Abstract: Small collection relating to the work, mostly legal, performed by Seth S. Fairfield (1790-1863) as both as York County Justice of the Peace in the first years of Maine statehood and as an assignee, and also work performed as a surveyor.
Biography: Seth Sweetser Fairfield was born March 12, 1790 in Wenham, Massachusetts, the third of four children born to Joseph and Elizabeth (Sweetser) Fairfield. Joseph died in November 1808, when Seth was about 18 and his sister Polly was about 22 ~ it was probably about this time when the trio moved north to the Saco and Biddeford.
Fairfield served as a Lieutenant and ranking officer in the Saco Artillery Company of the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia during the War of 1812. Lieut. Fairfield served under Lieut. Col. J. Spring from June 20-August 31, 1814 (this was directly after and as a result of the famous “Bulwark” attack on the Cutts property at Biddeford Pool on June 16, 1814.
Fairfield married Phoebe Lovejoy (d. 1860) in 1824, incomplete records indicate they had at least one but possibly as many as 3 or 4 children, all daughters. He also served on local boards along with many of the important businessmen of the day, such as his term on the Board of Directors of the Saco Mutual Insurance Company along with Nathaniel Burbank, Samuel Pierson, and Josiah Calef.
[Obituary from the “Union + Journal” (Biddeford, Me.) of July 10, 1863, p.2.]
“Died in Boston, July 3d, while on a visit to his daughter, Hon. S. S. FAIRFIELD of this
city, aged 73 years.
Thus has passed away one of our oldest and most respected citizens. He was born in
Wenham, Mass., March 12th, 1790, and at an early age came to Biddeford with his
mother and sister, and was a surveyor of lumber and of land, and in both capacities
acquired the confidence of all. His survey books still remain as proof of his carefulness
and accuracy in all he undertook.
Thirty-eight years ago he was appointed cahier of the Manufacturers’ Bank, Saco, and
served in that capacity till 1848, when he was chosen cashier of the Biddeford Bank, and held that position at the time of his death, and was, we believe, the oldest cashier in New England, with one exception, Charles Sprague of the Globe Bank, Boston. Thro’ this protracted term of service, he has been always true, prompt and cautious, and secured the good will and the confidence of all. In 1860, he was elected Mayor of the city, and brought to the discharge of the duties of that office the same qualities which he had shown in all the positions he had filled. He was re-elected in 1862, and at the end of that year decline a re-election.
He was always social and pleasant in his manner to all alike, high and low, rich and poor, and so he had the good will of all.—He was emphatically an honest, true, reliable man, always useful, always trustworthy In the words of one who saw the procession bearing his body to its final resting place, “He was a good old man, and every body liked him.”
He was buried from the Unitarian Church in Saco, on Sunday the 5th, with Masonic
honors, the Lodges of Saco and Biddeford, uniting to honor ther [sic] oldest and most
worthy member. The citizens of both places gathered in large numbers at his funeral, and the feeling of regret was universal that they would not again see his pleasant face.”