David Fairchild (California politician)

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David Fairchild (August 1, 1791 - September 17, 1866) created many newspapers in central and western New York State before heading to California in the Gold Rush. He was an early settler of the Golden State and was elected a member of the California State legislature in 1860 as a Democrat.[1]

Early years[edit]

From the age of 16 he was employed as a printer with a short break in time when he served his country in the War of 1812.[2] He was stationed at Sackett's Harbor on Lake Ontario to oppose the landing of any British troops. He passed the printing trade on to his sons. He is known to have established a dozen or so newspapers. Among those he started were The Ovid Bee,[3] Trumansburg Advertiser,[4] Cortland Advocate, Dansville Republican,[5] Trumansburg Gazette, Wayne County Democrat,[6] Chemung Democrat,[7] and the Newark Herald.[8] Fairchild would set up a print shop in a community, run the paper for a year or so, sell the paper and press and then move on. His oldest son, Corydon Fairchild ran The Ovid Bee for over thirty years after his father left.


Fairchild help establish the Ganarga Mining Company, consisted of himself as president, Dr. Christopher C. Hyde, an experienced chemist as vice president, and Mahlon D. Fairchild, son of David Fairchild, was listed as secretary. They left New York going to California taking the ship Crescent City for Chagresm, across the Isthmus to Panama and then on to San Francisco[9] They arrived safely on July 26, 1849, a trip of over 4 months.[10]

He and his son returned in 1851 and collected his wife, eldest daughter and family and his youngest two sons and returned to the West Coast. He and his wife, Deborah Palmer, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in December 1863.[2]

David Fairchild was elected a member of the California State Assembly for the 18th District, for the Eleventh Session[11] in 1860-61.[12]

He died in California on September 17, 1866 in Pilot Hill, El Dorado Co., California.[13]


  1. ^ Join California - David Fairchild
  2. ^ a b Daily Alta California, Volume 15, Number 5031, 7 December 1863
  3. ^ Ovid Bee, February 24, 1838
  4. ^ Landmarks of Tompkins County, New York, Chapter VIII, by John H. Selkreg, 1894; D. Mason & Co.,
  5. ^ The Ovid Bee - Wednesday, March 18, 1846
  6. ^ Ovid Bee, July 26, 1848
  7. ^ Ovid Bee - March 31, 1847
  8. ^ Ovid Bee - August 25, 1847
  9. ^ Ovid Bee - March 14, 1849
  10. ^ Ovid Bee - October 3, 1849
  11. ^ California Blue Book, 1893, p.292
  12. ^ Political Graveyard - David Fairchild
  13. ^ Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 32, Number 4829, 19 September 1866