Father Mother Abijah Fairchild Sarah Howell
Photo Courtesy of William Watters
David Fairchild was quite a wonderer who had ink for blood. Several of his son's inherited this penchant, Corydon, Mahlon, Tracy, Orville and Rasselas all working on various papers. He started numerous newspapers only to move six to nine months later, selling his interests, often to a son or relation.
According to the introduction of his son Mahlon's autobiography, "Reminiscences", a draft of which is in the possession of Liz Fairchild, this is the same David Fairchild that was drafted into the army for the War of 1812. He was stationed at Sackett's Harbor on Lake Ontario to oppose the landing of any British troops.
In 1848, at Sutter's Mill, California, the news flashed across the country, At this, the Wayne County Democrat was sold or shut down as David, along with his son, Mahlon, and son-in-law, William K. Creque, left for California. For the story of their part as '49ers, click here.
He returned from the Gold fields, leaving the others in California. David migrated to California with his wife, youngest son and eldest daughter (William's wife) and her two children.
He was a member of the California State Assembly for the 18th District, 1860-61.
The Yates County Chronicle - 1 November 1866
David Fairchild, age 75 yrs., died recently at Pilot Hill, El Dorado Co., California. He was a Printer and Editor, and father of the Editor of the "Ovid Bee", at Ovid, Seneca Co., New York.
The Ovid Bee – December 11, 1867
Sacred Memento. – Yesterday we received by mail a mysterious looking package, post marked “Georgetown, California Nov. 21, ‘67” and before opening it, we divined its contents. With trembling hand and swelling heart we broke the seal, unwound the cord and wrapping, finding a box securely twined within which was a case containing an elegant pair of Gold Spectacles. No word accompanied the package, save the address in a neat female hand-writing, and we knew it was a present from her we love most dearly on earth; our Mother, dear widowed Mother, sent us as a memento of our dearly beloved deceased Father, whose they were in his life-time. We could not, if we would, suppress the fast-falling tears, as thought and memory reverted to the past. Although not yet just suited to our age, they shall be kept sacred, and help to keep alive the remembrance of him and her, though this was not necessary, whom we have not seen since April 2d, 1854 – one of whom we never shall again meet on earth – peradventure we may the other. We prize them highly, and shall ever continue so to do, above all price. They came to hand safely, thanks to our kind friends on the way, employees of Uncle Sam. [Written by Corydon Fairchild, David's oldest son and editor of the Ovid Bee.]
The Ovid Bee – December 25, 1867
THAT LETTER – We spoke of receiving a package from California, two weeks since. The following Sat, Dec. 14, just as we were leaving home for a few days, the letter we felt should have accompanied it, was put into our hand, Mailed the same day, it came safely, a few days behind, bearing “glad tidings” from the loved ones a far – enclosing another memento, as a remembrancer from our dear, good Mother. Thanks! Thanks!! [Again written by Corydon.]
Grave in Pilot Hill Cemetery, California. Photo by Elizabeth Fairchild
Rochester Republican - February 29 1848 - Rochester, NY
MARRIAGES - In Newark, on the 22d inst., Mr. DeWitt FORD, of Oneonta, Otsego Co., and Miss Caroline M. FAIRCHILD, youngest daughter of the Editor of the Newark Herald.
The Ovid Bee - Editorial Columns
Correspondance with Liz Fairchild