November 21, 2012

Descendants of Clay W. Fairbanks

William Fairbanks, Jr. was born on January 5, 1805 in Copiah County, Mississippi.  On March 5, 1829, he married Elizabeth Ann Watkins in East Feliciana, Louisiana.  Elizabeth was born on October 7, 1806 in Copiah County, Mississippi.

William Fairbanks, Jr. died on April 15, 1856 and Elizabeth Watkins Fairbanks died on March 1, 1871.

The following children were born to the marriage of William and Elizabeth Watkins Fairbanks:
Edward J, 1829-?
William A, 1832- aft 1880 (m. 1. Julia L. Johnson; m. 2. Eliza E. Empress)
Mary M, 1833-?
Clay W, 1837-1920 (m. 1. Mary V; m. 2. Mattie A. Lovelace)
Samuel David, 1839-1918 (m. 1. Mary Ella Sullivan; m. 2. Alice L. Clark)
Osborn Pulaski, 1842-1917 (m. Cassie Husbands)
Descendants of Clay W. Fairbanks

Clay W. was born on May 17, 1837.  He first married Mary V. (1817-abt 1881) and had the following children:

Thomas J.
Francis B.
Annie Laurie
Henry Osborne

On December 25, 1883, he married Mattie A. Lovelace and had the following children:
John Lovelace, 1884-1944 (m. Rosa Cerniglia), son Clay W. (1912-1944)
Mabel, 1887-1971 (m. Robert D. Swayze), children:  Augustus, Mabel, Mattie

Clay W. Fairbanks died on January 19, 1920 and Mattie A. Lovelace Fairbanks died on April 5, 1911.  Both are buried in the Old Pine Hill Cemetery in Sicily Island.  The actual date of death and location of Mary V.'s burial are unknown at this time.

Annie Laurie, the daughter of Clay W. and Mary V., married Isham Russell Chisum, Jr. on January 13, 1886.  Isham Russell, Jr.(1851-1923) was a brother to Thomas Jefferson Chisum.  He and Annie Laurie had the following children:
Charles Patterson
Mary Aimee
Lottie Mae, 1892-1984 (m. Walter Edgar Beard, Sr.)
Henry Marion

Henry Osborne, the son of Clay W. and Mary V., married Henrietta "Nettie" Blackman on September 9, 1894 in Catahoula Parish.

Henrietta "Nettie" Blackman was born on June 13, 1874 to Joseph A. "Frank" and Virginia "Jennie" Smith Blackman.  Jennie died when Nettie and her sister, Mary Virginia "Mollie" were quite young.  The two girls were reared by their grandparents, James Luther and Henrietta D. Smith.

Henry Osborne Fairbanks died on February 14, 1899.  He is buried in the Old Pine Hill Cemetery in Sicily Island.

(Editor's Note:  tombstone photograph is courtesy of Karen Klemm Pinckard at

The following children were born to the marriage of Henry O. and  "Nettie" Blackman Fairbanks:

Russell Usher, 1895-1971 (m. Sallie Knight). Both are buried in the Old Pine Hill Cemetery.
Dr. Russell Usher Fairbanks (courtesy of Clay Fairbanks, grandson)

Thomas, 1897-1900.  Buried in the Old Pine Hill Cemetery.

Henrietta, 1899-1922.  Buried in the Old Pine Hill Cemetery

Dr. Henry J. Disch, Harrisonburg Cemetery
In 1901, Nettie Blackman Fairbanks was married to Dr. H. J. Disch, a dentist who had established his practice here. Dr. Disch died in 1924.   (Editor's Note:  Tombstone photograph for Dr. Henry J. Disch is courtesy of Karen Klemm Pinckard at

To the marriage of Nettie and Henry Disch were born two children:  Mary (Whatley) and Willie.

Henrietta "Nettie" Blackman Fairbanks Disch died on October 21, 1932.  She is buried in the Old Pine Hill Cemetery in Sicily Island.



It is not known just when the Disch house was built, however, it is remembered that originally it faced the railroad tracks.  In 1936, Dr. Russell Fairbanks, son of the first marriage, (also a dentist) and his wife Sallie Knight Fairbanks, bought the interests of the other heirs.  They did an extensive remodeling job, turning the house to face the highway and giving the house its present appearance.  They raised their four sons here:  Russell, Jr., Carey O., John and Buddy.   (Reference:  Our Island Heritage, Vol. 2, 1977, compiled by Sophie Haley and Mickie Smith)

Dr. Fairbanks died in 1971 and in 1973, Buddy bought out his brothers' interest in the house and there he resides with his family today.  (Editor's Note:  The Fairbanks family no longer lives here and the house has recently been put on the market for sale)

Disch-Fairbanks House, 2011


  1. I purchased the house in 2012 and we are currently in the process of repairing some water damage from years past. I am considering placing this home on the Historic Register, so if anyone has any information and or old photos of this house or its original owners please contact me at 318-751-3829, and Yes, we have heard spirits and seen things.

