The Fay Family: Edwin R. Fay (1829 - 1930)

EDWIN REED FAY (5/27/1829 - 01/01/1930)
Brigham Fay (7/5/1796 - 8/6/1846)
son of Ephraim Brigham and Elizabeth Fay
Johanna Reed (10/8/1802 - 2/28/1894)
daughter of Jesse and Johanna Carpenter Reed
Fay Lines in Aurelius and Auburn
Three Fay Lines: Overview
Brigham Fay
James W. Fay
Edwin Reed Fay
Fred Hollister Fay
Harold Van Vechten Fay
Fay Burials in Fort Hill Cemetery
Auburn Cousins: Ward, Reed, Van Vechten
Cayuga County, New York. 1904.
Senior Member of the Banking House of Edwin R. Fay & Sons and President of Auburn Savings Bank.
Is a native of Cayuga County, born in town of Aurelius, May 27, 1829. His early life was passed upon the farm and he received his education in Academies at Auburn and Genoa. In 1854 he went to Ottawa, Ill., where, in 1857, he engaged in banking and continued until 1866, when he returned to Auburn. From 1868 to 1890 he was engaged in the manufacture of gloves and mittens. In 1892 he founded the banking house of EDWIN R. FAY & SONS, his two sons, Fred H. and Charles R., being members of the firm. Mr Fay has also been a Trustee of the AUBURN SAVINGS BANK since 1880 and its President since 1894.
Photo and text  from the work of Bill Hecht
used with gratitude
The first time we see Edwin by name is in 1850. He is living in Aurelius with his mother, Johanna Fay, a widow of 48; and his grandmother, Johanna Reed, a widow of 70. Edwin is 21 and unmarried. With them on the family farm are James Hackey [or MacKey], a farm laborer; and two children, Mary Perry, age 12, and Harriet Scaddon, age 17. These names are open to some question.
The handwriting of the census taker was not good. For example, I do not read "Hackey" for James; considering the "H" in "Harriet," I do not think the first letter is an H. For the first child, a girl age 12, the indexer has read "Perry." I don't see that. There IS a 12 year old Mary Perry who would be the granddaughter of Johanna Reed, the daughter of Mary Ann Reed and Joseph L. Perry. BUT Mary Ann Reed Perry, a widow in 1850, is living in Ridgeway with 9 of her ten children including "Mary L." age 11. The census was taken only a very few days apart. I don't read "Mary Perry" in Johanna Reed's household. And I have trouble seeing "Harriet Scaddon" which is what the indexer saw. Further searches did not provide any information about them, and I suspect these two girls will remain a mystery.
The 1860 census is very important. James, Edwin's brother, went to Illinois between 1857 and 1860. Edwin, now married to Jane Maria Van Vechten, is living with Jane's parents in Auburn. Edwin is a clerk. They have had two sons since their marriage: Frederick H., age 3, born about 1857; and Charles R., age 1, born about 1859. Both of the boys were born in New York. We know from many later documents that Frederick was almost always known as "Fred" and that his middle name was "Hollister." From this census, it becomes clear that Fred received his middle name from his uncle. Also living in the Van Vechten house are Wadsworth Hollister and his wife Caroline. Caroline and Jane were sisters. Wadsworth is a merchant, an occupation he holds for many very prosperous years.

There is a Mary J. Van Vechten in the household, age 1, who was born in Michigan. There was a lot of contact with Michigan for this group of people; Flora Ward, for instance, came from Michigan; and there are other examples. Who is Mary J[ane]? And why is she with William at the age of 1?

The presence of Edwin here, the birth of his children in New York in 1857 and 1859, and NOT in Illinois, the fact that James, Edwin's brother, DID go to Illinois and settled there, all lead me to think that the biographer of Edwin confused the two brothers and that the biography quoted above is not quite right. Edwin may have joined his brother in Illinois for a short period AFTER 1860, but I don't think he did so before 1860.
The past ten years have been busy ones for Edwin. He is now a Glove Manufacturer; and whereas his real estate and personal estate both were alloted no value in 1860, they are now recorded at very high values. His mother is now living with him in Auburn.
There are no surprises in the 1880 census. Note that Wadsworth Hollister is living next door to Edwin.
 Name  Relation Marital Status Gender Race Age Birthplace Occupation
                             Father's Birthplace Mother's Birthplace 
 Edwin R. FAY   Self   M   Male   W   52   NY   Glove & Mitt Merchant   CT   NY  
 Jane M. FAY   Wife   M   Female   W   50   NY   Keeping House   NY   NY  
 Fred H. FAY   Son   S   Male   W   23   NY   Lawyer   NY   NY  
 Charles R. FAY   Son   S   Male   W   21   NY   Bookkeeper In Store   NY   NY  
 Joanna FAY   Mother   W   Female   W   77   NY      NY   NY  
 Bridget O'FLAHERTY   Other   S   Female   W   29   NY   Servant   IRE   IRE  
 Hattie COOPER   Other   S   Female   W   23   ENG   Servant   ENG   ENG 
 Name  Relation Marital Status Gender Race Age Birthplace Occupation
                             Father's Birthplace Mother's Birthplace 
 Wadsworth HOLLISTER   Self      Male   W   52   CT   Retired Merchant   CT   CT  
 Caroline HOLLISTER   Wife      Female   W   51   NY   Keeping House   NY   NY  
 Nora CALLINAN   Other      Female   W   30   IRE   Servant   IRE   IRE  
 Eliza TRUXELL   Other      Female   W   38   ENG   Servant   ENG   ENG  
 Philo NELLIS   Other      Male   W   50   NY   Servant   NY   NY
Jane and Edward live in the same place, and his occupation is now given simply as "Banker." They still live next door to Caroline Hollister, but Wadsworth died April 11, 1895. Joanna Fay died February 28, 1894.
Jane Van Vechten Fay died August 3, 1906. In 1910, Edwin and Caroline Van Vechten Hollister still live in neighboring houses. Under Edwin's occupation is written "Own income."
Edward died January 1, 1930, at the age of 100. He is buried at Fort Hill Cemetery, in a special tomb, the only above ground crypt at Fort Hill.
photo by Bob Merritt, Fort Hill Cemetery Association
used with permission