Monday, December 6, 2010

Sheriff Jesse James Bailey

Jesse James Bailey was born 14 June 1888 in Madison County, North Carolina, to Rasmus Bailey and Sarah Hensley Bailey. He lived to be ninety-two years old, and died 21 December 1980 in Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina. Jesse James Bailey served as sheriff of Madison County, 1920-1922, and of Buncombe County, 1928-1930. Much of his career as sheriff was spent enforcing Prohibition laws. In addition to his work as sheriff, Bailey worked for 58 years as a telegrapher and a detective for the Southern Railroad.

The magazine The State: Down Home in North Carolina in its 8 February 1958 issue published an article titled "The Saga of Sheriff Jesse James Bailey." Successor publication Our State kindly authorized use of that article and its images, with Our State retaining all rights. To read the article go to: Sheriff Jesse James Bailey. You will need Adobe Reader.

See Also:

The Southern Historical Collection
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Collection Number: 05260
Collection Title: Jesse James Bailey Papers, 1916-1964 (bulk 1920-1930)

In the 1955 book The French Broad author Wilma Dykeman devoted a chapter ("The High Sheriff") to Sheriff Jesse James Bailey. At the time, he was the only man to be elected sheriff of two North Carolina counties. Whether Sheriff Baily still holds that record is not known.

Oral History: Jesse James Bailey (1880-1980)


Sheriff Jesse James Bailey's Big Lie


Big Lie told to Sheriff Jesse James Bailey


How I Got the Name Jesse James


Elephant Loose in the Mountains



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