William Fisher, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of William Fisher

WILLIAM FISHER. Success is the natural prerogative of such valiant spirits as has been that of this venerable and honored citizen of Hebron, one of the attractive and thriving villages of Porter county, and he has long been a resident of Indiana, where earnest and well directed efforts have given him consecutive advancement and where he is now enjoying the gracious rewards of former years of toil and endeavor. He has been identified with agricultural pursuits in a prominent way and is still the owner of a fine landed estate in Lake county, where he long maintained his home. In Porter county he became one of the leading merchants of Hebron after his removal from the farm to this village, and later he here established the private banking institution which was later transformed into the present Citizens State Bank, of which he is president and of which his daughter, Ida, is cashier, the institution being one whose success is based alike on careful and conservative management and ample capitalistic reinforcement. Miss Fisher became cashier of the original private bank and has continued her effective services under the present regime, with the result that she is known as a specially able and discriminating business woman and as the effective coadjutor of her honored father, who has attained to the patriarchal age of eighty-seven years (1912) and whose life has been one to offer both lesson and inspiration.

William Fisher was born in Schenectady county, New York, on the 9th of June, 1825, and is a son of Alexander and Agnes (Brown) Fisher, both of whom were born and reared in Scotland but the marriage of whom was solemnized in the state of New York, where they had formed their acquaintanceship, the father having landed in the city of Quebec, Canada, upon his immigration to America in 1817 and the mother having made Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, her destination. Alexander Fisher was a skilled mechanic and was employed along this line during the earlier years of his residence in the United States. He eventually became one of the representative farmers of the state of New York and there both he and his wife continued to reside until their death, both having passed the closing years of their lives in fine old Schenectady county and both having held the unqualified esteem of all who knew them. Their children were: Andrew, Alexander, Elizabeth, Thomas, Mary, John, Isabella and William. John became a successful teacher in the state of Maryland and later came to Indiana, where he served for some time as county surveyor of Lake county, where he passed the residue of his life. Isabella was educated in Princeton Academy, New Jersey, and she also was a successful and popular teacher for a number of years.

William Fisher gained his early educational training in the common schools of his native county and thus laid the foundation for the comprehensive knowledge which he was later to acquire through active association with men and affairs. He continued to be identified with agricultural pursuits in his native state until he had attained to the age of twenty-five years, when his youthful ambition responded to the lure of the west, which offered superior opportunities for the winning of success through individual effort. He had kinsfolk in Indiana and thus was led to make this state his destination, while his resourcefulness was shown by careful preparation for business activities in the new home. He came west with the means and intention of engaging in the manufacture of brooms, and he brought with him not only a supply of broomcorn seed, but also the requisite drill for the cultivation of the product. Upon his arrival in Lake county he formed a partnership with his cousins, the late William and John Brown, and engaged in the raising of broom-corn, in the manufacturing of which they employed a skilled broom-maker. They continued in this line of enterprise for several years and at one time had nearly one hundred acres of land under effective cultivation for the propagation of broom-corn. The products were shipped to Detroit, Chicago and other places in the middle west and the industry was made a profitable venture.

In 1854 Mr. Fisher wedded the noble young woman who has proved his devoted companion and effective helpmeet during the long intervening years, and they began their married life on a farm in Lake county, where, sustained by mutual affection and sympathy and by common aims and ambitions, they toiled early and late, in order that they might gain the goal of definite independence and prosperity. With the passing of years Mr. Fisher accumulated one of the valuable landed estates of Lake county, and the same still remains in his possession, the while it bears enduring evidences of the earnest and well ordered endeavors put forth by him and his loved companion during the earlier years of their toil and endeavor. Mr. Fisher remained on this homestead, successfully engaged in general farming and stock-growing, for a period of thirty years, at the expiration of which, in 1884, he removed to Hebron, Porter county, where he has since maintained his home and where both he and his wife have secure place in popular confidence and venerating esteem. Soon after establishing his residence in Hebron Mr. Fisher engaged in the hardware business and later he turned his attention to the dry-goods business, in which he continued active operations until 1894, when he disposed of the stock and business, after having been one of the leading merchants of the town for a full decade. In December of the same year he established here the Citizens' Bank, and the same was conducted as a private institution for the ensuing thirteen years, at the expiration of which, in 1907, it was reorganized and incorporated as a state bank, under the title of the Citizens' State Bank. He has been executive head of the enterprise from the time of its inception and his daughter, Ida, has been its efficient and popular cashier, her co-operation having been a potent force in making the bank the popular and substantial institution which it stands today.

