Fanny Crosby was was born on Foggintown Road in Southeast on March 24, 1820. If you are driving west on Foggintown (from Rt 22 towards Farm-to-Market), just up the hill from the Bog Brook Multiple Use Area there is a small historical marker embedded in the stone wall along the road. It can be hard to see because it is just after a utility pole that obscures the view.
Fanny was blinded as an infant, and her father died when she was six months old. She moved from Southeast to North Salem when she was three, and then on to Ridgefield when she was 8. She became a student, and later a staff members, of the New York Institute for the Blind, and she was an advocate for education of the blind, and was the first woman to speak in front of the US Senate in 1843.
But she is most famous for being a prolific hymn writer. by some accounts she wrote 8,000+ hymns in including “Blessed Assurance”, using 200 various pseudonyms. In 1859, she had a daughter who died in her sleep shortly after childbirth. This is said to have inspired the hymn ‘Safe in the Arms of Jesus”.
She was related to one of Southeast’s other famous characters, Enoch Crosby. She was friends with future President Grover Cleveland. She was also a poet, and interestingly, her first poem was published by P.T. Barnum. Her work was published in the Saturday Evening Post and other papers as well. Fanny also did a lot of work for the poor, especially in NYC.
On Sunday, March 26, 1905, a “Fanny Crosby Day” was celebrated in churches around the world, in honor of her 85th birthday.
Latter in Life, Fanny moved to Bridgeport (in 1900) due to declining health, and she died Feb 25th 1915. She is buried in Bridgeport, CT.
She was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1975.