|Birth: ||May 5, 1715|
|Death: ||May 17, 1781|
Independence Day seems to be a very fitting day to memorialize Stephen Fay Sr and his sons.
Stephen Fay, Sr. bought a farm of 300 acres, bordering on the west side of Muddy Pond, Dec. 6, 1749, but soon removed to the place afterwards owned and occupied by Colonel Stephen Rice, on the old turnpike, marked "C. Paige" on the Ruggles Map.
Stephen was selectman four years, assessor five years, innholder from 1754 to 1763 and retailer (perhaps innholder also) in 1764 and 1765. He was also probably Captain of militia, as he was known by that title during his residence in Vermont and was so described on his headstone.
In 1766, he removed to Bennington and became landlord of the Green Mountain Tavern, afterwards so celebrated as the "Catamount Tavern."
This house was the general headquarters of the controlling spirits during the long contest with New York and also during the Revolutionary War and among those spirits, Captain Fay was not the least active. When it was determined in 1772, during the New York controversy, to send special messengers to confer with Governor Tryon, Captain Fay and his son, Dr. Jonas Fay, were selected as the messengers. During the Revolution, he was constantly active and rendered efficient service in a civil capacity and in the clash of arms, he was represented by his sons.
In the clash of arms at Bennington, Capt. Fay was represented by his sons, five of whom, (John, Elijah, Benjamin, Col. Joseph, and David were in the battle Aug. 16, 1777,) John being killed at his post of duty; when his father was informed that he had been unfortunate in respect to one of his sons he exclaimed, "What! Has he misbehaved?" "No, sir," said the informant, "worse than that, he is among the slain, he fell contending mightily in the cause." "Then I am satisfied," replied the venerable sire, and in his deep grief, bowing his head, he exclaimed, "I thank God that I had a son who was willing to give his life for his country, bring him in and lay him before me, that at my leisure, I may behold and survey the darling of my soul." Upon which the corpse was brought in and laid before him, all besmeared with dirt and gore. He then called for a vessel of water and washed the gore from his son's corpse and wiped his gaping wounds with a complacency, as he expressed it, which before he had never felt or experienced. This account is from papers published 1777, soon after the battle.
The British officers who were taken prisoners in the battle of Bennington were conducted to the house of Capt. Fay. On the day previous to the battle they had tauntingly sent word that they wanted him to prepare a good dinner for them for they would dine with him on the morrow. On their approach, as prisoners of war, he met them at the gate with his characteristic humor, pulling of his "cocked hat" said to them, "Welcome, welcome, gentlemen! The dinner you ordered is prepared for you."
Captain Fay lived to see the arms of his country triumphant, but did not witness the establishment of peace. He died May 17, 1781 at the age of 67 years and his wife, Ruth attained the age of 88 years. No date on her birth or death.
From the Fay Family Book, by Orlin P. Fay.
Bio submitted by Mary Miller - July 2008
Stephen Fay came from Hardwick to Bennington about the year 1766, kept a public house in the centre of the town, known in the language of the time as "Landlord Fays". The house built by him is still standing, and occupied by his grandson Samuel Fay. It was the usual place of meeting of the settlers in their early contest with the Yorkers, and known as their headquarters. Ethan Allen made it his home for a great portion of the time for several years from 1766, when
he first came to the New Hampshire grants. Mr Fay Occupied an Influential position among the early inhabitants of the town, and died in 1781. He had ten children, in the order of their ages as follows, viz:
John the eldest who was killed in Bennington Battle Aug 17, 1777, aged 43. He left a widow and children, and many of his descendants are now living in the norther part of this state.
Jonas, the second son; Stephen, who died at Charleston, Mass; Mary, married to Gov Moses Robinson; Sarah married to Gen David Robinson; Elijah died in Benninto, July 5, 1835 aged 85; Beulah, married to Samuel Billings of Gennington; Benjamin, born Nov 22, 1750 , was the first Sheriff appointed in the County and State, and hled the office from March 26, 1778 until October, 1781, and died in 1786. He left several children among whom was Samuel Fay above mention, born Aug 16, 1772. and who has been more particularly spoken of in the sketch of the town. The other children of Stephen Fay were Joseph & David.
The Vermont Historical Gazetteer: A Magazine, Embracing a History ..., Volume 1
John Fay (1734 - 1777)*
Jonas Fay (1736 - 1818)*
Beulah Fay Billings (1745 - 1833)*
Elijah Fay (1748 - 1835)*
Benjamin Fay (1750 - 1786)*
Joseph Fay (1753 - 1803)*
David Fay (1761 - 1827)*
Old Bennington Cemetery
Created by: Ancestry Seeker
Record added: Oct 24, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 22440083