Looking for Lillian

DAYTONA BEACH, Florida – It seems like no matter where we travel, there is some connection to home. As we made plans to be in the area of Daytona Beach this winter, I just had to do a little research on Lillian Mai Hayden Fenton.

Lillian was the wife of Reuben Earle Fenton, only son of Governor Reuben Eaton Fenton. She and Reuben Earle met during the winter of 1890 in Florida, as he was spending the winter in St. Augustine at some property he owned there. By Spring, they had made plans for a Fall wedding in Columbus, Ohio, the home of the Hayden Family.

Reuben Earle died in 1895 after traveling abroad. Lillian was only 29 years old.

A stock photo of a 50 hp Simplex Touring Car.

She first appears in Daytona Beach City Directories in 1921, living at her home at 953 South Atlantic Avenue. The photo above shows the beach that was directly in front of Lillian’s home. There are no homes now beachside in Daytona Beach, so it is hard to imagine how Lillian’s home looked in today’s forest of condominiums. She spent the winters on South Atlantic Avenue for the rest of her life, moving to New York’s Thousand Islands in the summer, where her family had summered for many years. In 1932 and 1933, the City Directory shows Lillian living at 907 South Atlantic Avenue. It is unknown if the houses were renumbered, or if she moved a few houses north of 953. Lillian died on May 4, 1933 in Daytona Beach. She was 67 years old.

A vehicle registration found on shows that Lillian owned a 50 hp Simplex Touring Car, a luxury vehicle at that time. The City Directory for 1930 lists her chauffer, Henry Hall and Annie Hall was employed as “cook”.

Thank you to the Halifax Historical Society for helping me with my day of research!

Like this article?

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkdin
Share on Pinterest

Leave a comment