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Mahlon Dickerson Fairchild
7 Sep 1827 - 13 Apr 1913
Oneonta, Otsego County, New York - Oakland, California
  David Fairchild
Deborah Palmer
Mahlon Fairchild - History of Nevada, 1881

He enlisted for service in the Mexican War, but was prevented by illness from seeing any active service.  He spent time in Lansing, Michigan and Galena, Illinois where he worked in the printing trade.

Mahlon went to California with his father as one of the earliest of the '49ers.  For the full story of their adventures, click here.

The Ovid Bee - September 26, 1860
CALIFORNIA.-- Rumor was rife here some two or more months ago that a brother at ours, (Mahlon) and a cousin, Eugene Angel, had been either captured or massacred by the Indians, in California, sometime in May last.  We have been in painful suspense ever since, until a day or two ago, the following letter, written by a brother of Mr. Angel to his sister in Otsego county, arrived here, confirming the rumor in regard to the probable fate of our cousin -- and escape of our brother.

Pilot Hill, El Dorado Co.,
California, June 8, 1860

Dear Sister:--

My letters have usually been of a sad and sorrowful nature, in giving a faithful account of the hardships and misfortunes that have attended Eugene and myself, but never has it fallen to my lot before to write a letter bearing so sad news as this.

I lately sent you a paper containing an account of a battle with the Indians near Pyramid Lake, in Utah Territory.  Our dear brother Eugene was in the battle.  You will see by the paper that nearly all the command retreated leaving a few brave and good men to the mercy of the Savages.  A gentleman -- Maj. Ormsby was Captain of the company from Carson City, and Eugene was Lieutenant, Eugene, Maj O. and another person whose name has escaped my memeory, were the last on the field.  Maj. O. died a few miles from the battle ground, and the other escaped and reports that he saw Eugene's horse running among the Indians without a rider.  No one saw him fall, but his long absence forbids all hope.  I did not learn of his being in the battle until two weeks after it, as his name was not reported in the papers, and Mahlon did not inform me of it, as he was endeavoring to raise a party to go in search of him and others, owing to the want of arms and the panic that existed he did not succeed.  I expect to see Mahlon in a day or two and shall go over the mountain as soon as I can.

The many reflections this sad occurrence gives rise to are too harrowing to my feelings to record.  Eugene was brave, generous and honorable, and was cut off at the moment that a prospect of an easier and pleasanter life was opening to view but he has fallen--not unwept--no indeed--but unhonored and unknown.  He had many friends in California and Utah, and none who fell are mourned more sincerely than Eugene.  Poor Eugene! his acquirements and abilities were such as to enable him to rise to a higher position, but he was not one of those who press themselves forward into notice disregardful of abilities, as is the case with most of the prominent men of this State.

Your affectionate Brother,
Myron W. Angel.

The Ovid Bee - June 16, 1869
Over-Land from California
We had the pleasure of welcoming on Saturday last, Martin V'B. Everett, a former resident here and native of Romulus, direct from San Franscisco, in EIGHT days!  He reports our brother Mahlon well and hearty, whom he saw at Treasure City, (White Pine,) Nevada, on his way hither.  Mr. E. is looking well and speaks highly of his adopted state.  He remains here a few weeks visiting friends, after which he will return possibly by Steamship.

The Ovid Bee - June 16, 1869
Our brother of the Reese River Reveille, is held for the following:

"These are the culminating days of fly time with us, and the most popular notes are, 'Shoo fly! don't bother me,' and 'Damn that fly.'"

After leaving Austin, Nevada, he returned to California where he and his cousin, Myron Angel, wrote the History of Nevada, published by Thompson and West in 1881. 

Mahlon began writing his memoirs when he was 77 years old.  He had two sons and four daughters and that his grandaughter, Miss Lucille M. Watters, also of Oakland, was responsible for getting portions of his memoirs printed in the California Historical Society's Quarterly, copies of which served as reference.

Mahlon died on April 13, 1913 at Niles Canyon, Alameda Co., California. He was cremated, and at his request, his ashes were scattered in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco.

California Quarterly

History of Nevada, Thompson & West, 1881

Deep Placers of El Dorado County.

The following able report on the deep placers of El Dorado County was prepared for the California Water Company by Mr. M.D. Fairchild. I am indebted to Mssrs. Cronise and Crossman for a copy of the report.

The full report can be found beginning on page 101 in the book Silver and gold: an account of the mining and metallurgical industry of the United States, with reference chiefly to the precious metals. Author: Raymond, Rossiter Worthington, 1840-1918. Available at no cost online at Making of America.

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