William Marshall Bailey | Plant Biology | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Agriculture, Life and Physical Sciences

William Marshall Bailey

At SIUC 1914 to 1946

William M. Bailey received his A.B. and B.S. degrees at Campbell College (Kansas City University). He taught for three years in the public school system and nine years at Campbell College during the early 1900s.  He then accepted a teaching position at Southern Illinois Normal College in 1914.  During this time there was a Biology Department (not Botany and Zoology) that also had as faculty John P. Gilbert and Mary M. Steagall (see history of Zoology Department HERE).  Mr. Bailey was listed as "S. M." during this time in the 1917 Oblisk (note spelling later changed to Obelisk), thus indicating that he had yet to receive his M.S. or Ph.D. degrees.  In 1921 he became Head of the Biology Department that included only a handful of instructors. By the year 1924, Mary M. Steagall was listed in the Obelisk as Zoology (and as their first Chair).  In 1929 the Department of Botany was officially begun with William M. Bailey as its Chair. The faculty listed for Botany were W. M. Bailey and Martha H. Scott. In 1932 William Bailey completed his M. S. degree work and 84 weeks of doctoral work resulting in a Ph.D. at University of Chicago. 

As written in the 1939 Obelisk (p. 186): “Mr. Bailey is a member of Sigma Xi, a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Association of Plant Physiologists, member of the Illinois and Tennessee Academies of Science, and Illinois Biological Curriculum Committees." Dr. Bailey remained as chair of the Department until 1945 and he retired from Southern Illinois University the following year.


bailey 1917

From 1917 Obelisk

bailey 1924

From 1921 Obelisk 

bailey 1924

From 1924 Obelisk

bailey 1931

From 1931 Obelisk 

bailey 1932

From 1932 Obelisk 

bailey 1934

From 1934 Obelisk 

bailey 1941

From 1941 Obelisk