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Herbert Wells Fay (2/23/1859 - 10/25/1949)
return to the family of Jonathan 1774 - 1837
The following biography is taken verbatim from the Northern Illinois Regional History Center as part of the listing of the H. W. Fay Portrait Collection.
"Herbert W. Fay was born February 28, 1859, in Squaw Grove Township, DeKalb County, Illinois, and was the son of Edwin H. and Ann Haywood Fay, natives of New York and Maine, and the grandson of Horace W. Fay who came to DeKalb County from New York in 1838. Mr. Fay attended the common schools for his primary education and studied for four years at Monmouth College. After completing his course work, he taught school briefly and then came to Hinckley, purchasing a third interest in the Hinckley Review in partnership with the Tomblin Brothers. In 1882 he became sole proprietor. On September 24, 1884, Fay married Nellie Sebree and moved from Hinckley to DeKalb where he purchased a half interest in the DeKalb Review with D.W. Tyrell. In DeKalb Fay was a county surveyor and served for three years on the board of education.
"Mr. Fay was a collector of historical portraits. This collection was begun by Fay in 1869 and contained fifty thousand photographs of some of the most notable people in the world. His collection included ninety different sittings of Lincoln and twenty-five of Longfellow. He was the owner of the McNulta negative of Lincoln and had photographs of kings, queens, presidents, ex-presidents, judges of the supreme court, United States Senators, representatives, authors, scientists, inventors, artists, etc. He became the associate editor of National Cyclopedia of American Biography and many of the portraits used to illustrate the work are from his collection. He furnished 500 pictures of prominent people for the Americanized edition of the Encyclopedia Brittanica and his series of Lincoln portraits were used in McClure’s Life of Lincoln. In later years Mr. Fay went to Springfield as custodian of the Abraham Lincoln Monument."