James & Rebecca Bailey and their children, including Charlotte Bailey Scales

Last Will and Testament of James M. Smith, Asheville, NC
Codicil dated January 7, 1854

“…I further direct that the girl Caroline in said will given to my daughter Sarah L McDowell be given to my daughter Jane Cordelia and in her stead I give to the said Sarah L a negro woman Rebecca and her child Charlotte which I purchased of William W McDowell and placed in her possession, and further I will and direct that the said girl Caroline together with the Piano Forte in my house + a side board and bureau to be chosen by her of all in my house to be given to my daughter Jane Cordelia….”

In 1870, Rebecca Baley (44) was married to James Baley (54) and they had six people living in their Asheville household – four that are likely their children – Charlotte, 20, Alcy, 13, Pink, 11, Ellen, 5 and two others – Ziepha Smith, 70, and Lewis Smith, 75 – perhaps the parents of Rebecca or James or even an older sibling and their spouse.

They were all born in North Carolina.

James was a brick mason and Rebecca was “keeping house.” Charlotte is the only other person in the household with employment; she was working out of the house as a “House Domestic.”

At 20 years old in 1870, Charlotte would have been born c1850 – which would have made her 3 or 4 years old when James M. Smith wrote the codicil to his will.

1870 Buncombe County Census

On April 22, 1873, Charlotte Bailey (19) married Walter Scale (21) in Asheville. James Bailey was one of the witnesses.

In 1880, James (65) and Rebecca (56) Bailey still lived in Asheville. Their son James (21) and daughter Pink (18) lived in the house along with Charlotte (30) who may have been widowed. Listed as the nieces and nephews of James and Rebecca Bailey were Walter Scales (6), Rebecca Scales (4), and Mary Scales (25). Also in the house was Ellen Smith (15) the grand child of James and Rebecca and George Pearson (9), who is listed as adopted. 

James Sr was still working as a brick mason and Charlotte was working as a cook.

In 1883, James Bailey Sr. and James Bailey Jr. were both brick layers and residing at a home on South Main Street.

In 1884, William and Sarah L McDowell sold 11.25 acres to James Bailey for $300.

“This Deed made this third day of November 1884 by W.W. McDowell and his wife Sarah L. McDowell at Buncombe County and State of North Carolina of the first part to James Bailey of Buncombe County and State of North Carolina of the second part, Witnesseth that said W.W. + S.L. McDowell in consideration of Three Hundred Dollars to them paid by James Bailey, the reciept of which to hereby acknowledged hath bargained and sold and by the presents do bargain sell and convey to said James Bailey and his heirs all the right title … and estate of the party of the first part in and to a tract of land in Buncombe County – Sate of No Carolina adjoing the lands of Mrs. EA Smith Erwin and others … containing 11 1/4 acres….”

On April 26, 1889, James and Rebecca Bailey sold a tract of land to their daughter, Charlotte Scales, for $5.

This parcel adjoined “the lands of James Bailey Jr. and others” and was one acre in size. 

However, “…on the 1st day of August 1892 Charlotte Scales executed and delivered…a certain deed of trust conveying…the lands and premises therein…and whereas deafult was made in the conditions of the said deed of trust…in compliance with the demands of the said…trust, advertised said land according to law and in accordance with the terms of the said deed of trust, and sold the parcel at public auction at the Court House door in the City of Asheville, County of Buncombe and State of North Carolina on the 20th day of July, 1896, for cash, when and where said Mrs. Sarah L. McDowell became the last and highest bidder; And whereas the said Mrs. Sarah L. McDowell has complied with her said bid, and has paid….the sum of Two hundred and sixty dollars.”

Feb. 17, 1890 [or 1896]
80 years

The Lord that made Heaven
and Earth bless thee out of
[Psalm 134:3, King James]

Asheville Citizen, April 28, 1890

In 1899, James Jr. lived at the rear of 22 McDowell Street. Rebecca washed clothes for a living and resided at 65 McDowell. Charlotte Scales was working as a cook for Mrs. M C Greenlee and living at her home. According to the same City Directory, Mrs. Minnie C Greenlee lived at 55 College Street and ran a boarding house out of her home.

In 1900, Rebecca Bailey (75) lived with her daughter Charlotte L. Baily (34) at 63 McDowell Street in Asheville. Also living with them were Maggie (14) and Nellie M (2). Rebecca’s birth date was listed as Jan 1825 and Charlotte’s was listed as June 1865. James had passed away.

Rebecca’s parents, for the first time, were listed as being born in Virginia rather than North Carolina. Charlotte was listed as a “washerwoman.”

Confusingly, both Rebecca and Charlotte were listed as the mother of only one child each. It is also likely that there was some confusion over the address of the home between the census and the City Directories.

According to the 1900 census, a couple, the Paynes, now rented 65 McDowell Street, possibly from Sarah L. McDowell, who purchased land and premises previously owned by Charlotte at public auction in 1896.

Neither Rebecca or Charlotte was listed in the 1902-1903 City Directory. However, Charlotte was listed in the 1904-1905 Directory. She lived at 43 Southside Ave. It is likely that Rebecca passed away some time between 1900 and 1902. After Rebecca’s death it appears that the Bailey family moved away from McDowell Street.

On April 19, 1905, in New York City, Charlotte Scales passed away. Widowed and listed as 40 years old, Charlotte’s parents’ names were James J. Bailey and Rebecca Greenly. It appears that Charlotte left North Carolina for New York City sometime during the winter of 1902-1903.

On April 3, 1912, the 11.25 acres purchased by James Bailey from the McDowells was sold at public auction due to unpaid taxes by Bailey’s heirs. It was purchased by C.B. Justice for $6.00.

On March 13, 1931, J. J. Bailey (James Jr.) passed away at 71 years of age in Asheville. His birth year of 1859 corresponds to the James Bailey Jr.’s birth year in the 1880 census.

According to his death certificate, his parent’s names’ are James Bailey and Rebecca Greenlee. They were both born in Marion, North Carolina.