Fairfield, Iowa - Encyclopedia

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FAIRFIELD, a city and the county-seat of Jefferson county, Iowa, U.S.A., about 51 m. W. by N. of Burlington. Pop. (1890) 3391; (1900) 4689, of whom 206 were foreign-born and 54 were negroes; (1905, state census) 5009. Area, about 2.25 sq. m. Fairfield is served by the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, and the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific railways. The city is in a blue grass country, in which much live stock is bred; and it is an important market for draft horses. It is the seat of Parsons College (Presbyterian, co-educational, 1875), endowed by Lewis Baldwin Parsons, Sr. (1798-1855), a merchant of Buffalo, N.Y. The college offers classical, philosophical and scientific courses, and has a school of music and an academic department; in 1907-1908 it had 19 instructors and 257 students, of whom 93 were in the college and 97 were in the school of music. Fairfield has a Carnegie library (1892), and a museum with a collection of laces. Immediately E. of the city is an attractive Chautauqua Park, of 30 acres, with an auditorium capable of seating about 4000 persons; and there is an annual Chautauqua assembly. The principal manufactures of Fairfield are farm waggons, farming implements, drain-tile, malleable iron, cotton gloves and mittens and cotton garments. The municipality owns its waterworks and an electric-lighting plant. Fairfield was settled in 1839; was incorporated as a town in 1847; and was first chartered as a city in the same year.

See Charles H. Fletcher, Je f ferson County, Iowa: Centennial History (Fairfield, 1876).

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