Born in 1825 in Eaton Madison County, New York, Lafayette Fitch was the son of farmer Stephen and Alta Shelton Fitch. After the death of his mother, he moved to his sister’s home in Montrose at age 13. He attended the local academy and taught for a period in the community’s “free school,” later serving on the local school board for a number of years. He studied law with his brother-in-law Benjamin Bentley, was admitted to the local bar, and joined his mentor as a law partner. After the latter’s removal to Williamsport in 1864, Fitch pursued private practice. During this period, he also served in an Emergency Militia Company (60 days) during the Civil War. He was elected to the state Senate, serving a single term, 1872-1874. He served as foreman of the Rough and Ready Fire Co. The Hon. Lafayette Fitch died in May 1877. He married Mary Sayre in 1855.