ALICE LYNCH BAILEY
From 'Fanning the Embers', published 1971, Range Rider Reps, Miles City, Montana
By Margaret Bailey Broadus
Alice Lynch Bailey on the left, Hattie Bradley on the right
First home of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Bailey on the upper Rosebud
Alice A. Lynch Bailey was born in Derrylea, County Cavan, Ireland, Mar. 29, 1876, to Patrick and Margaret Callan Lynch. She was one of a family of eight children who were born in her father's parental home; they were Mary, (Mrs. John Mahoney); Katherine (Mrs. Joseph Toohey); Margaret, (Mrs. Ellworth Clark); Rose, (Mrs. Joseph Moore); Lena, (Mrs. Lee Tucker), Hugh and Ann, (Mrs. John Sullivan). All have preceded her in death except Mrs. Margaret Clark who lives in Billings. The Lynch family came to America in 1881 and lived in Rantoul, Ill., where Pat's two sisters, Mrs. Boyle and Mrs. Gaffney, and his brothers, Bernard and James, were located. He found employment with the Illinois Central Railroad. The Lynch family remained here for several months, but letters kept coming from the west telling of the golden opportunities in Montana Territory. Uncle Jack Lynch was in partnership with Marcus Daly, who was known as the Copper Magnate of Anaconda, and was operating a cattle ranch at the mouth of Lame Deer. Accepting Uncle Jack's invitation we find the Lynch family, as well as the Gaffney family, on their way to Montana, traveling over the newlybuilt Northern Pacific railway and arriving in Rosebud, Mont., with their families and all their worldly goods in October, 1883. They were guests of the parents of Henry Beeman, who is now a resident of Forsyth. Prior to the arrival, Uncle Jack gave his instructions to two of his men, R. P. Colbert and Milt Bean, to prepare three wagons for the trip to the station to meet the prospective settlers. He was asked how many he was expecting and he answered, "Four old ones and 17 young ones" When spring came the Lynch's and the Gaffney's took up land and built homes for themselves. The Lynch family built below Lame Deer and the Gaffney family some distance above. Settlers were few and far between; now and then a cowboy or two would drift in to spend the night or day while riding the range in search of cattle or horses. Cheyermne Indians came by and the family became acquainted with members of that tribe. Once in a while a Jesuit Missionary, most often Father Prando, arrived on horseback and brought religious consolation to the new settlers. Mass was said in the homes but it was not long until a log chapel was built in Lame Deer. One day the Indians brought word that Lady Magpies (Ursuline sisters) and Black Robes (Jesuit priests) had settled on the Tongue River. Bishop Brondel, first Catholic Bishop of Montana, had given permission to these two groups to found a Mission for the conversion of the Cheyennes. It was dedicated to St. Benedict Joesph Labre and is now under the control of the Capuchine Fathers. Patrick Lynch learned of the St. Labre Mission being on the Tongue River; he took his family in wagon and team and they were to drive until he found the Mission, so they camped on a Saturday night on a hill above the Tongue River. The next morning he saw two Ursuline sisters walking around the Mission ground, so he knew he had found the Mission which is to be part of the Montana History of this section of the country. It was not long until the younger members of the Lynch family were enrolled in this school and received instruction and training in the Catholic faith, which was to be Alice's comfort and inspiration throughout her entire life. Here, too, she learned to speak the Cheyenne language and many times in after years was called in as an interpreter. Once in later life, during the Russian and Japanese War, she traveled with her husband and companion while they purchased Indian ponies on the Cheyenne Reservation for shipment overseas during the conflict. Older members of the tribe often visited with her and from conversations with them in their native tongue, Alice gained an insight into Cheyenne history and the Indian way of life which few people attained. She knew all the old chieftains. On one occasion Old Little Chief proudly showed Mrs. Bailey copies of old treaties, yellowed with age, almost in shreds, treaties made with the U.S. Government when the west was young. A petition for a school for the Lynch children and other settlers' children was presented to the Superintendent in Custer County and District No. 8 was created. The settlers themselves erected a log building at the mouth of Lame Deer. Early day teachers were Laura Brown Zook, later librarian at the Carnegie Library in Miles City; Emma Choisser Tabor, wife of Charles Tabor, early day surveyor who helped survey the Northern Pacific Railroad; J. C. Lyndes, later a well-known eastern lawyer, and H. B. Darnell, who held offices in Custer County for many years. There came a day, after long negotiations, when the white settlers were bought out by the Government. The Lynch family then purchased the Donhowe place 12 miles down Rosebud Creek from Lame Deer. In 1902 Alice married Henry Bailey, a young rancher who she had known for many years. Mr. and Mrs. Bailey celebrated their Golden Wedding in April, 1952. To this union four children were born. John, passed away in 1930 at the age of 26. His only son manages the home ranch; he is married to Helen Johnson. Then there were James, Margaret (Mrs. William Broadus) and Minnie (Mrs. Joe Egan), all of whom settled near the parental home. Alice Bailey's later years were marred by illness and she passed away Jan. 27, 1961. Interment was in the family lot in the Lee Cemetery.