Fairchild Family

The Fairchilds arrived in Angelina County between 1850 and 1852 from Louisiana. Based on the location of the Fairchild Cemetery and the known location of nearby families in the 1860 census, it appears that the family may have originally settled northwest of Burke near Eason Lake not far from Highway 94, and later John Jackson Fairchild moved to Bradley Prairie. They were definitely in Bradley Prairie by 1880.

William Henry Fairchild

The senior Fairchild to move to Angelina County was William Henry Fairchild, a Mississippi native born in 1803 in Hinds County, who arrived in Angelina County between 1850 and 1852. He was the son of Abraham Lofton Fairchild and Sarah Murry; grandson of John Fairchild and Rachel Porcher; and great grandson of Thomas Fairchild. William is said to have married Louisa Lee, although in the 1860 census he is married to a woman named Elizabeth. Perhaps her other name was Louisa.

William served as the 7th sheriff of Angelina County in the 1860s. He died in 1867 and is buried at Fairchild-Dubose Cemetery in western Angelina County.

They had the following children:

William Henry is buried at Fairchild-Dubose Cemetery.

John Jackson and Martha Ann Weeks Fairchild

John Jackson (Jack) Fairchild married Martha Ann Weeks, daughter of Wiley S. Weeks and Delilah Scott, in Mississippi. Both the Weeks and Ryan families came from Copiah County, Mississippi while the Fairchilds came from Hinds County next door to Copiah. All three families must have known each other in Mississippi. Jack and Martha moved to Louisiana before 1849 along with Wiley and Delilah Weeks, and James and Charles M. Weeks, who lived nearby.

They had the following children (with possible duplication):

William Lee was the first person buried at Ryan Chapel. He was killed at a srup mill near Ryan Chapel Church when he was kicked by a horse that had been stung by a bee. Since high water in the creeks blocked the road to the Fairchild family cemetery, which lay north near present-day Highway 94, the family sought and were granted permission to bury young William behind the Ryan Chapel Cemetery. Thereafter Fairchilds were buried at Ryan Chapel.

James Monroe and Florida Ann Hardin Fairchild

James Monroe Fairchild married Florida Ann Hardin, and they lived lived only four houses from Harvey Belote in 1880 just before Burke was founded. This probably placed them in or very near what later became the Burke townsite.

James and Florida had the following children:

Florida Ann Hardin was born in Florida in 1850. Florida's origins are a bit obscure, but she was probably a daughter of John Hardin and Jane Stockstill Hardin (see sidebar). In 1870 Florida "Hardin" lived in the household of her step-father Jeptha Smith, who lived next door to James Weeks and Andrew Jackson Burrous. In 1860 Florida "Smith" lived with the Jeptha and Jane Smith family adjacent Patrick Johnson in Pine Valley. She married James Monroe Fairchild as early as 1872.

I. D. Fairchild became a lawyer in Lufkin and married Marguerite Shearer. He also owned at least one sawmill. In the 1950s, Marguerite owned a farm east of Burke northeast of the Angelina County Airport, which she probably inherited from her late husband. The webmaster and his parents lived on the farm in the early 1950s and rented it from Mrs. Fairchild.

C. B. Fairchild was a farmer and prominent citizen of Burke all his life. He and wife Elma Walker Fairchild lived southeast of Burke just south of the Angelina County Airport. Elma was a teacher and was principal of Burke School in early 1950s when the webmaster was a student at Burke School. Mrs. Fairchild was a stern, fearsome woman who wielded a paddle with authority. C. B. headed the Angelina County Selective Service Board for many years. The Fairchilds were fixtures at the yearly Ryan's Chapel Homecoming. C. B always parked his flat bed truck at the end of the outdoor table nearest the cemetery fence. C. B. and Elma had two sons, Garland and Monroe.

Cora Fairchild married William Baker and had sons Eugene, Marvin, and Wilburn, and a daughter Emma Ruth.

The Fairchild family seems to have a connection to the lumber business. I. D. Fairchild owned a sawmill near Huntington and perhaps one at Fairchild Switch four miles south of Lufkin. When the webmaster lived on the I. D. Fairchild farm, there was an old smoldering sawdust pile in the forest next door. Whether I. D. Fairchild was associated with it is unknown . About the same time there was a small "peckerwood" hardwood sawmill on the road adjacent C. B. Fairchild's home. In early Burke there were three sawmills. It is strongly possible that the Fairchilds ran one of them.

Sources:

  1. 1880 Census, Angelina County, Texas, Subdivision No. 8, Page 18, Dwelling 155 (Jack Fairchilds)
  2. 1880 Census, Angelina County, Texas, Subdivision No. 8, Page 19, Dwelling 160 (James Fairchild)
  3. 1870 Census, Angelina County, Texas, Page 94, Dwelling 48 (Jackson Fairchild)
  4. 1870 Census, Angelina County, Texas, Page 9, Dwelling 56 (Jeptha Smith)
  5. 1860 Census, Angelina County, Texas, First District, Page 3, Dwelling 506 (William Fairchild)
  6. 1860 Census, Angelina County, Texas, First District, Page 3, Dwelling 507 (Jackson Fairchild)
  7. 1860 Census, Angelina County, Texas, Second District, Page 35, Dwelling 283 (Jeptha Smith)
  8. 1850 Census, Sabine Parish, Louisiana, Page 54, Dwelling 428 (J. J. Fairchild)
  9. Lyndal Harris, Personal Recollections
  10. M. Lee Murrah, Personal Recollections