Bailey, Rufus William (1793–1863)

By: Carolyn Hyman

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: November 1, 1994

Rufus William Bailey, the third president of Austin College, the son of Lebbeus and Sarah (Myrick) Bailey, was born in North Yarmouth, Maine, on April 13, 1793. He graduated as a Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth in 1813, studied law under Daniel Webster, and returned to Dartmouth to teach. Later he taught in Virginia and helped to establish Mary Baldwin Seminary. In 1854 he moved to Texas and in 1855 accepted the chair of languages at Austin College, Huntsville. On December 15, 1858, Bailey was elected president of Austin College and was ordered to reorganize and reopen the college. He was married twice: in 1820 to Lucy Hatch of Norwich, Vermont, and after her death to Mariette Perry of Waterbury, Connecticut. He was a prolific writer and was best known for his textbooks on spelling and grammar. He resigned from Austin College in 1862 because of ill health and died on April 25, 1863. He was buried at Huntsville.

Dictionary of American Biography. Ministerial Directory of the Presbyterian Church, U.S.
  • Education
  • University Presidents and School Administrators

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Carolyn Hyman, “Bailey, Rufus William,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 23, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 1, 1994