DAVID HAMILTON FEE was born in Chartiers township, Washington Co., Penn., July 9, 1853, and was educated in the public schools and at Jefferson Academy, Canonsburg, Penn. After reaching manhood, he spent some time in farming, and also taught school for a season. In the autumn of 1882 he purchased from Fulton Phillips an interest in the Canonsburg Notes, in the following spring becoming sole editor and proprietor, and so continued until July 1, 1892, when he sold a half interest in the paper to his brother, William H. Fee, who had had charge of the mechanical department of the office for a number of years.
On May 15, 1884, Mr. Fee was married to Miss Eva L. Pattison, of near West Alexander, a daughter of the late Thomas Pattison of that place. In politics Mr. Fee is a Republican, in religion a United Presbyterian. The following sketch of Mr. Fee was prepared by a brother editor, Mr. Fulton Phillips, of the McDonald (Penn.) Outlook:
The neighborhood in which he spent his early life was remarkable for the intelligence, refinement and morals of its people. It was a community of the most progressive farmers of the age, nearly every farmhouse sending into the world a classical scholar. It was among such people that he learned the habits necessary to the close and accurate observation and the careful and conscientious expression of his thoughts which afterward marked him as the best newsgatherer in the county and one of the best editorial writers. And it was here that he acquired the moral stamina that afterward enabled him to speak out, regardless of consequences, on all important questions that came before him as an editor. He knew that Sunday papers were demoralizing, and so opposed them at all times. He was vividly impressed with the evils of intemperance; and he never let slip an opportunity to strike a blow for decency and order. Nor has he ever exhibited the malignant disposition too many reformers are driven into by a diabolically malignant opposition. The writer of this paragraph has often, after an interview with Mr. Fee or after reading one of his editorials, said to himself: "There's charity; that man is not living for himself alone; he certainly keeps before him a high ideal, and if he can approach it, he cares not for the opinion of men; it is a big soul in a small body, and if he can stand off the world, the flesh, and the devil, and maintain that character through life, his record will be an enviable and admirable one." His editorial paragraphs were always strong; and we can not recall a single instance of even momentary puerility showing itself between the lines; and this can be said of a very few indeed.
This is not "Dave Fee's" obituary, but such a picture of him as is in the minds of those who know him, and such as ought to appear where history is recorded. Therefore I write it. His success as a newspaper man has been phenomenal. When first he entered the Notes office we took him for a bright reporter, but did not expect him to lead all others in making the best country weekly in Pennsylvania.
WILLIAM H. FEE was born October 16, 1868, in Chartiers township, Washington Co., Penn. He attended the public schools, and on February 6, 1883, entered the office of the Canonsburg Notes, where he learned to master the several branches of the printing trade. He has had charge of the mechanical department of that paper since May 3, 1886, and on July 1, 1892, he purchased from his brother, D. H. Fee, a half interest in the Notes. On October 28, 1891, Mr. Fee was united in marriage with Miss Julia M. Humphrey, of West Alexander, Penn., and to them was born, September 4, 1892, a son, named Dwight Humphrey Fee.
Text taken from page 53 of:
Beers, J. H. and Co., Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893).
Transcribed April 1997 by Neil and Marilyn Morton of Oswego, IL as part of the Beers Project.
Published April 1997 on the Washington County, PA USGenWeb pages at http://www.chartiers.com/.
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