Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 434


Johnson Wilmer Fisher was born in Reading, June 18, A. D. 1870.

Henry B. Fisher, his grandfather, was born in Oley township, Berks county, and was well known in the manufacturing world in his day. For many years he operated the well known Fisher's Woolen Mills, located on the Swamp Creek, near New Berlinville, in Colebrookdale township. He came to Reading in 1857, where he continued the same business for some years and where he died March 16, 1887. He married Mary B. Johnson.

Henry J. Fisher, his father, was born near New Berlinville, Colebrookdale township, Berks county, Pa., and moved with his parents to the city of Reading in 1866, where has since resided and been actively engaged in the grocery business. He was a loyal defender of the Union, having served for three years in the Civil War as a member of Company H, 104th Pennsylvania Volunteers. He married Mary C. Keever, daughter of Henry V. and Lydia C. Keever, of Reading, and had two children: Johnson Wilmer, and Mary L.

J. Wilmer Fisher attended the old Friends' School of Reading, and the public schools, leaving the public schools at the age of fourteen to take up the battle of life. He was not satisfied with his education, however, and after his day's work as an errand boy in his father's grocery store, he attended night school and prepared to take up civil engineering. He thus gained sufficient knowledge to enable him to accept a position as rodman in the city engineer's office at the age of sixteen, where he remained for some years, filling successively, the positions of rodman, transitman, assistant engineer and general superintendent of the department. In the spring of 1894 he resigned his position in the city engineer's office to accept the position of assistant to the superintendent of the Water department and while acting in this capacity prepared the first detailed plan of the water pipe system of the city. Having formed the determination to adopt the law as a profession, he resigned his position in the Water department in the fall of 1894 and matriculated as a student at the Dickinson School of Law, at Carlisle, Pa., from which institution he graduated in 1896. He registered as a law student in the office of Judge Sadler in Cumberland County and was admitted to the examination for admission to the Berks County Bar, to which he was admitted Nov. 9, 1896, and has since been admitted to practice in the Supreme and Superior Courts of Pennsylvania, the United States District and the United States Circuit Courts. Since his admission to the Bar he has continued in the active practice of his profession and enjoys a large clientele at the present time.

Mr. Fisher is active in the affairs of the Republican party and his face is a familiar one at all its conventions, to many of which he has been a delegate, and he is an exceedingly valuable man in the field, having been very useful in State and National campaigns. In 1901 he was nominated for district attorney. In 1904 he was chairman of the Congressional Conference of the Berks and Lehigh Congressional District, which placed in nomination William H. Souden of Allentown, Lehigh county. In 1906 he was the Republican Congressional nominee for the Berks and Lehigh Congressional District and received a large complimentary vote, and in 1908 was prominently mentioned for the appointment to the Common Pleas Bench to succeed the late Judge Ermentrout. He is at present treasurer of the Republican county committee, having served in that office for many years. Mr. Fisher takes a keen interest in local affairs. He served as a member of the Reading School Board for eight years, during which time he was chairman of many important committees, and as chairman of the Finance committee for a number of years inaugurated many reforms in conducting the business of the board. He is an active member of the Board of Trade and a member of its committee on Legislation. He is a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, his maternal ancestors having been members of that Church, since its organization in 1748. He is active in Masonic circles, and is a charter member of Isaac Hiester Lodge No. 660, F. & A. M.; a member of Excelsior Chapter No. 237, R. A. M.; Reading Commandery No. 42, K. T.; Philadelphia Consistory, 32d degree; and Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S. He is also a member of Gen. George G. Meade Camp No. 16, Sons of Veterans.


page 924


Nicholas Hoffman Fisher, of Windsor township, Berks county, who for a number of years has been engaged in school teaching, was born in that township, Sept. 22, 1867, son of Samuel K. and Hannah Hoffman Fisher.

Henry Fisher, grandfather of Nicholas H., was a farmer in Windsor township for several years. About 1860 he removed to Muncy, Lycoming Co., Pa., where he conducted a grist and saw mill. He was a leading man of churches in Greenwich township, and was the owner of 342 acres of good land in Windsor and Greenwich townships, including the original fisher homestead near Dreibelbis Station, now owned by Wallace Herber. He married Lovinia Keller, and to them were born children as follows: Jacob and Philip settled in Lycoming county; Samuel K.; Daniel died aged thirty years; Nicholas died aged thirty-six years; John m. Medora Ramer; Sally Ann m. Jacob Merkel; Eliza m. Jacob Dreibelbis; Maria m. Jacob Sonday; and Florenda m. William Filbert.

