E. Clate Fair

E. CLATE FAIR. As a young man of seventeen years Mr. Fair accompanied his parents on their removal from Ohio to Kansas, in 1884, and here he has been closely and successfully concerned with the retail drug business during the long intervening period of more than thirty years. In 1904 he opened his present handsomely appointed and well equipped drug store at 211 North Pennsylvania Avenue in the thriving little City of Independence, the judicial center of Montgomery County, and his establishment is one of the leading presciption pharmacies in the county, with a substantial and representative patronage. He has not been imbued with ambition for political preferment of any kind, but is a supporter of the cause of the republican party and has identified himself fully and loyally with the civic and business interests of Independence. The genealogy of the Fair family traces back to sterling English origin, and the first representatives in America settled in Pennsylvania prior to the war of the revolution.

E. Clate Fair was born at Millersburg, Holmes County, Ohio, on the 27th of March, 1867, and is a son of Elijah Weaver Fair and Rachel (Shunk) Fair, the former of whom was born at Farmerstown, Holmes County, Ohio, in 1838, and the latter of whom was born at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, March 20, 1838. The father died at Cherryvale, Montgomery County, Kansas, on the 19th of November, 1914, and there his widow still maintains her home. Elijah W. Fair came with his family to Kansas in July, 1884, and for the first three months he worked at his trade, that of blacksmith, at Emporia. He then became one of the first settlers in the new Town of Attica, Harper County, and there he opened a hotel, to the conducting of which he continued to give his attention until 1895. He then removed with his family to Edna, Labette County, where he became associated with his son, E. Clate, of this review, in the drug business, a similar alliance having been maintained by them at Attica. In 1898 he removed to Cherryvale, Montgomery County, where he conducted a successful hardware business until 1909, after which he lived retired until his death. He was a staunch republican, was affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Grand Army of the Republic, and was a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, as is also his widow.

When the Civil war was precipitated Elijah W. Fair enlisted in the Fifty-first Ohio Volunteer Infantry, which was assigned to the Fourth Army Corps of the Army of the Cumberland, and in the commands of Generals Hooker, Nelson and Thomas it was given him to live up to the full tension of the great conflict and to take part in many important battles, including those of Lookout Mountain, Chickamauga and Missionary Ridge.

Of the children of Elijah W. and Rachel (Shunk) Fair, the eldest is Alice, who is the wife of Frederick Myer, a prosperous farmer near Wooster, Ohio; Ida is the wife of Dr. D. F. N. Ingles, a leading physician and surgeon at Wichita, Kansas; E. Clate, of this review, was the third in order of birth; Eva is the wife of A. D. Hileman, engaged in the real estate and insurance business at Cherryvale, Montgomery County; Elizabeth is the wife of Harry Johnson, an oil operator in Oklahoma, and they reside at Oklahoma City; and Dollie remains with her widowed mother at Cherryvale.

In the public schools of Millersburg, Ohio, E. Clate Fair continued his studies until his graduation in the high school as a member of the class of 1883. In the meanwhile he had also applied himself with characteristic vigor in his apprenticeship to the trade of blacksmith, in which he became a skilled journeyman when seventeen years of age. He worked at his trade in Ohio until the summer of 1884, when he accompanied his parents on their immigration to Kansas. After the family home had been established at Attica he there engaged in the drug business after having acquired a thorough knowledge of practical pharmacy in the store of Mansfield Brothers. In initiating his independent enterprise he became associated with his father in the purchase of his store, and later he conducted a drug store at Edna, Labette County, until 1898, when he sold out to Evans Lombe. He then removed to Independence and assumed a clerical position in the drug store of O. J. Moon. One year later he formed a partnership with Doctor Surber, Doctor Masterman and Charles Joyce and purchased the Opera House Drug Store, of which he had the active supervision for the ensuing three years. He then sold his interest and six months later he opened for Mr. Kerr a drug store on North Pennsylvania Avenue, and after conducting the same one year he opened his present splendidly equipped store, in which he has built up a substantial business and has an appreciative supporting patronage.

In the Masonic fraternity the affiliations of Mr. Fair are here briefly noted: Fortitude Lodge No. 107, Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons; Keystone Chapter No. 22, Royal Arch Masons; St. Bernard Commandery No. 10, Knights Templar; and Mirzah Temple, Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, at Pittsburgh, this State. He is a past grand of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Edna, Kansas, is affiliated also with the organizations of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and the Modern Woodmen of America, besides having been formerly an active member of the local lodges of the Knights of Pythias and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. Mr. Fair takes a deep interest in the splendid Mid-Continent Band of Independence, and has been for a number of years past the secretary of this fine organization, which has gained more than local reputation in the domain of music.

At Anthony, Kansas, in 1888, Mr. Fair wedded Miss Clara Belle McDaniel, daughter of the late John A. and Martha McDaniel, the father having been a pioneer farmer in Harper County. Mr. and Mrs. Fair have two daughters: Martha Fern was graduated in the Independence High School, and in June, 1916, she was graduated in the manual training department of the Kansas State Normal School at Pittsburgh. She is a musician of exceptional talent, and soon after her graduation at the normal school she accepted a position as musical supervisor at the Kansas Industrial School for Girls at Beloit. Rachel Faye, the younger daughter, likewise was graduated in the manual training department of the normal school at Pittsburgh, and she holds a life certificate as a teacher of domestic science. She is now teaching at Cherryvale, Montgomery County, Kansas.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; transcribed 1997.
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