Dr. H.W. “Doc” Bailey delivered well over 2,000 babies — including one set of triplets and several sets of twins — during decades of service to the people of Daviess County. The longtime Gallatin doctor exemplified the meaning of “country doctor” while establishing himself in the minds of hearts of many, many people throughout the area.
Doc Bailey graduated from Kirksville’s School of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery in January, 1937. After a 6-month internship at a Kirksville hospital, he began practice in Gallatin with his father, Dr. M.B. Bailey. His brother, Forrest, practiced medicine in nearby Jamesport and another brother, Carl, worked from medical offices in Urbanna.
Upon his 40th anniversary of practice, Doc Bailey recalled one of his most unusual baby deliveries. One night during 1953 he was attending a movie at the Courter Theater in Gallatin. “A lady went into labor, so I had to deliver the baby on the floor of the theater,” he recalled for an article published in the Gallatin North Missourian. “We then transported mother and child to the hospital by ambulance and both were well and healthy.”
Doc Bailey prided himself in being a country doctor, especially when government policy changes meant fewer medical students focused on rural health care.
“My father and I did surgery on kitchen tables, years ago,” he said. During his decades of service Doc Bailey reached patients by going to their homes by jeep, car, horse and by walking.
Doc Bailey died at Liberty Hospital following a car accident in the spring of 1986. Harold Bailey, 71, was born in Kansas and moved to Gallatin as a youth. He graduated from Gallatin High School and served in the Army Medical Corps during World War II at Camp Barkley. He was a member of Gallatin First Baptist Church. Doc was an avid hunter and fisherman and enjoyed living at Lake Viking. He and his wife, Ruth, were parents to a son, Bob.
— taken from the Gallatin North Missourian