The youthful, hopeful faces of Chester M. Fairbanks, and his first wife Emma Belle peer out at me from the fragile tintype photograph. Along with the tintypes I have two CDVs of them, with a delicate but enigmatic script on the back: “‘C.W’ and “‘E.B.’ Fairbanks. Send to Myrtie B. Fairbanks, La Gloria, Cuba.”
There was nothing simple about researching this family, for their lives and journeys were convoluted, as lives often are–full of hopes, joys and disappointments.
Chester M. Fairbanks, as shown in these photographs was a good looking man. He was the son of Othnall & Mary (Tubbs) Fairbanks of Deering and Hillsborough Bridge, New Hampshire. His early life was touched by sadness, for his father Othnall died when Chester was just 3 years old, returning from service in the Civil War with a malarial fever that killed him before he could muster out of the service.
Chester’s mother remarried, but he moved soon to what was the big city in those days, Nashua, New Hampshire, where he opened up, and ran a laundry for several years. He met and married Emma Bartlett, and they began a life together. They lost several babies, but a daughter thrived–Myrtie Belle, born in 1888.
Around 1900 many changes occurred–Chester gave up his laundry and became a cigar manufacturer. The family also became interested in an American colony in Cuba called La Gloria. Then tragedy struck, and Emma Belle died of tuberculosis. She was buried in Edgewood Cemetery. It appears that before his wife died, Chester was the father of a child by another woman. He married her, Sadie “Sally” Gaskill in 1903, but apparently abandoned her by 1916 when she filed and won a divorce from Chester.
In the meanwhile Chester was seemingly enamored with Cuba and Florida, possibly still involved in the cigar business. In 1917 he was living in El Cano, Cuba raising fruit and poultry (per his daughter’s request for a passport). Chester continued to travel quite a bit. His devoted daughter Myrtie who often traveled with him, died in 1934. When he died in 1937 he was living in Florida. His remains were returned to his home state, and he was buried near his first wife in Edgewood Cemetery, Nashua, New Hampshire.
==PARTIAL GENEALOGY OF CHESTER M. FAIRBANKS OF NASHUA NH==
Othnall/Othnel/Othniel D. Fairbanks, (possibly a grandson of Zaccheus Fairbanks) born abt 1832 in Hillsborough Bridge or Deering, NH, died 26 September 1863 at Deering NH of fever contracted in the war [his widow filed for a pension in February of 1864]; He m. 13 March 1856 in Antrim NH to Mary B. Tubbs, dau of Russell & Mary (Bowers or Gordon) Tubbs. She was b. 28 June 1836 in Deering NH, and died 6 Feb 1914 in Manchester NH. Othnall was a shoemaker. During the Civil War he enlisted in Company B. NH 16th Infantry Regiment on 23 Oct 1862, mustered out 20 Aug 1863 at Concord NH. He died at home, apparently before he could formally muster out of the service, of a fever contracted during the war [per his pension papers]. Mary (Tubbs) Fairbanks m2d) 28 Oct 1867 to Francis Danforth Gould, son of Richard & Lydia (Upton) Gould. He was b. 4 March 1825 in Greenfield NH and d. 13 July 1880 in Deering NH, from “the effects of intemperance.” In 1890 she was living in Manchester NH listed on vets wives. At her death she was placed in city tomb, Valley Cemetery, Manchester NH.
Revised Register of Soldiers and Sailors of NH
Fairbanks, Othnall D. Co B, b. Deering; age 31; res Deering, cred. Deering; enl Sept. 15, ’62; must in Oct 23, ’62, and Priv.; disch to date Aug. 20, ’63. Died Sept 26, ’63 Deering.
1850 US Census > NH > Hillsborough NH > Deering
Richard Mcallister M 33 NH
Susana Mcallister F 38 NH
Judith A Mcallister F 6 H
David F. Mcallister M 4 NH
Othniel D. Fairbanks M 18 NH
1860 US Census > NH > Hillsborough Co. > Hillsborough
Othnel Fairbanks M 28 NH 100 Farmer
Mary Fairbanks F 24 NH
Octavia Fairbanks F 3 NH
Chester Fairbank M 0 NH
Phebe Gove F 66 NH Domestic
28 January 1864 his widow filed application for pension. He served during the Civil War Co. B, 16th NH Infantry, papers mention C. Richardson, guardian as noted in the newspaper notice just below. 17 Feb 1868 minor application
Wed, Sep 4, 1872 Farmer’s Cabinet (Amherst NH) Page 3 State of New Hampshire, Hillsborough ss To Octavia A. Fairbanks and Chester M. Fairbanks, minor children of Othnal D. Fairbanks, late of Deering, in said county, under the Guardianship of Charles Richardson, and all others concerned. You are hereby notified that Charles Richardson will exhibit his account of his said Guardianship, at a Court of Probate to be held at Amherst in said County on the 27th day of September next, when and where you may appear and be heard on said account [etc]…..”
