Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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FAY, Francis Ball, merchant, born in Southborough, ?Class., 12 June 1793 ; died in South Lancaster, Massachusetts, 6 October 1876. His parents were poor, and he had little education. At the age of eighteen he "bought his time" of his father for $80 a year. He attended the public scales in Docksquare, Boston, in 1811'12, then served as market man and butcher, and in 1817 became a merchant in Southborough. He was postmaster and town treasurer there in 1817'21 deputy sheriff of Worcester County in 1824'30, a member of the legislature in 1830'1, 1834'6, and 1840, and of the state senate in 1843'5 and 1868. He removed to Chelsea in 1831, built one of the first houses there, bought the first ferryboats running to Boston from that place, and was first president of the Chelsea savings bank. He was elected to congress as a Whig, to fill a vacancy, serving in 1852'3, and in 1857 was first mayor of Chelsea, but declined a reelection. In 1816'24 he was an active member of the state militia, reaching the rank of colonel. He endowed the Pay free library at Southborough in 1851, was one of the founders of the State industrial school for girls, and was connected with it as, commissioner, trustee, and treasurer in 1854'64. In 1858 he removed to South Lancaster that he might be near the institution.
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