FAIRCHILD, Edward Henry [1815-1889] -- American educator, abolitionist
He was born at Stockbridge, Mass., Nov. 29, 1815; son of Grandson and Nancy (Harris) Fairchild; and a brother of James Harris Fairchild, president of Oberlin college, and of George Thompson Fairchild, president of Kansas state agricultural college. His parents removed to Brownhelm, Ohio, in 1818, where he was brought up on a new farm in the woods. He was sent about 1831 to the Elyria high school and became greatly interested in the anti-slavery movement. He was one of the first freshman class at Oberlin college, and was graduated from the college in 1838 and from the theological seminary in 1841. While at Oberlin as student he favored the admission of colored students and in 1836 he was commissioned by the American anti-slavery society to lecture on the anti-slavery question and was sent to northern Pennsylvania. In 1837 he was teacher of a large colored school in Cincinnati, Ohio, and in 1838 was employed by the Ohio anti-slavery society as lecturer. He was married Aug. 31, 1841, to Maria Babbit of Strongsville, Ohio. He was pastor of the First Congregational church of Cleveland in 1841 and teacher in Birmingham, Mich., Elmira, N.Y., and Hartford, Ohio, till 1853. He was principal of the preparatory department of Oberlin college, 1853-69, and in April, 1869, he became president of Berea college, Madison county, Ky., founded by the Rev. John G. Fee, an earnest anti-slavery advocate, as an anti-slavery school. Howard hall was erected the same year by the Freedman's bureau at a cost of $18,000 and later other buildings, including Ladies' hall, Lincoln hall and a chapel, were added. An endowment of more than $100,000 was secured. The students included both white and colored of both sexes. President Fairchild, feeling the weight of years, selected as his successor Prof. William Goodell Frost, who was elected in 1888, but declined to serve, until re-elected in 1892.
President Fairchild died at Berea, Ky., Oct. 2, 1889.