Secret Agent Man


Fay Savage’s photo was found in a shop in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.  Based on the photo mounting (shown below) I date the photo to the late 1890s or early 1900s. Twenty-one-year-old Fay Charles Savage was living in Endicott, Nebraska in 1900.  Endicott is about 60 miles east of Nelson, where Fay sat for his photo in David W. Wright’s studio.

In March of 1900 Fay was honorably discharged from military service as a Private in the Nebraska Second Regiment of Company D.  Did he serve in the Spanish-American War?  Does the pin on his lapel signify his service?  If you recognize the pin, I’d love to know. Other than a mention of Fay’s departure from the military in a newspaper article, I wasn’t able to uncover any further information regarding his service.  In fact, the 1930 census taker indicated Fay was not a Veteran.

As a young adult, Fay lived with his widowed 49-year-old mother, Ruth (nee Taft), and his teenage brothers, Olen and Serrel.  Fay’s father, Heil, died at age 80 in 1898.  His mother was Heil’s third wife.  Ruth was 26 at the time she wed the 60-year-old farmer.  When Fay’s younger brother, Roscoe, was born in 1890, Heil was 72 years old! Sadly Roscoe died at the age of three.

1929 Mar 6 SAVAGE Station Agent career The Lincoln Star Lincoln NE Pg 5
The Lincoln Star, NE ~ Mar. 6, 1929

In 1904 Fay and Miss Alta Stoltz were married in Endicott.  I suspect this photo may have been captured about this time.  I think Fay looks like he could be a ‘secret agent man,’ and if you remove the ‘secret’ part, I’d be right. Other than a brief stint in the mercantile business in Helvey, Nebraska in 1910, Fay made a career of working as a station agent and telegraph operator for the Railroad, retiring in 1945.

1940 Jan 27 WITNESS to suicide The Columbus Telegram NE Pg2
The Columbus Telegram, NE ~ Jan 27, 1940

Fay was a witness in an unfortunate suicide case in 1940 when a 37-year-old man threw himself under the wheels of a train at the Adams, Nebraska railroad station.  It doesn’t seem that he saw the actual death leap, but I imagine he would have still been quite shaken up over the event.

1969 Sep 2 SAVAGE Fay OBIT Beatrice Daily Sun Beatrice NE
Beatrice Daily Sun, NE ~ Sep. 2, 1969

Fay and Alta had no children.  He died August 31, 1969, and is buried beside his wife in Newton Burial Park in Nevada.


Census records
Find A Grave
Railroad Retirement Pension Index
World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918
Nebraska, Marriage Records
Social Security Applications and Claims Index
The Nebraska State Journal, Lincoln, NE – May 19, 1910, Pg 4 (mercantile business)
The Nebraska State Journal, Lincoln, NE – Apr. 1, 1900, Pg. 6 (military)

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