Samuel K. Fisher, ex-county commissioner from 1881-1884 and a prominent farmer and citizen of Windsor township, was born near Dreibelbis Station. He owned the Fisher homestead of 227 acres of land, was a school director of his district for a number of years, and with his family attended Dunkel's Church. He married Hannah Hoffman, daughter of Samuel and Hannah (Dunkel) Hoffman, and to this union there were born these children: Caroline died aged two years; Lovina m. Jacob Stetzler; Nicholas H.; Walter H. m. Mary Lesher; Annie m. Charles Gerber; Hannah m. (first) Henry Phillips, and (second) Jacob Graeff; Mary m. Ed Strohecker; Florence m. Daniel Schlonecker; Samuel H. resides at Chico, Cal.; and Hettie m. Charles Hepner.

Nicholas H. Fisher spent his boyhood days on his father's farm, where he worked when quite young and secured his first educational training in the district schools, this later being supplemented by a course in the Keystone State Normal School at Kutztown. At the age of eighteen years, when still in his junior class, Mr. Fisher left school to begin teaching, was licensed to teach by former superintendent D. S. Keck, and was given a professional certificate in 1893 by superintendent William M. Zechman. Two years later he was awarded a permanent certificate by the State, after passing a severe examination. Mr. Fisher began teaching in Greenwich township for two terms, went thence to Perry township for four terms, and spent six terms in Richmond township, and nine in Windsor township. In this time he instructed over 500 different children. In the spring of 1894 Mr. Fisher taught select school at Virginsville. He was selected by Professor Rapp to audit the accounts concerning the county institute expenses for the past six years. In politics Mr. Fisher is a Democrat, and has served his town as auditor for six years. He and his family worship in the first Reformed Church of Hamburg, where he is assistant superintendent of the Sunday-school. He is also greatly interested in the young People's Society of Christian Endeavor. On Jan. 21, 1889, Mr. Fisher was married to Fianna H. Lenhart, daughter of James and Elizabeth (Heinly) Lenhart, and to this union were born these children: Robert, James. William Hiram and Samuel Paul.



Dr. Oliver H. Fisher was born Oct. 23, 1850, in Douglass township, Berks Co., Pa., son of Silas W. and Anna (Hartman) Fisher, and grandson of Jacob and Anna (Weaver) Fisher and of Conrad and Elizabeth (Richards) Hartman. The other children of Silas W. and Anna (Hartman) Fisher were: Wellington (deceased), Luther, Jacob, and Rebecca (m. Alfred Dietrich).

Oliver H. Fisher was educated in the common schools of Douglass township and in Kallynean Academy, Boyertown, under Prof. I. B. Hankey, principal. In the fall of 1870 he entered the Medical Department of the University of Pennsylvania, and graduated there from in the spring of 1872. He engaged immediately in the practice of his profession at Amityville, Berks county, but in the fall of the same year went to Pikeville, where he practised until 1879. In the latter year he moved to Pottstown, and also took a special course at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1880 he moved to Graters Ford, on the banks of the Perkiomen, in Montgomery county. In 1885 he came to Reading where he has been practising for twenty-four years.

Dr. Fisher has been twice married. On Oct. 23, 1873, he m. Mary Heilig, daughter of Edward Heilig, of Pottstown. To this union were born three children: Charlie, Lester and Edward. In February, 1883, Mrs. Fisher died at Graters Ford. In 1890 Dr. Fisher m. (second) Ida Wilson, daughter of Joseph Wilson, of Reading.


p. 1084


Wesley H. Fisher, who is engaged in a butchering business at Fritztown, was born in Spring township, Berks county, Feb. 28, 1867, son of Absalom H. and Rachael E. (McFarland) Fisher.

Absalom H. Fisher is a native of Berks county, born at Reading, Sept. 30, 1833, son of David Fisher. His early life was passed in his native county, and at the age of seventeen he went to Adamstown, where he clerked for nine years in what was then the John Musser store. For twenty-four terms he taught school in Spring township -- at Merkels, Mohns Hill and Fritztown schools. For ten years he served as justice of the peace, and in many ways made himself one of the most useful men in his vicinity. Some fifteen years ago he retired, and he still makes his home in Spring township, near Adamstown, where he has a fine tract of thirty-five acres of land. In politics he is a Democrat, and in religious belief is Reformed. On Oct. 4, 1860, he married Rachel E. McFarland, daughter of Andrew H. and Mary (Murdock) McFarland, the former of whom came to America as a young man and located in Philadelphia, but died in Spring township and was buried in the Charles Evans cemetery at Reading. He was a strict Presbyterian in faith. To Absalom H. and Rachel E. Fisher were born children as follows: Andrew H. died aged twenty-eight years; Allen; Wesley W.; Lorenzo H.; Mary C.; Daisy N.; Absalom E.; William I.; and Esther E.

Wesley H. Fisher attended the township schools in Spring township, and early became familiar with the work on the farm. When eighteen years of age he learned the cigar maker's trade, and followed this at different factories for six years. In 1897 he began butchering at his present location, and has built up a fine trade in Reading and in the vicinity.

