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Ida Dora Fairbush

Born on 3-15-1869. She was born in Buffalo, NY. She was accomplished in the area of Education. She later died on 9-20-1945.
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Ms. Ida Dora Fairbush was born in 1869 in Buffalo, New York. Her parents were John and Emanda (Amanda) Fairbush. John was a native of Maryland and Emanda was born in Ohio. In addition to Ida, the Fairbush family included Nelson S., Olive and two daughters that apparently did not survive into adulthood. Nelson was a postal office clerk and Olive worked as a domestic. Olive died in 1934 as the result of being hit by a car. She lived with her sister at the time. Ida was a member of the Vine Street A.M.E. Church later Bethel AME Church.

Ida attended public schools in Buffalo and was an honor student earning a silver Jesse Ketchum Medal in 1884. Ida was extremely active in the community, even as a teenager and numerous references to her can be found in the contemporary newspapers. An article in the Buffalo Enquirer in 1884, which cited scholars admitted to Central High School named Ida Fairbush as having passed all 5 subjects required for a "Regents Certificate".

According to a history of the African American community, written by Rev. J. Edward Nash, for the August, 1940 edition of the Buffalo Star, a deal was made by the Colored Democratic Club as well as the Colored Republican League to support the party's Superintendent candidate if he appointed a colored teacher. Henry P. Emerson, the Democratic candidate was appointed the Superintendent of Buffalo Schools in 1893 and he kept the promise to appoint a colored teacher. Ms. Fairbush was appointed sometime afterward, initially as a substitute teacher and then a full appointment. According to Rev. Nash, she was still teaching at the time of his writing and was one of the oldest, teachers in the city.

The Buffalo Courier of March 12, 1898 reported that a competition was being held for teachers. They could win a trip to Paris for the Paris Exposition of 1900. The winner was determined by the number of votes received. Ida Fairbush was listed as a teacher from School 6 and that she had 5 votes. The teacher with the highest number of votes at the time had 98.

Although she was the first Black teacher hired by the School District, Ms. Fairbush never taught Black children. She spent the entirety of her career, 41 years at School 6, which had a large ethnic population, primarily from Italy. By all accounts she was a beloved teacher.

Ida died on September 20, 1945. It was said that she was 76 years old.