Meet a Westside Pioneer!
Gail Anne Bailey

What kind of career have you had? I have worked in fine arts and photography all of my life. I started painting at age 5 when my mother gave me some watercolors.

Can you tell us about your marriage? I married Robert E. Bailey in 1954.

Did you have children? Steve and Sharon (Smith). Five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Are your children still here? Yes, all are here and so are two of my brothers and a sister.

Can you tell us about your parents and grandparents? My great-grandparents, Roy and Molly (Borphy) Wagner, moved here in a covered wagon in 1898 with my grandmother Mary (2 years old) and her sister. Later, Mary met Mike Cahalan, who was here visiting and helping his sister with the water plant. They married and moved to Montana, where my mother Eva was born. Mary moved back to Colorado Springs when her husband died. William Haskew, my father, moved here with his parents because his father had tuberculosis. He worked at the TB sanitarium. He and Eva married in 1936.

What are your best memories of growing up on the Westside? Seeing the Ute Indians dance in the streets and in full dress at Mass in Sacred Heart Church.

What is gone from the Westside now that you wish had stayed? Rogers Bar – it had a lot of style. Real brass railings, antique mirrors and other antiques from Cripple Creek.

What has stayed that you wish had gone? Sno-White. It wasn’t always on Colorado Avenue.

How about the way things have changed? The overgrowth of the city has taken away the peaceful way of life. Too many Wal-Marts, Walgreens and freeways.

Overall, is the Westside better or worse than when you were a kid here? Worse. I knew one Ute tribe and they said that they had to leave because they felt that things had changed too much. That the peaceful ways of the life they knew had been uprooted.

“Meet a Westside Pioneer” interviews people who were born, raised and still live on the Colorado Springs Westside. If you meet that criteria (or know someone who does), please give us a call at 471-6776. A painting of a young girl, by Gail Anne Bailey.
Courtesy of Gail Anne Bailey