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Corydon Fairchild
June 19, 1816 - April 15, 1899

 David Fairchild
Deborah Palmer

Spouse Martha R. Spencer, daughter of Michael Spencer, Esq., Married by Reverend J. E. Robie, 16 May 1838 in Cortlandville, Cortland County, NY.

Corydon Fairchild at 27.
Drawing by H. Walton 1843.
The original is in the possession of the Waterloo Library and Historical Society.
This print can be found in the History of Ovid, W.E. Morrison & Company, Ovid, NY.

Corydon and Martha Fairchild
A very early Daguerreotype in the collection of Kerry Philpott. Used with permission.


From the Illustrated Plat-Book Town & Village of Ovid, Seneca Co., N.Y.
From actual Surveys by Frank French, C.E.
J.H. French Syracuse, NY 1858
Reprint of 1973.

Corydon Fairchild House as it looks in 2006.

Corydon was always on the lookout for a bargain. French's Illustrated Plat-Book would go to towns and charge individuals $15 to have their home or building included in the book. Legend has it that in Ovid it was $16, the extra $1 to cover Corydon's share of the cost! This was certainly bolstered with the following editorial article from the Ovid Bee:

June 3, 1857 Mr. David Foot, Agent for the proprietor, has been engaged for several days past, canvassing the town, and succeeded admirably in obtaining subscribers to the forthcoming Map of Ovid, swelling the list to over one hundred. he has been accompanied by Mr. J.M. Greene a Photographic Artist of Syracuse, who has been busily engaged taking views of the several Public buildings and many residences of private citizens in village and town, which will add much to the beauty of adornment of the Map, and in a great measure to its value. Amung such, of public buildings, we notice, the Presbyterian Church, Seneca Collegiate Institute, Court House, Franklin House, and State Agricultural College (in prospect) - residences in village, Hon. J. E. Seeley, Arad Joy, James Ferguson, Col J.Y. Manning, Wm J. Schooley; - Sheldrake Point and Lake Harbor, W. Thomas’ residence, at Sheldrake; - residences in town, J.M.Blew, J.V. Grove (premium farm,) Cornelius Mandeville, D.D.Scott, Thos. Pursel, Daniel Scott, J.J. Covert, S.D. Thomas, Ab’m VanDorn, Lewis Bodine - and it is proposed a purse be raised by having those having views taken, to add the residence of the editor of the Bee to the list, which is considered incomplete without it.

The Agent promises to donate a very liberal proportion of the amount, and we presume others will not see us suffer. It is supposed these maps will be completed and ready for delivery early in the Fall.

Corydon served as the editor and publisher of the Ovid Bee pretty much from its inception on February 24, 1838 until February 1872 when he sold the paper and the name was changed.  During his tenure he employed a couple of his brothers in the printing of his paper.

The Ovid Bee reflected the beliefs of its editor and while it was not political, it placed an emphasis on abstenance and religious activity.

Corydon served as the auctioneer for pews at the church.

The "Catalogue of the Officers and Students of Seneca Collegiate Institute, Ovid, N.Y., For the Year Ending August, 1858." Pittsfield, Mass.: Chickering & Davis. 1858. lists Corydon Fairchild as one of the trustees.

We have a bit of a description of him, or rather of his mustache, in this amusing bit from the Bee:

Ovid Bee - January 27, 1867
Personal -- We were pleased this morning by a visit from Corydon Fairchild, proprietor of the Ovid Bee.  Corydon looks healthy and smiling as usual. -- Elmira Gazette.

We owe the Gazette boys one for the above.  The "smiling" was a foregone conclusion and necessity on beholding the cheerful countenances of Alick and Jas. C. as we met the twain in the inner sanctuary.  Should the reader doubt we have only to site him to the "specimens" on exhibition! and taste.  It only needed Charlie to make the circle complete.  "When shall we three meet again?"

Ovid Bee - June 19, 1867
The Editor is absent among the “press gang” committing ‘raids’ upon the Hammondsport wine cellars, celebrating his 51st birthday anniversary which occurs to-day.

The Ovid Bee – December 11, 1867
His eye sight was good for a man his age.  Upon receipt of his father's glasses he says, "Although not yet just suited to our age, they shall be kept sacred."

Corydon Fairchild continued the publication of the Ovid Bee until February, 1872, - a period of thirty-six years, - as its editor and proprietor. Finding the need of rest, Mr. Fairchild sold the paper to Oliver C. Cooper, and went to California, where he is at present. [still trying to determine the date of the publication of this particular volume.]

The Daily Record-Union - Sacramento, Cal. - Wednesday, March 1, 1876

Corydon Fairchild, of Ovid (N.Y.), publisher and proprietor of the Ovid Bee, and son of the late Hon. David Fairchild, of El Dorado county, is in the city with his daughter, stopping at the Grand.

From pages 100-104 of the Ovid Surrogate's Court records
The complete printed forms have not been transcribed, only the key information.

On 6th day of May 1899, Lucia G. Baker the Executor named in the Last Will and Testament of Corydon Fairchild

The surrogate required them to appear before him on June 21, 1899 to attend the Probate of the Will

And it appearing to the satisfaction of the Surrogate that Mary E. Fairchild heir at law and next of kin of said decedent is an infant [Transribers note: Mary was 18 at this time!] and not appearing by a General Guardian and Ephriam Kinne of the town of Ovid, N.Y., having thereto consented in writing, which consent is duly filed in the office of said Surrogate, whereupon he did by an order duly made and entered, appoint the said Ephriam Kinne Special guardian for said infant for the sole purpose of appearing for her and taking care of her interest in the matter, and the said Special Guardian did thereupon duly appear in behalf of said infant before any evidence was taken by said surrogate respecting said will.


Last Will and Testament

I, Corydon Fairchild, of the village of Ovid in the County of Seneca and State of New York, do make, ordain, publish and declare this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following that is to say:

First: I direct the payment of my just debts, if any and my funeral expenses,

Second: I give, devise and bequeath to my daughter Lucia G. Baker, all of my property both real and personal to have and to hold the same to her, her heirs and assigns forever.

If my said daughter Lucia G. Baker shall not survive me then and in that event, I give, devise and bequeath all of my property both real and personal to Rosalia M. Baker and Viola F. Baker, children of my said daughter Lucia G. Baker and to Martha P Tracy, daughter of my deceased daughter Francis E. Tracy equal shares and portions.

Likewise, I make, constitute and appoint my said daughter, Lucia G. Baker to be executor of this my Last Will and Testament, hereby revoking all former Wills by me made.

In Witness Where of I have herewith subscribed my name and affixed my seal, the Twenty-third day of April in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and ninety-four.

Corydon Fairchild (L.S.)

John Denniston
Benjamin Franklin

The above written instrument was subscribed by the said Corydon Fairchild in our presence and acknowledged by him to each of us, and he at the said time declared the above instrument so subscribed, to be his last Will and Testament; and we, at his request and in his presence, and in the presence of each other, do here sign as witnesses thereto.

John Denniston, Ovid, N.Y.
Benjamin Franklin, Ovid, N.Y.


Various Issues of the Ovid Bee
Surrogate's Will Recording

Updated March 2012