Stephen Favill

The subject of this sketch was born in Manheim, Herkimer County,  New York, February 10, 1823, and came to Lake Mills, Wisconsin in 1844, where he lived the major portion of the time thereafter. In 1852 he and Miss Mary Griswold were, united in marriage and lived happily for many years, and the result of their union was daughter, Clara, so well known to many of our readers as Mrs. E. G. Updike of Madison.  Mr. Faville made his home for the past fifteen years with his daughter in Madison, during most of each year and the summertime he spent here at Tyranena Park. His health bad not been good for some time, and during the past summer he failed rapidly, and he passed away Wednesday, September 19, 1906, at the ripe age of 83 years, 7 months, and 9 days.
       The funeral services were held on Friday afternoon at his late home near the scene of his active life in Lake Mills, and they were attended by numerous relatives and friends of this vicinity and other places in this and other states. Dr. Robert Shephard of Evanston, Ill., a nephew by marriage, officiated, and talked as only one who loved him could talk.  It was a heart-to-heart talk, and all heard it were deeply impressed.  Mrs. Noble of the Congregational church of Madison sang very nicely, and Prof. Elias Bredin of Wisconsin University played the accompaniments with good effect.
       Among the relatives from other places were Dr, and Mrs. Robert Shephard and Mrs. Gary Calkins of Evanston, Dr. John Faville of La Crosse, Dr. Harry Faville of Chicago, Mr. H. C. Davis of New York City, Mr. Alpheus Faville of Milwaukee, Mr. and Mrs. R. T. Hunter of Fort Atkinson, and George W. Burchard of Fort Atkinson, Judge E. W. Keyes, Col. W. J. Anderson, Prof. W. W. Daniells, Mr. and Mrs. Sumner and several other people from Madison whose names we did not learn, all here to show their respect for their t more points than any person now living outside his own family.  And it is a pleasure (saddened by his death) to bear testimony to his exalted character.  Honesty, sincerity, fidelity and purity of lifebenevolence and charity were attested every day of his life.  He wore no frills.  By his code of ethics and ethics, “character, not logic, was the passport at Heaven's gate.”
       As I attempt to write a few lines on the death of an almost life-long friend, I find that here, where f    or more than a half century was the scene of his activitiesI write for those who hardly knew him.  The era of his forceful life was in another generation, most of his contemporaries are asleep in the narrow house.  Such is the brevity of life, and such the social transformations.
     He was a man of great versatility and could readily grapple with new and untried problems that arise in a new country.   Beside that, his lot was cast in a new era where new industries and inviting fields for enterprise were constantly opening, and with his ardent temperament, he strove in several lines with reasonable success.  Perhaps he was most conspicuous in the dairy industry, being among the first to establish co-operative factories in Wisconsin, and through life stood high in the council of the leading authorities on the subject, and for many years was associated with Hiram Smith, David Curtis, W. D. Hoard, and others in developing and promoting the dairy business in Wisconsin.
       Mr. Faville was prominent in organizing the Dairymen's Association at Watertown in the early seventies and was one of the seven persons present and therefore was a charter member.  The names of the seven wore W. D. Hoard, Stephen Faville, R. C. Drake, A. D. Faville, Chester Hazen, W. S. Greene and H. C.old-time friend and their sympathy for the bereaved.
       The following beautiful tribute was written by Mr. Robert Fargo:
       Another pioneer and Christian veteran has made his acquaintance with death, has found the companionship of the grave, "has joined the great caravan that moves to the pale realm shade."
       I came to know Stephen Faville in his early manhood and came in touch with his life a Dousman, and only three are living.
       With a genius for music, he built up, and by his personal training, maintained a choir in the M. E. Church for more than a generation.  He would have spurned pay for his services.
       In the early time when Lake Mills was part of the circuit, his home and stable purse were always open to the preacher.  When the meeting house was finally built, the society was too poor to employ a sexton, and on occasion the supply of fuel was low, Brother Faville’s generous arms carried in the wood from his adjacent premises, and his hands placed the church in order for services.
       Were I to write of his interest in and care for the fatherless, the orphaned ones, of the sacrifices made in behalf objects of benevolence and charity that have come under my observation, of his self-denial in the interest of others, some might think of fiction.  And, with what serenity he passed through life, whether good or ill betide; and with what courage and fortitude he uncomplainingly approached the end of life in the confident expectation of reaching "the better land." 
       Why should he not'?  In his social relations in his domestic life, in his political action, in his Christian career, always s with the same calm deliberation and fidelity to his highest and best conceptions of the right and duty.
     I cannot, in justice to the memory of my friend, forbear to emphasize some of his godlike qualities, so worthy of our emulation.
       At one period in his life, reverses came, (Few pass-through life on unruffled sea) and to liquidate his liabilities, he did a deed that not one man in a thousand would do. He gave to his creditors with his other assets, his homestead.
       A striking instance of his reasonableness and sense of fairness and right:  In the campaign of 1852, we were partisans of Gen. Scott.  The political powers were dividing on the slavery question, after the passage of the fugitive law.  I had occasion to hear John P. Hale, the free-soil candidate for President — was deeply impressed by his speech and said to my friend Faville, "l ought to vote for Hale.  He replied, "if I felt as you do, I'd certainly vote for him", instead of raising a political battle-ax for political apostacy.

