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Fain, Hiram



  • Existence: b. 1807

Hiram Fain was born May 19, 1807 to Nicholas and Sallie Gammon Fain (Married June 26, 1806). Hiram's father, Nicholas Fain, was a prominent businessman in Rogersville, Tennessee, and was elected as representative to the Tennessee General Assembly. Around 1829, Nicholas built the first brick house in Rogersville (Spring Vale) which was a combination hotel and store and was located on the old stage road from Washington to Nashville. Hiram lived at Spring Vale Farm throughout most of his life.

Hiram married Sarah Saverby on April 5, 1842 in Fayette County, Tennessee. They had eight children: an infant son who died within one month of his birth, Ernest (born January 29, 1844), Lucie (born October 9, 1846), Nicholas (born August 6, 1849), Ida (born December 21, 1851), Sallie (born April 9, 1854), Cornelia (born January 2, 1857), and Thomas Cross (May 6, 1861). Within the time of two months in 1863, the Fains lost three of their children to diphtheria: Nicholas (October 30), Cornelia (November 15), and Thomas Cross (December 10).

Prior to the Civil War, Hiram Fain was active in business in Rogersville. He managed Spring Vale Farm, served as cashier at the Bank of Tennessee in Rogersville, and performed legal services. During the war, he supported the confederacy. In November 1861, he joined a local group of men determined to protect the Watauga Bridge from burning, but, on learning that the Confederates had adequate troops to protect the bridge, he returned home. Hiram remained in East Tennessee throughout the war. On occasion, he traveled to Knoxville to help his brother Richard in his commissary business.

By the end of the war, Hiram Fain lost his financial resources. He worked briefly for Samuel Fain as a clerk in a factory in Mossy Creek. In November 1865, he rented his farm and moved his family to Memphis. Unable to find work there, he returned home to Rogersville in April 1867. The date of his death is unknown at this writing.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Hiram Fain Diary

 Collection — other: Folder 1 in Box H
Identifier: 500-AppMs 463
Scope and Contents The Hiram Fain Diary is a transcript of Fain's observations between October 21, 1850 and February 28, 1870. In the diary, Hiram Fain relates his day-to-day activities including planting and harvesting at Spring Vale Farm, legal activities such as preparing wills, working at the bank, and caring for livestock. He also describes weather conditions, astronomical events, an earthquake in 1861, the sale of slaves, the illness and death of family and friends, and local events and news. In his daily...