BAILEY, CHARLES LUKENS, son of Joseph Bailey and Martha (Lukens) Bailey, was born March 9, 1821, in Chester county, Pa. His paternal ancestors were of English and his maternal ancestors of Welsh descent. His great-grandfather, Edward Bailey, was a resident of Bucks county and his grandfather, William Bailey, a resident farmer in Philadelphia county, Pa. His father was born in 1796 and settled in Chester county in 1819, where he carried on farming until 1838, when he engaged in the iron business at the old Lukensí mill in Coatesville and there manufactured boiler plate for six years. In 1844 he removed to Berks county, near Pottstown, and erected on the site of the "Old Forge" of the Pine Iron Works, a rolling mill and carried on business alone for a few years and afterwards in connection with his sons under the firm name of Joseph Bailey & Sons, until within a short period, when he retired from active life, leaving his manufacturing interests then in the hands of his son, Joseph L. Bailey. The children of Joseph and Martha Bailey were: Charles L., Sarah, Edward, formerly manager of the iron works at Glasgow, Montgomery county, deceased; Dr. George, of Philadelphia; William L., treasurer and manager of Thorndale Iron Works; Joseph L., Hannah, and Anne, deceased.
Charles L. Bailey, eldest son, obtained his early education at the Westtown School, Chester county, and for sometime thereafter, was a clerk in the drugstore of Thomas Evans & Co., of philadelphia. His career in the iron business began in 1838 as a clerk for his father at Coatesville, where he became thoroughly conversant with the details of the business carried on at that place. He removed with his parents to Berks county, where he continued his clerkship for five years, and from 1849 to 1852 was a partner with his father in the Pine Iron Works. In August of the latter year Mr. Bailey removed to Harrisburg and in connection with Morris Patterson, of Philadelphia, founded the Old Central Iron Works, which he had latterly used as a puddling mill. He continued business until 1859 when he became interested with the late James McCormick in the Nail Works at Fairview, Cumberland county, rebuilt the works and carried them on successfully until 1866, when he retired from the firm, and founded and erected the present Chesapeake Nail Works in Harrisburg. Later he associated with him his brother, Dr. George Bailey, under the firm name of Charles L. Bailey & Bro. The business is now carried on by Charles L. Bailey & Co., Artemus Wilhelm being a part owner in the concern.
In 1869 Mr. Bailey removed to Pottstown, and in 1875 was the treasurer and general manager of the Pottstown Iron Company, manufacturing nails, boiler plate and pig iron. Closing out his interest there he returned to Harrisburg, and in 1877-78 erected the present Central Iron Works, contiguous to the Chesapeake Nail Works, of which he is president. Mr. Bailey is thoroughly imbued with the spirit of progress and enterprise, as his various industrial undertakings attest, and although his mind is largely absorbed in business pursuits, he has not held entirely aloof from duties incumbent upon him as a citizen. He is president of the board of trustees of the Market Square Presbyterian church, and in 1880 he was appointed by Governor Hoyt a trustee of the Pennsylvania Insane Asylum. He was elected a member of the select council of the city in 1877, was a member of the State Legislature in 1879, and in 1881 he was again elected a member of the select council, chosen president, and served as chairman of the finance committee.
Mr. Bailey married, in 1856, Emma H. Doll, daughter of William Doll and Sarah M. (Elder), of Harrisburg, whose maternal great-grandfather was Rev. John Elder. Their surviving children are: William Elder, a graduate of Yale in the class of 1882; Edward, Jr., a graduate of Yale scientific course in the class of 1881; Charles L., and James B., also graduates of Yale, and Emma D., wife of Robert E. Speer, of New York.