Biography of David R. Failing


Failing, David R., Tonawanda, the oldest living resident born in what was then the town of Buffalo, was born December 9, 1819. His great-grandfather was a farmer in Montgomery county, N. Y., and during the French war he was surprised and captured by the Indians while picking apples. He was taken through the woods to Canada, enduring great hardships and was held prisoner there until the close of the war. Richard Failing, father of David R., was born in Montgomery county in 1787. He sold his farm in the Mohawk valley and moved to the town of Buffalo in 1817, where he bought a tract of 120 acres of timber land which he cleared. Here he successfully reared his family and, spent many useful years. owning at different times 500 acres of land, 180 of which he possessed at the time of his death. He was active and influential in public affairs pertaining to his town; he acted as assessor for a number of years and filled the offices of commissioner of highways and supervisor. He was a personal friend and acquaintance of President Fillmore, Ebenezer Johnston (the first mayor of Buffalo) and E. G. Spaulding. His wife was Katherine Zimmerman and they reared three sons and four daughters. He died August 27, 1868. and his wife died in April, 1867. David R. Failing received a limited education. He remained vn the farm and cared for his parents until their death. He yet owns sixty acres of the homestead, sixty acres of which he sold for $1,500 per acre. In 1895 Mr. Failing erected two houses in the village of Kenmore, where he has since resided. For' many years he has been much interested in educational and church work, has been a member of the M. B. church for forty-five years and a liberal supporter; he is an active member of the official church board of the Kenmore church. In the spring of 1897 he purchased a bell for the Kenmore church, besides spending several hundred dollars for other improvements. In the summer of 1897 he erected and donated to the Genesee Weslyan Seminary at Lima, N. Y., an educational hall, a fine large three-story brick building which will be known as Failing Hall. In December, 1854, he married Mary Ann Lewis of Steuben county, and they had four sons, all of whom Mr. Failing provided with college advantages. In politics Mr. Failing is Republican.

Our County and its people
A descriptive work on Erie County, New York
Edited by: Truman C. White
The Boston History Company, Publishes 1898


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