Children of Othnel & Mary B. (Tubbs) Fairbanks:
1. Octavia Alma Fairbanks, b. 25 Jan 1857 Deering, Hillsborough Co. NH; m. 10 Jan 1877 in Deering NH to Albert F. Barrett, son of Calvin & Julia A. (?) Barrett
2. +Chester M. Fairbanks, b 16 March 1860 Hillsborough Bridge NH
Child of Francis Danforth & Mary B. (Tubbs) Gould:
3. Frank Alyn Gould, b. 26 Nov 1863 in Deering NH and d. 21 Feb 1949 in Manchester NH. He m. Belle S. Dow, and had 3 children. He is buried in Martin’s Cemetery in Hooksett NH.
Chester M. Fairbanks, [THIS STORY IS ABOUT HIM, SEE photographs] son of Othnal/Othnel D. & Mary B. (Tubbs) Fairbanks, b. 16 March] 1860 in Hillsborough Bridge, NH and d. 27 Nov 1937 in Raiford, Union FL, buried 28 Nov 1937; m1) at Main Street M.E. Church 28 July 1880 in Nashua NH to Emma Bell Peaslee-Bartlett, [adopt] daughter of Horace C. & Mary Jane (Peaslee) Bartlett, ?daughter of M.V. Adams. She was b 28 May 1860 in Nashua NH, and d. 15 March 1901 in Nashua NH of tuberculosis. She was buried in Edgewood Cemetery, Nashua NH. He was a “Laundryman,” and later Cigar Maker. He m2d) 29 Jan 1903 in Nashua NH to Sadie “Sally”Gaskill, dau of Lewis Leroy & Ida (Owen) Gaskill. She was b. in Ausable Chasm [or Clintonville] NY. She sued and won divorce on 1 June 1916 on the grounds of abandonment. In 1917 Chester’s daughter applied for an emergency passport to Cuba stating that her father was living there at El Cano, Cuba raising fruit and poultry, and that at the time she was living in Jacksonville FL.
CHESTER M. FAIRBANKS – Findagrave
EMMA B. FAIRBANKS – Findagrave
MAY BELLE FAIRBANKS – Findagrave
1882 Nashua NH City Directory
Fairbanks, Chester M., laundry, Manchester, near Abbott, House 23 Abbott
1885 Nashua City Directory
Fairbanks Chester M (C.M. Fairbanks & Co.), laundry, 23 Abbott, h. do
1900 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Nashua > 45 Abbott Street
Fairbanks, Chester M. Head W M March 1860 40 M married 20 yrs NH NH NH Cigar Manufacturer
Fairbanks, Emma B wife W F May 1860 40 married 20 yrs 2 ch 1 living NH NH NH Employment-B
Fairbanks, Myrtie B. dau W F Aug 1888 11 single NH NH NH at school
Peaslee Susanna Head W F Sept 1809 90 single NH NH NH
1903 Nashua City Directory
Fairbanks, Chester M cigar maker 45 Abbott, h. do
October 3, 1912 Ship: Panama from Cristobal C.Z. Panama arriving at the Port of New York
Fairbanks, Chester M 45 male WDR [widower] Hillsboro NH March 16, 1867 of Raymond NH
Fairbanks, Myrtie B. 23 F single Nashua NH Aug 28th 1889
Fairbanks, Anna M. 12 F single Nashua NH Feby 20, 1900
1920 US Census > North Carolina > New Hanover Co. > Masonboro
Chester M. Fairbank Head M 59 NH Rivet — Steel yard
Annie M. Fairbank dau F 19 NH
John H.A. Fry son-in-law M 29 England
Myrtie Fry dau F 25 NH
Children of C.M. & Emma B. (Bartlett) Fairbanks:
1. May Belle Fairbanks, b. 29 Nov 1886 Nashua NH, d. 28 July 1887
2. Myrtie Belle Fairbanks, b. 28 Aug 1888 in NH; She lived in Cuba from Nov 1902-Dec 1910, Panama from 1910-1914, and Cuba from 1914-1917. In Oct living in Jacksonville FL, applying for passport to remove to El Cano, Cuba. She d. 9 Oct 1934 in Jacksonville, Duval FL, buried 12 Oct 1934 at Riverside Cemetery, Jacksonville FL.
3. ?Daughter, b. 27 Nov 1894 Nashua NH
4. ?Anna M. b 20 February 1900 Nashua NH [per ship log]
Child of Chester M. & Sally (Gaskill) Fairbanks:
5. Reginald Clifton Fairbanks, b. 23 March 1900 Nashua NH, died June 1975 in Fort Lauderdale, Broward FL; m. 4 Dec 1834 in Detroit Wayne Co., Michigan to Doretha/Dorothea Marie O’Keefe, dau of Charles & Annie (Hayes) O’Keefe. She b. Detroit Michigan. In 1936 on ship”Crispin” from Brazil to Staten Island NY.
16th NH Infantry regiment, Co B – Othnall