John Ora Bailey was born on a farm near Grinnell, Iowa, September 26, 1880, the son of John Sherbourne Bailey and Harriet Kingsley Bailey, natives of Vermont. Received his elementary education in country and village schools of Iowa. Entered Penn College Academy at Oskaloosa, Iowa, in 1898 and transferred to Iowa (now Grinnell) College preparatory school in 1899. He spent eighteen months during 1900 and 1901 traveling in Belgium, Switzerland, Italy and Austria, and studying and traveling in France and Germany.
Judge Bailey entered Harvard College in 1902 as a freshman, graduating with an A. B. degree in 1905. He toured England, Wales and Scotland by automobile during summer of 1905. He received his law education at Harvard Law School and in the law offices of Schenk & Berryhill at Des Moines, Iowa, and Merritt, Oswald & Merritt at Spokane, Washington. Judge Bailey was admitted to practice in the state of Washington in fall of 1907 and practiced at Spokane until July 1910, when he came to Oregon and was associated with the law firm of Platt & Platt of Portland, from the latter part of 1910 until May, 1915.
He became assistant attorney general of Oregon in May 1915, and resigned in October 1920, since which time he was engaged in the practice of law at Portland, Oregon, as a member of the law firm of Perkins & Bailey. He was elected state representative from Multnomah County in 1924, and reelected in 1926. Elected state senator from Multnomah County in 1928, and served as director of the Portland Public Schools from 1927 to 1930.
Judge Bailey was married in Portland, Oregon in 1911 to Verna Alice Chase. To them four children were born, Frances H. (White), Jason s., Robert c. (deceased April 9, 1939) and Barbara J.
Judge Bailey is especially well qualified by education, training and experience for the high judicial office he now holds. He is fair and broad minded, well grounded in the law, familiar with trial and appellate procedure, fearless, studious, industrious and conscientious. In both public and private life he has rendered valuable service to the State and his community and is known as an independent thinker, and, as stated by Murray Wade, cartoonist of the Salem Capitol Journal, "is 100 per cent propaganda proof." In 1928 he received both the republican and democratic nominations for State Senator and at the general election in November he received 79,518 votes, the highest at that time ever received in Oregon by any candidate for either house of the State Legislature.
He was elected to the supreme court in 1932, reelected in 1938 and chosen Chief Justice of the supreme Court January 4, 1943.
Arthur F. Benson's Original Biography Document