SOUTH CAROLINIANA LIBRARY
UNIVERSITY SOUTH CAROLINIANA SOCIETY
Putsy Silas Bailey Papers, 1872-1996Sixteen manuscripts, nine scrapbooks, two manuscript volumes, and ninety photographs, 1872-1996, document the life of Clinton industrialist and cattle breeder Putsy Silas Bailey (1904-1958). After graduating from Presbyterian College in 1926, Bailey's thoughts centered on "playing mill baseball," but he later recalled, "my uncle, the late W.J. Bailey had other things in his mind." At the time of his death Bailey had earned a national reputation as a textile manufacturer with a liberal and progressive perspective, yet his love for baseball never waned, as many clippings in the scrapbooks attest.
Bailey worked in various positions in the Clinton Mills before assuming the presidency of the Clinton and Lydia Mills in 1948. He immediately initiated a multi-million dollar expansion and improvement program which included improving working conditions, adding new machinery, expanding facilities, and developing a broad recreation program at each plant that provided for every age group from kindergarten up. Bailey built new recreational centers, baseball parks, and swimming pools; he provided trained physical education directors for the centers and initiated numerous men's and women's clubs; and he worked to modernize the mill villages. Bailey's textile leadership extended beyond Clinton, however: in 1958 he became president of the South Carolina Textile Manufacturers Association, and he was also a director of the American Cotton Manufacturers Institute and a trustee of the Institute of Textile Technology in Charlottesville, Va.
Active in the civic, educational, and religious activities of Clinton, Bailey served as mayor from 1934 to 1946. He was an elder of First Presbyterian Church, a trustee of both Thornwell Orphanage and Presbyterian College, and a charter member and governor of the Loyal Order of Moose Lodge 739. He received the Citizen of the Year award in 1951 and the Presbyterian College Alumni Citation in 1958. In addition, he worked to improve hospital facilities in the county. One of his avocations was cattle breeding. Bailey established a Creekland Polled Shorthorn herd in 1948. He bred the grand champion of the International Livestock Show in Chicago in 1955, giving South Carolina its first native-bred champion. Included in the collection is a Creekland Farms account book, 1955-1956.
The scrapbooks, compiled by his wife, Ouida Cox Bailey, are filled with clippings and photographs regarding life in the mill villages, improvements in the mills, service awards presentations, textile leagues and little league baseball, women's softball, Creekland Polled Shorthorns, Presbyterian College, Clinton churches, One Million Safe Man-Hours celebrations, and Bailey's various activities as well as those of his daughter, Emily. The collection also contains speeches given by Bailey to various civic and school groups. These provide a personal view of Bailey's business philosophy. Among the photographs are images of family members, cattle, and mill activities.
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