Fanny May Eby

Female 1856 - 1945  (88 years)


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  • Name Fanny May Eby 
    Born 25 Jun 1856  Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Died 22 Feb 1945  Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I8177749708  Eby/Aebi and Bernethy Family
    Last Modified 20 Oct 2007 

    Father Jacob Rupley Eby,   b. 18 Nov 1816, Columbia, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 Feb 1883, Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 66 years) 
    Mother Elizabeth Gross,   b. 1823, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married 1843 
    Family ID F7465161009  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 25 Jun 1856 - Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 22 Feb 1945 - Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Notes 
    • Fanny May never married. The "Eby Family News" states her DOB as 25 Jun 1856. In the 1900 census she gives her DOB as Mar 1856.
    • 1860 Census Harrisburg Ward 2, Dauphin, Pennsylvania as Fannie EBY
      1880 Census Harrisburg, Dauphin, Pennsylvania
      1900 Census Harrisburg Ward 6, Dauphin, Pennsylvania
      1910 Census Harrisburg Ward 11, Dauphin, Pennsylvania
      1920 Census Harrisburg Ward 4, Dauphin, Pennsylvania. In this census there is a William Eby living with her listed as her nephew. Since Maurice never married, this must be her sibling William's son.
      1930 Census Harrisburg, Dauphin, Pennsylvania
    • The Eby History News
      April 2003
      Issue 18

      For a half century, the name Fanny May Eby was linked with cultural and charitable pursuit in Harrisburg.

      The only daughter and youngest child of prominent businessman Jacob Rupley Eby and sister of Harrisburg mayor Maurice Charles Eby, Fanny “was well known for her individual philanthropic work and her manifold activities in the church, civic and music fields and on behalf of the underprivileged, “The Evening News noted.

      While she moved in elite circles with the other daughters and wives of Harrisburg’s privileged families, she reserved a special place in her heart for needy children and animals.

      Her brother was of similar disposition and he often dug into his own pocket to pay the fines of the defendants who came before him when he was an alderman.
      Maurice Eby was the first officer in the city for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. During his mayoral term (1893-1896), he rigidly enforced laws protecting animals from cruel treatment.
      One of the charming anecdotes about Fanny concerned a pet dog that was picked up by a dog catcher because it was running loose in the city. The dog was condemned to die, but Fanny joined a contingent of lads who pleaded with Mayor Eby to save the dog’s life. Thanks probably to Fanny’s intervention, Mayor Eby spared the pooch. “The boys afterward serenaded Miss Eby and unofficially titled her “The Sunshine Lady, “according to The Evening News.

      Maurice, Fanny and their brother, William Howard Eby, were members of an old Pennsylvania Family. Their grandfather, Ephraim C Eby, was born in Lancaster County, in 1783, and their parents, Jacob and Elizabeth Gross Eby, came to Harrisburg in 1847 from Middletown where Jacob acquired a lumber business.

      Jacob acquired the John H Brant general store at 500-02 Market St, Harrisburg, described as one of the best sites in the city by Dr. William Henry Egle in his 1883 “History of the Counties of Dauphin and Lebanon.”

      Jacob was a miller, carpenter, merchant and banker. The family lived in an apartment at the store property. Later the family moved to a 160 acre farm between Peffer and Woodbine Streets and the Susquanna River and the railroad tracks in uptown Harrisburg.

      Fanny attended Miss Woodward’s school at the southwest corner of North Second and Locust Streets. She later went to boarding school on Philadelphia where she majored in music and French. After Maurice Eby Completed his education at Lafayette College, he spent three years touring Europe and studying at Heidelberg University in Germany. When he returned home, he joined his father in the grocery business. William (1848-1906) attended Princeton University, where he was a varsity baseball pitcher.

      The family farm was converted to residential development, and Maurice built his home, which he shared with Fanny, at North Third and Maclay Streets, then the northern boundary of the city’s limits. Cottage Ridge, as he called it, was described as “a replica of a villa in Versailles, France.”

      The mansion at 2030 N. Third Street later came into the possession of the Bowman family, and for a number of years it was the James K Bowman House of Fashion.

      Jacob Eby, born 1817, died in 1883, and in his memory, Fanny and Maurice erected a stone drinking fountain in front of their home. The fountain had basins for horses and dogs and a faucet for pedestrians.

      Many farmers traveling to city markets watered their animals and refreshed themselves at the fountain.

      A Charter member of The Wednesday Club of Harrisburg, Fanny, a mezzo-soprano, performed a duet with Helen Espry at the club’s first regular meeting/musical on May 17, 1882, in the home of Mira Lloyd Dock at 1427 N. Front St., according to the 1981 book, “Hi-Notes: A Century of music with the Wednesday Club of Harrisburg, Pa.” written by Marcella Thorp Emerick.

      The Eby family long held a special consideration for the poor. When Jacob operated the store at Fifth and Market Streets, he had Christmas and Easter baskets sent to needy families. Mayor Eby originated the plan of caring for the intoxicated people in the basement of the city police station.

      “He was ever willing to give a man a chance and instituted the police quick-charity fund to help family in emergencies,” The Patriot said…

      Mayor Eby, born in May 1846, died April 4, 1914. He was 67. Fanny then moved to a house at 1001 N. Front St. She died Feb. 22, 1945. She would have been 89 on June 25, 1945. Neither she nor Mayor Eby had married.


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