Mr. Fisher married Katie Irwin, daughter of William J. and Elmira (Rhoads) Irwin, now of Cumru township, and two children have blessed this union: Catherine and Allen. In politics Mr. Fisher is a stanch Democrat, and has served on the election board of his township, and in many ways has evinced a keen interest in his party's success. He is a member of St. John's Lutheran Church at Gouglersville. Fraternally he is a popular member of the P. O. S. of A.


p. 511


William E. Fisher, one of the leading young attorneys of Reading, is descended from an ancestry who were sturdy yeoman in Germany prior to the days of the American Revolution. They emigrated to this country before that great struggle and were leading farmers in Berks country during its continuance, and indeed to the present time.

John Fisher, great-grandfather of William E. was a soldier of the war of 1812, and participated in the battle of Baltimore, in August, 1814. He was engaged in boating on the Schuylkill and Union canals. He reared of a family of four sons and one daughter, one of whom, Daniel Fisher, was the grandfather of the subject of this sketch.

Daniel Fisher was also engaged in boarding up to the time of his marriage with Sarah Gruber, daughter of John Adam Gruber, of Heidelberg township, after which he was engaged in farming up to the time of his death. He reared a family of two sons, John W. Fisher, born Nov. 9, 1844; and Albert A. Fisher, born June 4, 1852.

John W. Fisher (father of William E.) in his early days worked on a farm, and was a student at Freeland Seminary, now Ursinus College, Collegeville, Montgomery Co., Pa. At the age of seventeen years he began teaching school, making his first teachers' certificate under John S. Ermentrout, county superintendent of Berks county. He taught school for twenty-five years in all: The first term in Centre township, and the balance in North Heidelberg.

At the age of twenty-one years, he was appointed justice of the peace of North Heidelberg township and was re-elected for nine successive terms, holding that office up to the time of his removal from North Heidelberg township in 1907. In 1864, Mr. Fisher married Ellen M. Lamm, the youngest daughter of Benjamin Lamm, now deceased, who for many years was an influential and well-to-do farmer of North Heidelberg township. Benjamin Lamm's father was John Lamm, and he had four sons and four daughters. Benjamin Lamm was married to Lydia Ruth, daughter of Frederick Ruth, of Lower Heidelberg township, and he had four sons and four daughters. To John W. Fisher and Ellen M. his wife, were born twelve children, as follows: Adelaide E., who died March 25, 1881, aged sixteen years; Lillie A. m. to Nelson Brossman, of North Heidelberg township; Emma V., m. to Henry G. Stump, of Heidelberg township, Sallie L. m. to Michael A. Fox, of Jefferson township; Heela M. who dies Aug. 11, 1878, aged six years; Ellen Nora, at home; Diana R. m. to William Alvin Christman of Womelsdorf; William E.; John C. a Lutheran clergyman of Germantown, Philadelphia; Cora C. m. to Lloyd K. Minnich, of Robesonia; Anna G., married to Howard E. Brown, of Robesonia, and F. May, married to Herbert C. Schell, of Oley.

William E. Fisher was born in North Heidelberg township, July 11, 1878, and passed his youth on the farm, developing a good physique and laying the foundation for his future education. He attended the country schools in the winter and assisted on his father's farm in the summer. At the age of fifteen years he attended the Bernville Grammar School for five months. At the age of sixteen years he successfully passed the teachers' examination under William M. Zechman, county superintendent of Berks county, and during the winter of 1894 and 1895 he taught Lengel's school in North Heidelberg township. In the spring of 1895, he entered the Keystone State Normal School, at Kutztown, as a student, and subsequently was a student there during the fall and spring, when not teaching school. During the winter of 1895 and 1896 he taught the Forge School in North Heidelberg township, and in the spring of 1897 he graduated from the Keystone State Normal School at Kutztown. For a time thereafter, Mr. Fisher continued his studies under private instruction, giving particular attention to Latin and mathematics. On Nov. 6, 1897, he successfully passed the preliminary examination as a student at law, and registered as a student in the office of Ermentrout & Ruhl, and for the following three years he studied law under the preceptorship of Christian H. Ruhl, one of the foremost practitioners at the Reading Bar. During the winter of 1897 and 1898 he taught school at Newmanstown, Lebanon county, in connection with his legal studies. During the winter of 1898 and 1899 he taught in the public schools of Robesonia. On Nov. 12, 1900, he was admitted to practice law in all the courts of Berks county, and immediately thereafter opened an office at No. 38 North Sixth street, where he practised his profession until March 25, 1908, when he removed his office to No. 541 Court street. On Nov. 11, 1902, on motion of his preceptor, Christian H. Ruhl, he was admitted to practice in the Superior court of Pennsylvania, and on Jan. 56, 1903, on motion of William Kerper Stevens, at present a Judge of the court of Common Please of Berks county, he was admitted to practise in the Supreme Court of the State. Since his admission to the Bar he has enjoyed a large practice, principally in the orphans' Court of Berks county, where he has been engaged in the settlement of a large number of decedents' estates.

