WAY BACK WHEN, May 26, 2014

John Otto was the guide for this 1917 picnic in Monument Canyon.Photo Credit: Louis G. Bailey

Photo Credit: Louis G. Bailey

The photos I’m sharing with you were given to me by Louis G. Bailey of Dallas.

He is the grandson of Dwight B. Bailey Jr., owner of Bailey’s Cash Store that operated in Grand Junction from 1908 to 1929. The store occupied the space where Roper Music is now at Fifth Street and Rood Avenue.

Bailey’s Cash Store was able to offer lower prices because it didn’t operate solely on credit as many stores had in the past.

The owner took cash and also had an efficient delivery service, making deliveries four times a day, first using horse and wagons, then automobiles. 

In the store photo is my great grandfather, James A. Menefee, a Civil War veteran who delivered groceries for Bailey’s after his retirement from being in the grocery store business himself, operating the Brown-Menefee Mercantile at 326 Main Street.

My grandfather Milo T. Brown also worked at Bailey’s.

Menefee is seen in the wagon, second from the left. Dwight B. Bailey is in the doorway of the store, between the two ladies.

In the picnic photo, taken in 1917, you see an outing to Monument Canyon. John Otto was the guide and it is believed that Frank Dean, whose studio was kitty-corner from Bailey’s Store, took the photo.

Otto is leaning on a rock to the right in the photo.  Behind Otto are Milburn and Elwood Bailey. Elwood is Louis G. Bailey’s father. To Otto’s left are cousins Crestone Bailey and Reeves Templeman.

Dwight Blossom Bailey is at the forefront, holding son Dwight III. Wife, Etta, sits directly behind him.

The picture is filled with Baileys, Templemans and store employees.

A. E. Templeman, his wife, Lora, and their children lived across the street from the Baileys at 634 Chipeta Ave. A.E. Templeman had a jewelry store at 440 Main St.

The Baileys lived at 625 Chipeta in a home large enough to hold the family of eight.

Was it a holiday or did John Otto just bring the flags along? Otto was a patriotic fellow and erected many flagpoles throughout the valley.

Was the gathering a company picnic on a holiday when the busy store was closed or just a Sunday outing?

Louis G. Bailey and his wife live in Dallas and I spoke to him before I shared the photos.

It’s amazing to me that our grandfathers knew each other and that I can maintain a relationship that was 100 years in the making.

My, how time flies.


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