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Research Library

The Polley Family legacy has been chronicled in many texts throughout the last two centuries. Some of the best resources for further research are annotated below.

Polley/Bailey Family Story

Bailey's Light: The Saga of Brit Bailey and Other Hardy Pioneers by Josephine Polley Golson

©1950 Naylor Press, San Antonio, Texas (No longer in print)

This is the most complete story about the Bailey and Polley families of Texas that has been printed to date.  It includes how the two families came to Texas, survived the early days in the territory owned by Spain, Mexico, and then the Republic of Texas and finally how the  Polley family thrived in the antebellum era on the Texas frontier.  The book was printed by the Naylor Press in San  Antonio in 1950.  It is no longer in print.

Hood's Texas Brigade: Its Marches, Its Battles, Its Achievements by Joseph Benjamin (J. B.) Polley

©1910 The Neale Publishing Company, New York 

This book was originally published in 1910 by Joseph Benjamin Polley (7th child of Joseph Henry and Mary Bailey Polley).  It recalls his experience as a soldier in Hood's Texas Brigade in the Civil War.  Joseph Benjamin served alongside local Guadalupe County men in the 4th Texas Regiment, Company F.  

Views of  Texas: Watercolors by Sarah Ann Lillie Hardinge

©1988 Amon Carter Museum of Western Art, Fort Worth, Texas (No longer in print) ISBN: 0-88360-061-7

This book is the companion piece to a 1988 exhibit at the Amon Carter Museum in  Fort Worth, Texas.  One of the displayed water color paintings is the well-known print of the Polley Mansion (Whitehall).  However, this book also uses excerpts from Ms. Hardinge's own journal, which chronicle her time at the  Polley Mansion as a tutor.  In fact, her son was born during her stay at the Polley Mansion, so she remembers it very fondly. 

A Soldier's Letters to Charming Nellie by Joseph Benjamin (J. B.) Polley Edited by Richard B. McCaslin

©2008 The University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, Tennessee ISBN: 978-1-57233-613-1

This book was originally published in 1908 by Joseph Benjamin Polley (7th child of Joseph Henry and Mary Bailey Polley).  It is a collection of letters that were sent between J. B. Polley and a friend back home in Texas (though some question if some of the letters were written after the war to flesh out the story told through the correspondence).  I recommend the modern version that has been edited and annotated by Dr. Richard B. McCaslin.

A Century of Light: History of Brahan Lodge No. 226 A.F. & A.M. La Vernia, Texas (1858-1959)  by D. L. Vest

©1959 Printing Department of the Masonic Home and School, Fort Worth, Texas

This book by a Past Master and Secretary of the Brahan Masonic Lodge is a history of the La Vernia, Texas area, including the Polley family and Conally Findlay Henderson, who married the 4th Polley child, Susan Rebecca.  The description of the construction of the Polley Mansion is one of the more familiar descriptions to us today, and likely the source of that knowledge.





















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