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George Rainsford Fairbanks facts for kids

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George Rainsford Fairbanks
George Rainsford Fairbanks.png
Born (1820-07-05)July 5, 1820
Watertown, New York
Died August 3, 1906(1906-08-03) (aged 86)
Sewanee, Tennessee
Spouse(s)
  • Sarah Catherine Wright
    (m. 1842; died 1858)
  • Susan Beard (m. 1860)
Children 7

George Rainsford Fairbanks (1820–1906) was a lawyer, Clerk of the Circuit Court, Florida State Senator, president of Florida Fruit Growers Association and the Florida Fruit Exchange; editor of the Florida Mirror; the author of books on Florida history; and the founder and president of Florida Historical Society. He lived in Fernandina Beach. He is listed as a Great Floridian.

Life and career

Fernandina Beach FL Fairbanks House01
Fairbanks House on Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island
Fernandina Beach FL Fairbanks House plaque01
Historical marker at the Fairbanks House

George Rainsford Fairbanks was born in Watertown, New York on July 5, 1820. He married Sarah Catherine Wright on October 8, 1842. She died in 1858, and he remarried, to Susan Beard, on April 25, 1860.

Senator David Yulee brought Fairbanks, a Confederate Major during the U.S. Civil War, to Fernandina in 1879 to run the town's Florida Mirror newspaper. Fairbanks was also a historian, an educator, a former state senator, and one of the founders of the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. He and his granddaughter witnessed the fire that destroyed downtown Jacksonville 40 miles away from the house he built in 1885.

He died at his home in Sewanee on August 3, 1906.

The Fairbanks House was converted into a bed & breakfast and is on Amelia Island's Fernandina Beach at 227 South Seventh Street. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

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