    1. Thank you for commenting. So happy to hear that someone has purchased the home with plans to restore it. As stated in the blog post, the original owners were Dr. Henry Disch and his wife, Henrietta "Nettie" Blackman Fairbanks. Dr. Disch died in 1924 so we know the house was built sometime prior to this date. Nettie was a sister to my great grandmother, Mary Virginia "Mollie" Blackman Steele. Nettie and Mollie were raised by their maternal grandparents, James Luther and Henrietta Smith. Information on the Disch family can be found on this blog. Information on Nettie's family can be found throughout this blog as well as on my other blog, "Pathway to Remembrance". Wishing you much success with the restoration project and your goal to have the home added to the Historic Register.

  2. we just captured three faces of the spirits who reside with us in our fireplace after the dog alerted us to them. I will try and post the pics as soon as I can. We are not sure though which spirits are here, we assume they are either from the Disch or Fairbanks family.

    1. Oh wow! I'd love to see the photographs. Please send them to

  3. I am in the process of applying to the National Register of Historic Places for the Disch House. I have some questions if anyone can help in answering them. 1. If Usher and Nettie Fairbanks lived here first, why did Sophie Haley refer to my house as the "Disch House"? 2. Does anyone have an old photo of the house when it faced the railroad tracks? 3. Does anyone know who owned the land and possibly who built the house prior to Nettie and Usher? Someone once said it was an old saloon, had 2 stories, a third was built, where a tree took off the top story and once again became a 2 story. Any info on this house would be greatly appreciated I think with its history of prior residents along with the history of the island it should be place on the National Register of Historic Places. Thank you

    1. Nettie's husband was not Usher. She first married Henry Osborne Fairbanks (Russell Usher Fairbanks was their son). Henry, Nettie and children lived in the Bennett house (2 story white house on left-school house road). Henry died in 1899 just a few days after their daughter Henrietta was born. Though I have no documentation for proof, it was my understanding that Nettie and her second husband, Dr. Henry Disch, built the house you're living in. They married in 1901. The remodeling of the house was done by Nettie and Henry Fairbanks' son Russell Usher Fairbanks and wife Sallie Knight Fairbanks. I am not aware of any photographs of the house prior to the remodeling. I have never once heard or read in my father's notes where the house was ever a saloon.

    2. Thanks so much for the information. I will look at the court house and try and find a deed or something for those years you mentioned. I can't believe I made the mistake of referring to Henry O Fairbanks as Usher, you would think I would have remembered that from all I've read so far. I also discovered that my property was part of Edward Lovelace's Land Grant of 680 ac. I would like more info on Edward Lovelace, I lost track of him in the mid 1830's.

  4. The courthouse in Catahoula Parish lost quite a few records from a fire in the basement. So I was told when telephoning an inquiry. My Ggrandmother is Annie Laurie Fairbanks Chisum. Anything you learn in that line I would love to know. I have very little information about her, although I visited with her as a young child. She spent her last years at the Catholic "Old Folks" Home on Sterlington Rd, Monroe,LA. I also visited her prior to that at a family reunion at the Glades Plantation in Summer of 1957 or 1958.

    1. Annie's husband, Isham Russell Chisum, Jr. was a brother to my 2g grandmother, Lucinda Chisum Steele. Annie's brother, Henry Osborne Fairbanks was married to Henrietta "Nettie" Blackman who was a sister to my great grandmother, Mary Virginia "Mollie" Blackman Steele. Mollie's husband was Lucinda's son, Isham Alfonso Steele. So....our families are very intertwined :-) If I run across any additional information on Annie Laurie, I will update the blog post. You are also welcome to contact me at the email address listed in the 'About Me' section of the blog and I will email back with any new information.

  5. Does anyone have any pictures of the house at all? My husband is Russell Usher Fairbanks Jr. Grandson and would love to see it! if so. can you email them?


    1. Hi Tabetha,
      The photograph of the house in the post was taken in 2011 and I don't believe it has changed much on the outside. You are welcome to save a copy to your computer. If you're requesting photographs of the inside, you might want to check with Buddy's son, Clay. I believe his daughters took some photographs before the current owners purchased the house.

    2. My great grandmother was the Mary V. who married Clay Fairbanks via their daughter Laurie Fairbanks who married Mr. Chisum. I have hit a brick wall on her last name. Any ideas of her maiden name?

  6. Does anyone have any photos of the house? My husband is Russell Usher Fairbanks Jr. Grandson and would love to see them! if so email them to


  7. Hi my dad purchased the home can not remember the year,but there was a lot going,on in,that home,it is a beautiful home, doctor Fairbanks in Vidalia louisiana could answer a lot of questions