On Oct. 1, 1904, he in connection with his law practice, engaged in the building business, and since that time has erected in the city of Reading one hundred and ninety-five houses. Mr. Fisher has the confidence of his clients and those that are doing business with him as a builder.

In 1895, Mr. Fisher married Minnie Ellen, daughter of John E. Moyer, a retired farmer of Robesonia, Berks county. They have two children: Earl Eugene and Mildred May. They reside at No. 145 West Douglass street, Reading, Pa. Mr. Fisher has always taken an active part in the political life of the county, engaging in every campaign since he arrived at voting age. He is a Democrat, and was solicitor during 1902 for the board of directors of the poor of Berks county. He is a member of St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran Church of Reading, Pa., and a vestryman of that church since Easter, 1900, and takes an active part in all that pertains to church life. Mr. Fisher is a member of the following Masonic organizations: St. John's Lodge, No. 435, F. & A. M.; Excelsior Chapter, No. 237, R. A. M.; Reading Commandery, No. 42, K. T.; Reading Lodge of Perfection, A. A. S. R.; Philadelphia Consistory, A. A. S. R.; Rajah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S.; and of Progressive Lodge No. 470, I. O. O. F., of Reading, Pennsylvania.


p. 1577

Surnames: FISK

William E. Fisk, of Reading, manager of the Atlantic Refining Co., was born in Dutchess county, N.Y., and was educated in the schools of that state, his first employment being with the Atlantic Refining Co., at New York City, where the main office was situated. Beginning as a clerk, he was promoted to assistant manager, and later to the position of manager, with headquarters at Reading. This plant, which was organized in 1881, was begun in a very humble way, but has now become one of the chief distributing concerns of Berks, Lebanon, Lancaster and Montgomery counties, handling lubricating and lighting oils, petroleum and all products. Mr. Fisk has been located at Reading since 1892.

Mr. Fisk is fraternally connected with Reading Lodge, No. 62, F.&A.M., the Lodge of Perfection, and the Royal Arcanum. In political matters he is independent. He is also connected with the Commercial Travelers Association. 52-1395 Fix, Charles H.


p. 1395


Charles H. Fix, engaged in the truck and general merchandise business, at Reading, Pa., is a native of the city, born March 8, 1868, son of Harrison and Sarah (Keefer) Fix, and grandson of Samuel L. Fix.

Samuel L. Fix was a native of Berks county, and followed farming all of his life. He was considered well to do for his day, and was a representative citizen of his locality. A consistent member of the Lutheran Church, Mr. Fix was politically a Republican. He died in 1894, aged ninety-four years, and his wife in 1870, when seventy years of age, they being the parents of: Charles; Frank; Hiram; Thomas; Harrison; Amanda, deceased, who married Daniel Miller; Ann, who married David Heifer; Caroline, single; Charles, who owned considerable land in the oil regions of Pennsylvania, and Emma, who married William Phillip, of Philadelphia.

Harrison Fix, was educated in the common schools of Exeter township, after leaving which he worked on a farm for several years, and then turned his attention to boating on the Canal, supplying the Reading furnaces with iron ore from Fritz's Island, an occupation which he carried on for seven or eight years. At the time of his death in 1893, he owned considerable property on South Sixth street. Religiously he was a Lutheran. He was one of the first to answer the call for troops in the Civil war, enlisting with a regiment of Pennsylvania volunteers and serving throughout the war with an excellent record. Politically he was a Republican, and was always greatly interested in public matters although he never sought office for himself. He was a member of the Liberty Fire Company. To Mr. and Mrs. Fix were born: Mary, who married William Hall; Samuel L.; Charles H.; Edward; William; Flora, who married Martin Wall, and Harrison. After Mr. Fix's death, Mrs. Fix married Rev. Mr. Cornman.

Charles H. Fix was educated in the schools of Reading, and as a boy worked for the Reading Iron Company, with which company he remained for fifteen years as foreman over the trough gang. He then engaged in the grocery business, in 1897 locating at No. 600 South Sixth Street, and here he carried a full line of canned goods, groceries, smoked meats, bread, pies and cakes, fruits, vegetables, dry goods, notions and ready-made clothing. He gained a large and constantly increasing trade, the excellence of Mr. Fix's goods insuring him a steady patronage. He owns three properties in Reading. Although a loyal Republican, Mr. Fix is no office seeker, preferring to give his time and attention to his business interests.

In 1890 Charles H. Fix and Elizabeth B. Sowders were united in marriage. She is the daughter of William Sowders of No. 519 South Tenth Street, and four children have been born to the union: Paul, Harry, Esther, and George.

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