“Why morn ye that our friend is dead. 
  Ye are not sad to see the gathered gain,
Nor When their mellow fruit the orchard cast,
   “Or when the yellow woods shake down the ripened mast.
“His youth was innocent; his riper age marked with some act of
  goodness every day;
And watched by eyes that loved him calm and sage,
  Faded his last declining year away. Cheerful he gave his being up.
  And went to the holy rest that waits a life well spent.
“And I am glad that he has lived thus lone
  And glad that he has gone to his reward;
Nor can I deem that nature did him wrong
  Softly to disengage the vital chord.
Dark with the mist of age, it was his time to die.

       Stephen Favill, father of Mr. E.  G. Updike died Wednesday morning after a lingering illness, at “Tyranena,” Lake Mills, WI, the summer home of Dr. Updike.   He was born in 1823 in Herkimer County, New York, and came to Wisconsin in 1844.  Most of this time he lived at Lake Mills, though for the last 15 years he had made his home with his daughter in Madison.  He belonged to a remarkable family of 12 children.  Three of the brothers lived in Lake Mills.  Dr. John Favill another brother was for many years a physician in Madison. 
       Mr. Favill was married in 1852 to Mary J. Griswold.  He was identified all his life with many interests of the state.  He was trained on a dairy farm in New York.  He built and conducted the first cheese factory· in Wisconsin and was an authority for those days long before the university experiment farm was started.   He was the first president or the North-western Dairymen's Association and was during its entire history on the board of the Wisconsin Dairymen's Association. He was greatly interested in agriculture and was a frequent contributor to leading agricultural papers. He was for a number of years one of the speakers at the Wisconsin Farmers' institutes.
       Mr. Favill was n man of great native ability, of fine physical presence, of most, generous nature, a stalwart character, a noble Christian gentleman, with a large circle of friends who will greatly morn his departure.
       The funeral will be held Friday at 3 o’clock at Lake Mills. Six nephews will act as bearers being: Dr. Henry B. Favill of Chicago, Ill; Rev. Dr. Henry Favill of Peoria, Ill; Rev. Dr. Henry Favill of La Crosse, Stoughton Favill and Cash Favill; Fred Grisword of Lake Mills.
       The Judge says that l bossed the cheese business for Favill Brothers from 1945 to 1850. If he had added that I built the first co-operative cheese factory in Wisconsin in 1868 and that I worked in the cheese vat for the next ten years and following that for four years bought and shipped to New York and Liverpool hundreds of tons of cheese every year he would have kept me from blowing my own horn. I state these things so that your readers may know that it is not ignorant fault-finding when I endorse the complaints made about the cheese we have to eat, if we eat any.  I think I fully understand the position of the factory men in this matter.  They claim that to guard against loss they must make cheese firm. That cheese made as soft as our market demands will not stand our hot summer weather without being damaged by it and that is true to some extent, so my practice was to make them firmer in the early part of the season and salt them a little heaver.  But now they make them hard year-round.
       The Dairying department will be handled by Stephen Favill, a dairyman of forty-five years’ experience and a wide reputation.  Mr.  Favill is widely known as an agricultural writer, having been for a number of years a contributor to leading farm and dairy journals of the country. He is familiar with every feature of the business and gained most of his knowledge firsthand.  He was born and brought up on a dairy farm in Herkimer County, New York and has been personally interested in the sale and manufacture of dairy products since.  He built and operated the first cheese factory in Wisconsin and has been identified with every advancement of dairy interest in this state since 1845.  He is able to speak with authority on all subjects relating to the different classes of dairy stock and as editor of this department will cheerfully answer any questions on such matters sent in by subscribers. 


       Departed this life, at the home of his son-in-law Rev. E. G. Updike, in Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin, September 19th 1906.  Stephen Favill was one of the pioneer dairymen of Wisconsin and a most loveable man in all the relations of life.

— Source: collected (and lightly edited) from The late Stephen Faville | Newspaper Article/Clippings | Wisconsin Historical Society (wisconsinhistory.org).
Located by Adam Seaman