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By Joseph Wallace, M. A.
of the Springfield Bar
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, IL

Page 1330


Hippolyte E. Fayart was connected with the boot and shoe trade of Springfield through a longer period than any other merchant in his line, his business at 516 East Adams street being one of the landmarks in trade circles of the capital city. Mr. Fayart was a factor in the cumulative forces which led to the business prosperity of this locality and at the same time his efforts brought to him a good financial return. A native of Paris, France, he was born in the year 1832 and came of a people noted for longevity and for remarkable stature. The family was well-to-do and prominent in France, representatives of the name standing especially high in church circles. His father, Peter H. Fayart, was married and with his wife and son, Hippolyte E. Fayart, emigrated to the new world. This occurred in the year 1848. The subject of this review had pursued his education in different colleges of his native country and was seventeen years of age when the family sailed for America, the vessel in which they took passage dropping anchor in the harbor of New Orleans. They then proceeded up the Mississippi river and continued their journey until they arrived at the French settlement at Nauvoo. He had been educated for the priesthood, but abandoned the idea of entering the ministry. In St. Louis the father and son embarked in business in the manufacture of shoes and in 1853 they came to Springfield, establishing a shoe shop on Adams street, where they continued business together for a time. Peter Fayart then opened up a store for the sale of custom-made shoes in the western part of the city and continued in trade there for many years, but retired from business about fifteen years prior to his death. For a time he resided on West Monroe street, where he erected a home and later he lived on South Ninth street. His death occurred in Springfield, but his wife passed away in Nauvoo, Illinois.

After removing to Springfield Hippolyte E. Fayart, as before stated, was associated in business with his father for a time and then the partnership was dissolved, the former continuing as a shoe-maker alone until he enlarged the business, extending the scope of his labors until he was at the head of a good retail shoe establishment. He represented this department of trade until the time of his death and in 1860 he erected the present building at NO. 416 East Adams street, where he remained for so many years. He carried a large and well selected stock of shoes and because of the excellence of his goods and his reasonable prices he secured a liberal patronage, which returned to him a very gratifying income.

Mr. Fayart erected a home on South Fourth street in Springfield and was married in this city to Miss Eugenie Jespierre, who was born in France in 1837 and is now residing at the old home place on Fourth street. They became the parents of four sons and one daughter, but the youngest, Louise, died in infancy, while Joseph died in Springfield at the age of thirty years; and Edward died at the age of six years. Those still living are: Eugene E. and Jules S., who are married and reside in Springfield.

In his political views Hippolyte E. Fayart was a Republican and took an active interest in the work of his party and in the extension of its influence. Upon that ticket he was elected to the position of alderman and served for one term, but was never an aspirant for office. Prominent in the ranks of the Masonic fraternity he was for many years a worthy exemplar of that craft and belonged to the blue lodge, chapter, council and commandery, Public-spirited and progressive he was a co-operant in every measure which he believed would contribute to the general progress and improvement. His own life record was well worthy of emulation in many regards, proving what could be accomplished if one had the will to do and if honorable business methods were made the basis of mercantile activity. As his financial resources increased he purchases several pieces of property and erected a number of business blocks, as well as residences in Springfield, many of which he sold to good advantage. A well educated man, broad-minded and liberal, possessing many sterling traits of character, Hippolyte E. Fayart was widely known and commanded the esteem and confidence as well as warm regard of all with whom he was associated.

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