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A Case For Insanity


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Washington Co., TN

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Richard Bayless is well known as the resident of the Bayless House in Johnson City, TN. It is said that that house includes a "Mad Room" where Richard retired to when he was ill. Until now there was no evidence of Richard's illness but this image of a Civil War document shows the statement of John Washingyon Bayless, Richard's son, that Richard was "confined with insanity".

Richard Bayless was the son of Daniel Bayles and Martha Deakins.  Richard was born about 1796 in Washington Co., TN.  He married Susannah Geisler July 12, 1833, in Washington Co.  Richard and Susannah settled in the log cabin and raised a family which included John Washington, Samuel D. Martha A. "Patsy" and others.

Susannah outlived her husband and appeared in the 1870 census for Washington Co., TN:

1870  Dist. 8, Washington Co., TN, Jonesboro P. O., pp. 246, 246B, 65/71
Susannah Bayless  50  Keeping House  2000/300  TN
Samuel  32  Farmer  2000/300  TN
Rena  38  Keeping House  VA
Lauretta  8  At Home  TN
Amanda  6  At Home  TN
Unnamed  5 mo.  TN
Julia Miller  16  At Home  TN

  • 1864

Bayless Home in the News

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In 1962 the Johnson City, TN, "Press-Chronicle" featured a story about the Bayless house.  The old photo shows the family of Samuel D. Bayless in the forground.  Samuel is seated next to his wife Arenna.  His son Eddie Byrd and daughters stand next to them.  In the background on the left are John Washington Bayless and his wife Elizabeth.
  • Johnson City, TN
  • 1 Feb 1962

Contributor: bribling
Created: February 6, 2008 · Modified: May 26, 2008

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