Special visitor comes to Bayless Home
March 25, 2015
The Bayless-Salyer House was graced with a rather appropriate visitor on Saturday when Mary Bayless stopped by to visit with the Barry County Genealogical and Historical Society (BCGHS) and tell her life story. Or at least, someone pretending to be Mary Bayless.
Crista Rice, a member of the Rogers County Historical Society (RCHS) in Oklahoma, has spent the last year doing research on the Bayless family, and specifically Mary (Stubblefield) Bayless. The RCHS is the group who maintains the other John Bayless-built home, Belvidere Mansion in Claremore, Okla.
Dressed in full period-specific dress, Rice spoke to the group in the Bayless-Salyer house in Cassville. Using research gathered from journals and other documents, Rice presented Mary’s life, including their family life, their involvement in the wars, political beliefs and the great fire in Cassville in 1893. She also talked about John’s death while he was building the new home in Claremore. The mansion was built in a relatively short span with the ground-breaking in March 1907 and Mary and one of her sons moving in by Christmas the same year.
Georgia Hart, of the BCHGS, and Rice discussed information that each of the groups had about the family and how information was pieced together over the years to help grasp a better understanding of the Baylesses. This isn’t the first time the two groups have worked together to put together an accurate history of the family. The Oklahoma group also visited last year and shared a copy of John’s journal that had been found by the group.
Cassville’s Bayless-Salyer home has been a renovation in progress with big improvements made in the last few years with the BCGHS decided to take on the project. A donation made by Margie Pannell, a woman who died in St. Joseph, Mich., last year but had ties to Barry County through family, should help the group finish the home’s projects, and then it will be open to groups in the community who wish to utilize the space for gatherings, meetings and educational purposes.