Thomas A. Fairchild, probate judge of Jackson county, is a Kansas pioneer. He was born in Springfield, Iowa, July 22, 1854, a son of B. R. and Elizabeth (Zook) Fairchild, the former a native of New York and the latter of Ohio. The Fairchild family came from Herkimer county, New York to Ohio, at a very early day, when B. R. Fairchild was a child. They settled in Lucas county, Ohio. The Zook family were originally from Fayette county, Pennsylvania. Christian Zook, the father of Mrs. Fairchild, came to Kansas in 1859. He was pioneer preacher in Jackson county, and established some of the first churches in that section of the State. B. R. Fairchild was married in Ohio, and in 1854 came west, locating near Springfield, Iowa, and three years later, or in 1857, the family came to Kansas, and settled in Jackson county. The father preempted land just west of the original townsite of Holton the same year that the town was laid out, and now the town covers a part of the original Fairchild homestead. The Fairchild family drove the entire distance from Springfield, Iowa, to Jackson county, Kansas, with an ox team and "prairie schooner." After locating on their claim here, the father built a log cabin which was their home in the new country for a number of years. He engaged in farming and stock raising until 1869, when the family removed to Holton where Mrs. Fairchild engaged in the millinery business, she has since been actively engaged in that business in Holton and is now eighty-four years old. The father died in 1890. Thomas A. Fairchild received his preliminary education in the pioneer schools of Jackson county, attending the first school held at Holton. After acquiring a good academic education, he entered Kansas University in 1872, and was a student at that institution two years. He then entered the law office of John C. Douglass at Leavenworth, Kans., where he read law, and was admitted to the bar in 1875, when he returned to Holton and engaged in the practice of his profession, remaining there four years. While engaged in the practice of law at Holton, he also branched out in journalism having learned the trade of a printer in earlier years, at which he worked during his college vacations. In 1878, he and W. W. Sargent established the "Holton Signal," the Democratic newspaper still published in Holton. In 1879 he sold his interest in this newspaper to his partner and removed to Topeka, where he was engaged in the printing and publishing business two years. During part of this time he worked in the State printing office when George W. Martin was State printer. In 1882, he went to Westmoreland, Kans., where he practiced law until 1888, when he returned to Holton, continuing the practice until 1894, when upon the death of W. W. Sargeant, W. D. Kune purchased the "Signal" and Mr. Fairchild became its editor. One year later he bought the paper, and continued the publication until 1905, when he sold it and again took up the practice of law in Holton. Judge Fairchild is also interested in the manufacture of concrete in Holton and the business which he founded is now being conducted by his son, Harold Fairchild. He has been a life long Democrat and active in the promotion of the policies and principles of the Democratic party, and a prominent figure in the party councils of Jackson county and the State. He has frequently been a delegate to State conventions, and has served as Chairman of the Democratic Central Committee of Jackson county. In 1894 he wag appointed postmaster of Holton by President Cleveland, and served in that capacity for four years. In 1912 he received the Democratic nomination for probate judge of Jackson county, and was elected by a very satisfactory majority. Judge Fairchild as a lawyer is painstaking in the discharge of his official duties. He was united in marriage May 6, 1879, to Miss Edith Elizabeth Havens, a native of East Haven, Conn., where she was reared and educated. Mrs. Fairchild is a daughter of Rev. D. W. and Elizabeth (Heminway) Havens, natives of Connecticut. The father came to Kansas as pastor of the Presbyterian church. at Holton, and after occupying this position ten years, returned to his old home at East Haven, Conn., in 1887, the wife and mother having died at Holton in 1885. To Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild have been born five children: Arthur H., a resident of South Bend, Wash., married Miss Gustie Avery, of Olympia, Wash., and they have two children, Arthur Avery and Thomas Rich; William B., lumberman, Raymond, Wash.; Thomas Z., in the U. S. Navy, now serving on board the U. S. S. Colorado; Harold H., manager of his father's concrete business, Holton, Kans., and Elizabeth H., deceased. Judge Fairchild and his wife are members of the Presbyterian church of which he is a deacon, and one of the trustees. He is also the teacher of the Men's Bible Class; a live organization of over fifty members. He is vice-president of the Jackson County Old Settler's Association, and Mrs. Fairchild holds membership in the daughters of the American Revolution.Pages 215-217 from a supplemental volume of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed October 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM196. It is a single volume 3.
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