Fayette, one year younger than listed 2011.04.20

Written by David Green.

Fay.1919_photo_of_South_sideBy DAVID GREEN

It’s not that Fayette is a “young” community.

There’s a record of the first log cabin constructed in 1845. A saw mill was erected in 1850, followed a few years later by a grist mill.

A village of about 40 people existed in 1859 and the first union school opened in 1862.

But it wasn’t until 10 years later that the settlement was officially incorporated as the Village of Fayette.

Or was it 11 years later?

Kathleen Fix will tell you it’s 11 years and she has the documentation to back up that claim.

For years Fayette’s incorporation was known to be 1872 and the centennial was celebrated a hundred years later in 1972.

That was one year early, Kathy says.

Fay.saw_millShe will attend the village council meeting Monday to present her findings in hopes of shifting Fayette’s official start to 1873.

Kathy’s mother, Vivien Ford, who was long known as Fayette’s historian, learned about the 1873 date in 1972. Village solicitor Cloyce Storrs showed her the pertinent pages from the Fulton County Deeds book that clearly listed 1873 as the founding date.

Vivien talked with Fayette mayor Charlotte Simpson about the situation and the two decided that since centennial plans were well underway, it was too late to worry about a change at that time.

Vivien became busy and never did return to the matter before her death, but her daughter was reminded last year from a source other than the Deed book.

Dale Pfund, owner of Fayette’s D&R Hardware, showed Kathy the historical records of the hardware store. There was a surprise among his documents: a record of Fayette’s incorporation—in 1873.

Kathy and her son, William, drove to the  Fulton County Records Office in Wauseon, turned to page 500 of the Deeds book and transcribed the data.

On June 4, 1873, county commissioners acknowledged a petition signed by 44 people asking for incorporation. The signers represented a population estimated at 300 and a territory described “in length north and south one mile – east and west one half mile.”

Corporation called for the general purposes of:

• improvements of streets and drainage, sidewalks and grating;

• an “ease of property on the streets” to prevent running at large cattle, hogs and other stock to the damage of citizens and visitors;

• to regulate auctioneers, merchants and hoaxers who operate against the interests of the permanent business of the village;

• and to regulate the other matters generally controlled by incorporated villages.

That last point mentioned the growing population of the community which included transients arriving by railroad.

The residents passing through “cannot be properly managed and governed without the restraint of Municipal Law, and as the welfare and interests of this community so imperatively demand it, we most earnestly pray that this, our petition, may be granted.”

D. D. Nichols, Arthur Allen and W. F. Gamber were chosen as the three representatives of the village in negotiations with the county.

On Aug. 7, 1873, county commissioners Herman Canfield, Joseph Shadle and A. B. Thompson reviewed the petition and found everything in order.

“The Board therefore deems it right that such petition be granted, And do cause this their order to be entered upon their Journal that the Corporation as named (Fayette) and asked for in said petition be organized.

– Fulton County, Ohio, Aug. 7th, A. D. 1873”

Forty-four village residents signed the petition for incorporation: Lewis Benner; H. Booth; C. L. Allen; S. Wynn; J. S. Moffitt; B. Colby; L. B. Shipman; John Eddy; W. H. Griffin; L. E. Coleman; H. Collins; E. Punches; E. W. Lewis; D. T. Acker; A. Bryan; G. W. Parker; John Fuller; J. Woolace; D. D. Nichols; E. Rogers; R. J. Paul; R. Spencer; William Trowbridge; B. Purcell; John Gamber; J. Tuesly; Chas. Johnson; B. F. Wise; H. Alford; William Willson; D. Garlic; Frank Vernier; W. Goodole; Alex Wright; W. Reynolds; George Ferriss; A. B. Ely; W. F. Gamber; S. W. Maucker; C. A. Snow; G. W. Heckman; W. A. Barayer; E. Rorick; and G. Ferrold.

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