Bailey Street

One of Whittier’s first streets, Bailey honors “Uncle Jonathan” and “Aunt Rebecca” Bailey, who cofounded this city. Jonathan Bailey (1819-1904) was born in Virginia but spent most of his life on a farm outside of Wilmington, Ohio. In 1842, he married Rebecca Frazier (1821-1898), an Ohio native, and they raised a small family. Devout Quakers, the Baileys lived modestly under rugged conditions and were active in local affairs, with Jonathan helping to raise funds to open, in 1871, Wilmington College – a Quaker university that continues to operate today. The Baileys visited Los Angeles three times during the 1870s and 1880s to see their son Ed, who lived there intermittently. (During a visit in February 1886, Jonathan was struck in the head by a rock hurled at a Chinese man by a racist mob; it nearly killed him.) The couple settled here for good in 1887 when they established Whittier with A.H. Pickering, T. Elwood Newlin, John H. Painter, and Hervey Lindley. In fact the Baileys are considered Whittier’s first residents, as they moved into the region’s only house at the time: the former home of farmer Jacob Gerkens. Nicknamed “The Old Ranch House”, it was the site of Whittier’s first religious service and still stands on Camilla near Painter.