Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Ideller Gant Bailey

Ideller Gant was the first child and the oldest daughter of Benjamin Thomas Gant Jr. and Mary Ellen Riggs'. Little Ideller was called Della by her family, she was born in Sumner County, Tennessee on March 26, 1875.

According to Census records, in the year 1880, Della lived with her parents and a five year younger sister Elva at District 13 in Sumner, Tennesse. 

The family must have moved to Texas in 1880 as the third daughter of  Benjamin and Mary's (Effie) was born in Collin County, TX in September 1880.

Della got married in 1894 when she was 19 (estimated year - based on Census records). Her spouse Lafayette Bailey was 25 then. He was born on February 1869 in Tennessee. The marriage ceremony took place in Collin County (probably in Plano where most of the family lived then), TX.

Little is known about Mr. Lafayette and hardly anything about his parents. The only information which I have found, regarding his mother, is that her maiden name was probably Christian (as stated on the death certificate completed after Mr. Bailey's departure). Both his parents were born in Tennessee (Census 1900**).

Three years after the marriage, on October 25, 1897, Della gave birth to a daughter who was named Marie. 

In 1900 another Census** took place. The records inform that the Bailey couple lived then with their child Marie, a servant and five male boarders at Justice Precinct 5 (west part) in Plano town, Collin, Texas. One of the boarders was Albert Abner Angle born in 1864 in TN. He was Della's mother's cousin.

Lafayette Bailey age 31
Della Bailey wife, age 25
Marie Bailey daughter,  age 3, born in Texas

The Census says, that at that time Mr. Lafayette Bailey was a liveryman. By the way, I had no idea what the profession was and I learned something again - a liveryman was the keeper of horsed carriages rental service. All in all, I assume, Della's family probably was quite well off then.

According to my findings, Marie, Della and Lafayette's daughter, married Bert L. Fowler, born in Corinth, Texas, on May 13, 1893. Bert's parents were Charles Fowler and Alice E. Bowles. The spouse was a slender man with blue eyes and brown hair (the information included in the below document).

Bert's military registration card (WWI) also shows that the marriage must have taken place before or in 1917, as his draft registration was completed on September 17, 1917, and Bert had already been married. The couple lived at 155 Bolivar Street in Denton then, and he worked for Denton Record and Chronicle newspaper.

Record Source:
"United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 13 March 2018), Bert L Fowler, 1917-1918; citing Denton County, Texas, United States, NARA microfilm publication M1509 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,953,187.

 Marie and Bert had only one child (?) Bert L. Fowler Jr. born in 1919.

The Census from 1930*** informs that Della and her husband lived on their own in Denton, TX when the records were made. Lafayette worked as a farmer but the house they owned was not situated on a farm.

Lafayette Bailey - head, age 61
Idella Bailey - wife, age 54

In 1942 Bert Fowler Senior was registered again (WWII draft registration). He and his wife had moved to a house at 1309 Panhadle St. in Denton. I googled that address, it appeares there is still a house at the very same place. However, according to the online info, the current house was built in 1945 so something must have happened to the place where Marie and Bert lived in 1942. Anyway, Bert Sr. worked for Century Education Life Ins. Co. (?) then.

Two years later, when Della was 69, her husband Lafayette passed away. It happened on July 21, 1944 at 4:30 PM, in their home at 321 West Oak Street in Denton, TX. The cause of death stated on the death certificate was coronary occlusion (blockage of the blood flow in the coronary artery which probably caused a heart attack). The condition was related to "Arterial Tensions and Paralysis". Probably Lafayette had had a stroke (he had been treated by a doctor since July 19) and suffered from hypertension. He was buried at I00F Cemetery in Denton which is now marked as a historic graveyard of Texas.

A few years after that, Della followed her husband. She died of a heart attack at her home at 321 W. Oak St. at 8:45 AM, on April 18, 1948. It seems she had suffered from Arteriosclerosis and untreated thyroid which led to the lethal heart condition. Mrs. Ideller Bailey's eternal resting place is also at the IOOF Cemetery in Denton. Quite ironically, the funeral home which serviced both Della and her husband on their last journey, was situated next to their house, at 320 W. Oak St. in Denton.
It appears that Della and Lafayette's house was also close to the 150 year old St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, not far from the nowadays Historical Park of Denton. These days at 321 W. Oak St. there is a bank. Marie, their daughter, lived with her family not far from her parents' place (within 19-minute walking distance).

Marie Bailey Fowler, Ideller's daughter, died of sudden death at All Saints Hospital in Fort Worth. She passed away on January 12, 1949 due to ventricular fibrillation related to possible "pulmonary embolus" (a lungs artery blockage). There is a question mark on the death certificate next to "pulmonary embolus", that was why I used the word 'possible'. Marie had been at the hospital for a week before the critical embolus occurred. She was buried at the same Cemetary where her parents' bodies had found their final resting place. Della lived for 73 years, her husband Lafayette was 75 when he died, their daughter only 51.

All the records mentioned in the post were found at I downloaded the copies of documents and studied them but chose not to enclose them here (besides the one from 1917).

* "United States Census, 1880," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 15 July 2017), Elva Oar Gant in household of Benjamin T Gant, District 13, Sumner, Tennessee, United States; citing enumeration district ED 219, sheet 206D, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 1282; FHL microfilm 1,255,282.
** "United States Census, 1900," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 15 December 2017), Della Bailey in household of Lafayette Bailey, Justice Precinct 5 (west part) Plano town, Collin, Texas, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 16, sheet 8A, family 159, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,241,621.
***"United States Census, 1930," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 18 December 2017), Lafayett Bailey, Denton, Denton, Texas, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 3, sheet 20B, line 96, family 521, NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002), roll 2323; FHL microfilm 2,342,057;
information from

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