Discover your family's story.

Enter a grandparent's name to get started.

Start Now

Biography of Abraham Stites

Abraham Stites was a son of Dr. John Stites, and was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, during the Revolutionary war, and with his mother was removed into a cellar to avoid danger resulting from a sharp engagement then going on between the British soldiers and the rebels of that day. A singular coincidence in the life of Mr. Stites is that he died in February, 1864, in Hopkinsville, during a skirmish here between the Confederate and Federal troops. He, with a large family connection of the Ganos and Stiteses, removed from New Jersey to the Ohio Valley in 1808, carrying their goods on horseback across the mountains to Pittsburgh, and thence by flat-boats to Cincinnati; his father’s family settled near Georgetown, Kentucky. Mr. Stites had been educated for a lawyer, and licensed as such by Chancellor Kent. He commenced practice at Georgetown, and soon after married Miss Ann Johnson, daughter of Col. Henry Johnson, a Revolutionary soldier. In 1818 he removed to Hopkinsville, where he resided until his death. Mr. Stites was a man of fine education, and devoted to belles letters and literary pursuits. He was a good lawyer – an excellent counselor – but seldom, after becoming a county official, made any charge for legal advice. He was the confidant of many of the wealthiest men of the county, but was so opposed to litigation, that on all occasions, when he could do so consistently, he would use his efforts to conciliate rather than draw his friends into the meshes of the law. He was brought up, as it were, in the office of Johnson, the compiler...

Biographical Sketch of J. I. Ayer

J. I. Ayer, book and music store, Mattoon; was born in Medford, Mass., Feb. 3, 1854. In 1866, the family moved to Elizabeth, N. J.; in addition to his common-school education, he enjoyed the advantages of a boarding-school at Nazareth, Penn.; this school was of a military character, and he here pursued a course in civil engineering; at the age of 15 years he entered the firm of Roberts & Co. (dealers in books and stationery), at Elizabeth, N. J., to take charge of his father’s interest, he being a member of the firm. In the fall of 1870, he came West to Illinois, and settled in Mattoon, and engaged in engineering on the Decatur, Mattoon & Sullivan and the Grayville & Mattoon Railroads; he was thus employed about three years; in 1874, he was employed as book-keeper in the Essex House, and remained till March, 1878; in November, 1877, he purchased his present business, and since March, 1878, has given it his personal supervision. He was married in August, 1876, to Mary L. Cleveland, a native of Melrose, Mass.; has one daughter-Mary L., born Aug. 20, 1878. Mr. Ayer is a relative of the world-renowned Dr. J. C. Ayer, of Lowell,...

Biography of Walter L. Fay

Walter L. Fay, who has been prominently identified with manufacturing interests for many years, is a son of Edmund B. Fay, who was born in Fulton, Oswego county, New York, and was finally engaged in the wholesale dry goods business in New York City. Walter L. Fay was born in Auburn, Cayuga county, New York, his mother’s home, February 5, 1859. He was educated in the Pingry School, Elizabeth, New Jersey, from which he was graduated at the age of eighteen years. He immediately entered upon his business career, working for his father for a short time, then, in 1879, entered the employ of D. M. Osborne & Company, Auburn, as an office boy, receiving a salary of fifty cents a day. He commenced at the bottom of the ladder, and by his faithful attention to the duties entrusted to him, he mounted steadily until he had attained an important position in the office. At the expiration of four years he accepted a position with A. W. Stevens & Son, the senior member of this firm being a pioneer in the field of thresher and steam engine building. After working for this firm for thirteen years, Mr. Fay started in business for himself, associating himself in a partnership with Ernest S. Bowen, the firm doing business under the name of Fay & Bowen, and manufacturing bicycle spokes and spoke nipples at Auburn. They operated this business very successfully for five years and then made a cash sale of the enterprise to an eastern combination. Under the same firm name they commenced the manufacture of gasoline engines and launches in...

Pin It on Pinterest