The Fairbanks family moved to Evans, New York (Erie County), in 1832. Marshall Fairbanks was born to John and Mary Fairbanks in August of 1835. They lived in a frame house on one hundred acres of land. They grew wheat, oats, barley, buckwheat, corn, potatoes, bran, and apples, as well as making maple molasses, wine, butter, and cheese on their farm. They also raised cows, swine, and sheep. Many of the goods they produced were used in their family home.
Sometime between 1861 and 1869, Marshall married Jennie, and they lived on his father’s farm. During the years 1870 to 1875, Marshall’s mother died and his father retired, leaving Marshall the farm and making him head of the household by his late thirties. By 1880’s, John had died and Marshall’s nephew, Frank, worked on the farm with him. Marshall and Jennie never had any children.