brothers in height. Nina and Nona were still young girls who, as babies of the brood, were indulged by their aging parents. Added to these family members were the faithful family retainer, Henry LaWare, a French-Canadian bachelor from Vermont, who had followed the family fortunes through think and thin, from Wisconsin to Michigan. At times there was a hired girl to help keep everything afloat and a chore boy, mill workers and sundry folks.

Various halls were used for Box Socials where the ladies out-did each other by packing a decorated box or basket with a variety of dainties. An auctioneer held up each colorful offering and asked for bids. Of course, it was supposed to be a deep dark secret who the box belonged to, but a description of a certain box was whispered to a certain young man who tried to secure his young lady as his partner to enjoy the lunch together. Of course, his would-be friends tried to out bid him, which made the party sponsors very happy, They also enjoyed shadow shows, where the lights were lowered in the building and the stage brightly lit behind a sheet or curtain. The box holder would go through a series of antics while the bidders tried to figure who it might be.

An old photo shows a dapper bunch of guys and a lovely bevy of girls ready to embark on a Sunday cruise. The girls wore flowery hats, shirtwaist blouses, while the men wore jaunty fedoras, white shirts and ties. These were the usual boating costumes. In the larger boat were Emma and Blaine, Earle Bailey and Mabel McAdam, Bill Kemp and Winnie Melvin; all these couples were married within a year. Nearby Lelia Seaman and her date, the handsome Bailey boy, Marshall, who tragically died of tuberculosis a few years later.

Blaine Logan Bailey, 1884-1966, married Emma Seaman, and formed another of the three links between the Bailey and Seaman families. Emma was the daughter of Ludlow Seaman. There were parents of Kenneth, Theil, Glenn and Ludlow. Ken married Gertrude Newhouse and they had one daughter, Betsy. Theil first married Lois O'Conner; there were no children. His second wife was Bess Dunne, their children were Trudy and Theilia. Glenn Seaman Bailey married Gertrude Kemppainen; they had five children named Sharleen Jo, Patricia, Judith, Gertrude Gay, and Glenn Dennis. Ludlow married Francis Wommer and their children were Ann Marie, Ludlow II, Robert, Janet, Deborah, and Kenneth.