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Dexheimer, Florence Chambers, 1866-1925 / Sketches of Wisconsin pioneer women
([1924?] )

Mrs. Lucius Fairchild,   pp. 51-54 PDF (828.7 KB)


Page 52


ower with several children and in time another child,
Charles S. Lee was added to the family. After the death
of their parents the Lee and Bull children lived together,
the older sisters looking after the younger ones. During
the war Frances Bull often visited the hospitals along
with her sisters to bring cheer to the wounded. Girls
grew up early in those days and by the time she was
fifteen or sixteen Frances knew a good many of the offi-
cers, and she and her sisters were invited to dine at
officers' mess. On April 27, 1864, she married Colonel
Lucius Fairchild of the 2nd Wisconsin Infantry. Colonel
Fairchild had served with distinction, losing his left arm
at Gettysburg. In 1863 he was commissioned Brigadier
General but gave this up to become Secretary of State
of Wisconsin, so Mros. Fairchild was plunged immediately
after her marriage into a political life.
    In September, 1865, Colonel Fairchild was nominated
by acclaimation as candidate for Governor of Wisconsin
and was elected. He served three terms. During this
time Mrs. Fairchild helped her husband as few women
could. There was no Governor's mansion and so they
lived in the family homestead on Monona Avenue where
Mrs. Fairchild had come as a bride and where she still
lives. She always welcomed her husband's friends and
with her tact and charm made the shyest legislator feel
at home. Many a knotty question was decided at through
Monona. During the session Mrs. Fairchild held a re-
ception every week, which as the house was not large, a
few of the members came each time. These receptions
were held early so that the men could get back for the
evening sessions in the capitol.
    While Mrs. Fairchild never desired power for her-
self, there was one time when she had on her own in-
itiative to act as Governor of Wisconsin. It was during
the Chicago fire when the governor and all the state offi-
cers were in Chicago in conference to see what could be
done to help. The women of Madison were gathering
clothes and supplies to send down to the fire victims as
soon as the orders should arrive at the city halL Late
one night word came in from Peshtigo in northern Wis-
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