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California Genealogy and History Archives

San Bernardino County and Riverside County


RALPH DAVID BAILEY. One of the best known men engaged in the insurance and brokerage business in San Bernardino and Riverside counties is Ralph David Bailey, whose headquarters are located at Colton. His connection with his present business has gained him a wide acquaintance, among whom his genial disposition, his loyalty and his constant inclination to be helpful to his fellows have made him a general favorite. A peculiar and particular genius is necessary to the man who would be successful in selling insurance and in acting as a general broker. Many men who have risen to prominence in other lines have scored naught but failures when they have entered the insurance and brokerage field. Mr. Bailey, however, possesses the essential qualities of acumen, a pleasing personality and a thorough knowledge of human nature, and with these as his stock in trade has achieved an enviable success. 

Mr. Bailey comes of Scotch-Irish and English descent, and was born at Marshalltown, Iowa, November 12, 1877, a son of Richard H. and Matilda Bailey. His father, born in Illinois, was a merchant at Atlantic, Iowa, for thirty-five years, but in 1917 retired from business and moved to Los Angeles, California, where he now makes his home, as does also Mrs. Bailey, who is a native of Ohio. Ralph D. Bailey attended the public schools of Atlantic, Iowa, where he was graduated from the high school in June, 1898, and in June of the following year completed a commercial course in a business college in that city. When he left school he joined his father in the mercantile business at Atlantic, and continued to be engaged therein from 1899 to 1901, in the latter year becoming bookkeeper in the Atlantic National Bank. In 1899 he had come to California to spend the winter, and at that time became so favorably impressed with the state that he resolved to return at a future date. This he did in 1902, when he resigned as bookkeeper of the Atlantic National Bank and came to Colton, where he was variously employed until 1905. In that year he was made assistant cashier of the First National Bank of Colton, and continued in that capacity for seven years. He entered the general insurance and brokerage business in 1912, and has remained therein to the present time, his operations covering San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Mr. Bailey's success has been self-gained, as his reputation has been self -built, and both are on a substantial basis. He occupies a well-established place in the confidence of those with whom he has had business transactions, and is a director in the First National Bank of Colton, having held a position on that directorate since 1917. Politically he is a republican, but his connection with politics is only that of a public-spirited citizen interested in the welfare of his community. Since he reached his majority he has been a member of the Masons and the Order of the Eastern Star, and likewise holds membership in the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. With his family he belongs to the Congregational Church.

On September 14, 1909, at Redlands, California, Mr. Bailey was united in marriage with Miss Ethel M. Webb, a daughter of Gilbert and Kate Webb, of Los Angeles, California, where Gilbert Webb, one of the early settlers of the city, was engaged in the contracting business and built the first street railways. To Mr. and Mrs. Bailey there have come two children : David Webb, born in 1912, and Richard Gilbert, born in 1916.

History of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties 
By: John Brown, Jr., Editor for San Bernardino County 
And James Boyd, Editor for Riverside County 
With selected biography of actors and witnesses of the period 
of growth and achievement.
Volume III, the Western Historical Association, 1922, 
The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, ILL

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011