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Dr. Mahlon Bailey diary

 Collection — Box: 1
Call Number: RH MS 1352


A "Physician's Daily Pocket Record" notebook, used as a diary by Dr. Mahlon Bailey while he was on Army duty. Bailey served as surgeon during the six-month campaign of the N19th Regiment, Kansas Cavalry Volunteers, which neutralized threats to Euro-American Plains settlers caused by Native American raiding parties in 1868. Also in the collection is a photo of Dr. Bailey.


  • Creation: October 16, 1868 - April 7, 1869


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Mahlon Bailey (1835-1893)

Dr. Mahlon Bailey was born on March 15, 1835 near Salem, Ohio to a Quaker family. Bailey attended Iowa State University and St. Louis Medical College where he received his medical degree in 1858. He then settled in Emporia, Kansas, where he became the town's first physician.

In 1861, Bailey joined the 1st Regiment, Kansas Volunteers, an infantry unit aligned with the Union, where he served as Assistant Surgeon. On May 27, 1862, he was promoted to the rank of Surgeon. He remained with the 1st Kansas Volunteers until they were mustered out of service on July 1, 1863. Following his military service, Dr. Bailey moved to Topeka, Kansas and resumed medical practice. In 1864, he married Laura Jarboe of Muscatine, Iowa.

During 1868, tension between white settlers in western Kansas and Native American tribes reached its height. Native Americans were raiding Euro-American settlements throughout Kansas. By mid-August, Kansas Governor Crawford asked United States President Andrew Johnson for aid to supply a volunteer force to remove the Native Americans from Kansas. Several more raids and major battles between the US Army and Cavalry and the Native Americans occurred through September. In mid-September, Crawford resigned as Governor to become Commander of the newly-created 19th Kansas Cavalry Volunteers under the direction of General Sheridan.

It was under these circumstances that Dr. Bailey joined the 19th to serve as its surgeon. Approximately 1,000-1,200 men joined the 19th Kansas Volunteers, and by October, they were marching southwest to join up with Major General George A. Custer's 7th US Cavalry at Camp Supply, Indian Territory. Despite bad weather and lack of food, together with the 7th Cavalry, the 19th Kansas Volunteers were successful in removing hostile and peaceful Native American tribes from Kansas. As Dr. Bailey related in his diary, none of the men of the 19th were lost to any encounter with Native tribes. By the spring of 1869, the 19th was mustered out of service at Fort Hays.

Following his service, Dr. Bailey returned to Topeka. In 1869, he was President of the Kansas State Medical Society. In 1870-71, he and his family moved to Chanute, Kansas where he abandoned formal practice in medicine and founded a bank called M. Bailey and Company. It was the first bank in Neosho County. Bailey was also involved in other business ventures and served two terms as Mayor of Chanute. He also served on the local school board.

Mahlon Bailey and his wife had four sons and one daughter. Dr. Bailey died on August 2, 1893.


.25 Linear Feet (1 document case)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

RH MS 1352

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchase, Ian Jackson, September 2013.

Physical Description

Diary, leather bound, gilt inscribed with "M. Bailey," called the "Physician's Daily Pocket Record." The record includes references to medical conditions and shorthand symbols for doctors to use when making calls on patients. Advertisements are included in the reference section and on the back cover.

Guide to the Dr. Mahlon Bailey collection
Dr. Mahlon Bailey diary
Finding aid prepared by msb. Finding aid encoded by msb.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Dr. Mahlon Bailey diary, RH MS 1352, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States