Portrait of Gillum Baley

Gillum Baley: Fresno County’s Frontier Judge

“Gillum Baley: Fresno County’s Frontier Judge” was researched and written in the 1995-96 school year by students in Bill Coate’s 5th-grade class at Bullard T.A.L.E.N.T. School (Fresno, California).

Gillum Baley was taken by the gold fever and joined the rush to California in 1849. After only minimal success at mining, Baley returned to his family in Nodaway County, Missouri where he became a fairly successful farmer. In 1858, he got the urge to try his luck in California once more.

Gillum Baley quickly took to his new home, and his new home took to him. In 1867, he was elected to the position of County Judge of Fresno County. He held that position until 1879. In 1882, Baley once more gave himself to public service when he was elected treasurer of Fresno County. Upon his retirement from public life in 1884,

Gillum Baley devoted his remaining energies to operating his grocery store in downtown Fresno.
Few individuals have had more influence on the formation of Fresno County than Judge Gillum Baley. Almost single-handedly he brought civilization to the area as it emerged from its frontier existence. This book is a tribute to his memory.

Skip to content