History of Floyd County, Iowa - 1882 - F

Floyd County >> 1882 Index

History of Floyd County, Iowa
Chicago: Inter-state Publishing Co., 1882.


Unless otherwise noted, biographies submitted by Dick Barton.

Hon. WILLIAM B. FAIRFIELD, twenty-one years a resident of Floyd County , was born at Hudson, N. Y., Aug. 24, 1835 , son of Joseph W. Fairfield, a lawyer, railroad man and banker, and Laura, nee Britton. The Fairfields were from France, the Brittons from England . Wm. B. received his early education at Hudson and College Hill, Poughkeepsie ; entered the freshman class of Williams College in 1851, the class which included Pres. J. A. Garfield; graduated at Hamilton College in 1855. He was admitted to the bar in 1856, at Clinton , N. Y. In the autumn of this year he came to Charles City . Here he commenced the practice of his profession, and in 1865 was one of the founders of the bank now conducted by Reiniger & Balch. In the autumn of 1864 he was elected Judge of the Twelfth District, was re-elected in 1868, but resigned in 1870. In later years he gave some attention to railroad building and farming. He and Judge E. H. Williams built in Clinton County the first narrow-gauge railroad in the State of Iowa , and as a farmer he took special interest in improved live-stock, as short-horn and Jersey cattle, Berkshire hogs and Clydesdale horses.

In politics Judge Fairfield was always a Republican, and in religion inclined to Unitarianism; he was a member of the Blue Lodge of Masons. As a lawyer Judge Fairfield stood high, in thoroughness and candor.

Dec. 25, 1857 , he married Miss Estelle M. Balch, daughter of Rev. W. S. Balch, then of New York City and now of Elgin , Ill. ; she is a sister of W. D. Balch, the well known banker of Charles City .

Mr. Fairfield died Oct. 27, 1879 at Hudson, N. Y., where he is buried.

DUNCAN FERGUSON was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1809, and came to America in 1851. Being an engineer and surveyor he was always in public positions, and made for himself a good name as a railroad engineer, Government surveyor or banker.  In 1856 he, with others, came to Charles City, and laid out the village.  He resided here two years, doing a banking business in company with G. B. Eastman, and returned to Rockford, Ill., where he died in May, 1882.