History

Early Settlers

Abel Fairbanks

8907 Lake Shore Boulevard
Abel Whitmore Fairbanks
Abel Whitmore Fairbanks

Abel Whitmore Fairbanks was born on March 4, 1817, in Sullivan County, New Hampshire to Zabail and Mary Fairbanks. Abel married Mary Mason who was born on October 4, 1827. They had two children: Frank born on June 15, 1845, and Alice Holmes born on November 7, 1847. Alice married William Henry Gaylord who was born on April 29, 1842, in Cleveland. They had two children: Paul Fairbanks and Pauline (Brusewitz). William died on November 25, 1905, and Alice died on April 16, 1937. Both are buried in Lakeview Cemetery.

In 1857, Fairbanks formed a partnership with George Benedict who had a summer cottage known as “Breezy Bluff” at 9619 Lake Shore Boulevard. The company, known as Fairbanks, Benedict & Co., published the Cleveland Herald that had been in business since before 1820.  They kept the Herald on a course of conservative Republicanism through the Civil War and Reconstruction years. The March 29, 1869 edition of the paper quoted poet John Godfrey Saxe as stating: "Laws, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they are made.”

Fairbanks Benedict & Co.
Fairbanks Benedict & Co.

Their cautious stewardship of the Herald proved no match for the aggressive Republicanism of the Cleveland Morning Leader and they surrendered the Herald’s competitive advantage to the upstart Leader. Benedict died May 12, 1876, and his executor sold his interest in the Herald to Fairbanks.

The paper was purchased by other parties in 1877, who ran it into the ground. The Cleveland Herald ended publication in 1885 and its physical plant was acquired by the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Abel died on July 4, 1894, in Boston Massachusetts. Mary died on December 8, 1898. Both were buried in Woodland cemetery.