Drue Bailey was born at Dalton, Georgia, May 31, 1844.
At the outbreak of the Civil War he enlisted at Rome, Georgia, in the Confederate States Army as a private in Company H, 3rd Regiment, Georgia Cavalry, on May 13, 1862. He served with honor under General Joseph Wheeler until May 3, 1865. Elsewhere in this history are Drury’s wanderings until the time he settled in Julian, laying out the Townsite and giving free lots to all who would build on them; here let us say these were 100′ x 25′ and the Townsite is today as he laid it out in 1869.
In 1874 when Drue and his partners ceased mining operations in Banner, they each went their separate ways, Drue coming to Julian a
where he operated blacksmith shop and livery stable, also a stage line from Julian to .Banner. He boasted he would carry a man so far for a dollar that he would be glad to pay him $5.00 to haul him back to Julian. If his bluff was called, he would taken his victim to Banner and he never lost a return fare.
For many years Drue was a leading spirit in the town he had founded. A genial man and “Good Samaritan,” he was generous in any call of distress.
One local pioneer who with a 15 year old son had gone to Cuyamaca to cut timber for the mines, had the misfortune of an accident to the boy, who had gone hunting and had shot himself, losing an arm. Gangrene set in and the boy died. After the funeral, which, with medical care of the boy had taken all the man’s money, and with a large family to care for he was desperately depressed the day he met Drue on the streets of Julian. Drue offered sympathy and reached out a hand to shake his friend’s hand in farewell. When he withdrew his hand he left $500 in the other man’s grasp. The man protested and Drue insisted he keep it as a gift, saying that he had sold a mine for a large sum of money and wanted to share with those less fortunate. This story is still told by the man’s great-grandson with fond recollections of Mr. Bailey’s kindness.
Drury also donated a portion of land to the town for a cemetery, for the high school and grammer school sites, a lot for a public hall, and a jail, and for a church. When asked for the donation for the church, he replied, “Sure thing; I’ll donate a lot for a church in every block if some denomination will build on it.”
He was a loyal friend, liberal in his views, of temperate habits. Following an old family custom an eggnog was served in his home on Christmas, but that was his only indulgence in alcoholic beverage, but being a good mixer he would fraternize with the boys in the saloon, standing his rounds of drinks for the others but choosing a cigar for himself. He had many friends and few enemies. He was set in his convictions if he believed himself right, but thoroughly enjoyed a good joke.
In the early days everyone danced. People came from near and far to the Julian dances, by wagon, buggy or horseback. The town hall being fully equipped with a ladies dressing room, all the mothers of young babies used this room to “bed down” their infants while they danced until dawn. At one of these dances, just before the last waltz, Drue sneaked into this room, changed the wraps and switched every sleeping baby to a different position. At the end of the dance every mother rushed to the nursery, retrieved what she thought was her child, and all hurriedly left for home. Imagine the confusion when each realized she had some other mother’s child–with no idea of who had hers. Drue had left suddenly by stage for the county seat immediately after the dance. The mystery was cleared when he returned three days later and confessed his guilt to save an innocent person who had been blamed for his mischief. Anyone else would have received harsh treatment from those outraged mothers, but Drue was finally forgiven.
During boom times two young miners who became intoxicated daily, and threatened each other with dire deeds, became such a nuisance that Drue and Charley Monroe decided to frame them into a duel to the finish. Saying nothing and biding a favorable time, they waited for action. Next payday the time came. The two belligerent miners met in Doc Hopkins’s saloon and their usual carousal began. Bailey and Monroe arrived upon the scene just as “Jack” challenged “Joe” to a fist fight. Drue stepped up saying, “You boys have been nursing a grudge ever since you hit camp. Why don’t you go some place and shoot it out like men and be done with it.” Jack replied, “If I had a gun, I’d show him.” “Here’s my gun,” Drue replied. “Charley, have you got your gun?” “Yes,” Charley replied. “Give it to Joe,” Drue said, “and we will act as seconds. Come on out into my field where there’s no danger from stray bullets hitting innocent bystanders, and be done with all this fuss. Charley, you bring Jack, I’ll take Joe, come on now.” The town, not knowing of the frameup, followed. Drue turned and told the crowd, “This is a private affair, stay where you are,” but they were determined to see the outcome and continued to follow, so by the time the field was reached the whole town was at their heels.
Drue and Charley lined the two men up, one on each side of the trail, insisting they would get back out of the way; stepping off 30 paces, they handed each contestant a gun and told them that at the count of three they should begin shooting at each other and to keep shooting until one killed the other or the guns were empty. The crowd shivered with excitement as they gazed in awe at the fear stricken duelists. Drue called, “Are you ready? Take aim, fire!” Only after it was over and neither was harmed did the audience realize that Charley and Drue had loaded the guns with blanks. The duelists were ordered to shake hands and forget their differences. From that day on they were the best of friends.
Another day a banquet was scheduled to honor a local event. Mrs. Hoskins, the proprietress of the Julian Hotel at the southwest corner of Main and Washington Streets was preparing the event. Drue, as he claimed, went to “put a flea in Mrs. Hoskins ear,” telling her there was great rivalry between bachelors Al Frary and Jim Green over their pie eating ability, and that Frary was in the habit of pocketing pies to carry home on any occasion where they were at a public feed and that Al boasted he carried off enough pie to last him a week after the last banquet. Drue seriously assured her she should keep an eye on Al so he would not get away with anything at this banquet. That night Drue and a fellow conspirator framed poor Al, but good. When he donned his overcoat to leave, Mrs. Hoskins was watching and discovered a chicken leg protruding from his coat pocket. She grabbed him and told him to disgorge, and that the ticket to the banquet did not include grub for a week. Against Al’s protests she proceeded to rifle his pockets disclosing the chicken’s other leg, a napkin, knife, fork, and spoon. The indignant Mrs. Hoskins declared she would have him arrested on a charge of theft. Seeing matters had gone far enough, Drue confessed the joke. Al had suspected Drue but had no proof. He accepted the joke and held no grudge like the good sport he was.
Drue and Miss Annie Laurie Redman were united in marriage by Judge Leslie of Julian on December 14, 1875. Of their 12 children, three died in infancy. They made their home in Julian until Drue’s death October 8, 1921: he lies in the cemetery on the peaceful hill above his old home on Main Street. Mrs. Bailey followed her husband November 25, 1927. Their nine living children scattered, but all returned frequently for happy reunions at their old home. Much of the property owned by Drue in 1869 is still in family possession, though only a few still survive at this date 1969.
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