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Bill Fary’s roots run deep in Gloucester

Gloucester native Bill Fary made his mark in the county as a Ford dealer, but his life was shaped by growing up in his family’s timber and sawmill business.

Fary’s grandfather, Pike Fary, was a Civil War veteran who was captured by the Union Army, made to sign a paper promising not to fight, and released to go home. A week later, said Fary, his grandfather rejoined the Confederate forces and got back in the fight. After the war, Pike Fary ran a tannery, cut railroad ties and farmed to make a living at Hickory Hill, which is still in the family. He married Sara Pierce and they raised 10 children—seven boys and three girls. Bill Fary’s father, Robert E. Fary, was next to the youngest child.

In 1907, Pike’s son, “Captain Billy,” started a lumber company with his brothers, and all of the siblings worked there.

“Captain Billy was the boss of the family,” said Fary. “And they worked from sunup to sundown—all of them. Everyt...

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