The broadening influences of expanding business interests and greater responsibilities have been shown distinctly in the career of Mr. Fisher, and he has not become self-centered but has been insistently progressive, liberal and public-spirited in his civic attitude. He has been a loyal adherent of the Republican party from the time of its organization and while a resident of Lake county he served with marked ability and zeal as a member of the board of county commissioners. He held this office for seven years and within that time he earnestly fostered the movements which resulted in the erection of the county court house, jail and infirmary, the buildings of each of which were erected within his incumbency of office. He and his family are devoted members of the United Presbyterian church in Hebron and all who remain here show a lively interest in everything that tends to advance the moral, educational and social welfare of the community. A substantial fortune stands as the concrete evidence of the excellent labors of Mr. Fisher in the years that have passed, and his career has been one unblemished by injustice or selfishness, as he has shown sympathy for those in affliction and has been animated by a spirit of helpfulness that ever indicates a high sense of stewardship. Secure in the high regard of all who know them, he and his estimable wife may well look back into the perspective of the years and find satisfaction in the goodly fruitage which has crowned their efforts, as well as the faith and confidence which their earnest labors and kindly deeds have inspired in those about them.

On the 22d of May, 1854, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Fisher to Miss Nancy Bryant, who was born at Marion, Ohio, on the 25th of September, 1825, and who was a girl at the time of the family removal to Porter county, Indiana, where her parents were early settlers. She is a daughter of David and Rachel (Adams) Bryant, the former of whom was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, and the latter in the state of Ohio, where their marriage was celebrated. David Bryant became one of the successful agriculturists of northern Indiana, but was living in Kansas at the time of his death. His first wife died when the younger of their children, Mrs. Fisher, was eight years of age, and the elder of the two children, Isaac, passed the closing years of his life in Illinois. For his second wife David Bryant wedded Miss Margaret Steinbrook, and they became the parents of six sons, John, Harrison, Allen, Daniel, David and George. After the death of his second wife the father contracted a third marriage by wedding Amelia Ransom, and they are survived by one daughter, Ora, their only child.

In conclusion of this review is entered a brief record concerning the children of Mr. and Mrs. Fisher. David resides on the fine old homestead of 595 acres in Lake county, this state, and is one of the progressive agriculturists and influential citizens of that county. He wedded, in 1876, Miss Elizabeth Bliss and they have two sons, Kenneth and Winfred, the former of whom married Edith Donahue and the latter of whom married Lilly Volke. Arabella F., the second of the children of William and Nancy (Bryant) Fisher, is the wife of Charles W. Hayward, who is now engaged in the furniture business at Santa Barbara, California, where they have maintained their home since 1887. They became the parents of five children, Alfred, Ida, Arthur, Earl and Arabella. Arthur died at the age of sixteen years; Alfred married Miss Catherine Mullen and they have three children; Ida is the wife of Brooks Brentner and they have one son; Earl married Miss Freda Meyers and they have one son; and Arabella remains at the parental home. Miss Ida E. Fisher, cashier of her father's bank, was the next in order of birth of the five children, and Mary J. and Rachel Agnes died in childhood. Miss Ida E. Fisher completed her education in what is now the Valparaiso University, and she was a successful and popular teacher in the public schools in Lake and Porter counties, her identification with the pedagogic profession covering a number of years. She remains with her venerable parents, to whom she accords the deepest filial solicitude, and she is a loved factor in the religious and social activities of her home village, even as she is efficient and popular in its business circles. She has enjoyed the advantages of somewhat extended travel, including two trips to California and one through the eastern states, where she met with many pleasing experiences, including a visit to the White House and the privilege of being greeted by President Taft. She has been a devoted worker in connection with various departments of religious activity and was for fifteen years an enthusiastic and loved teacher in the Sunday school, where her influence had much value in directing boys and girls along the lines which lead to enduring usefulness and honor.

Source: Lewis Publishing Company. 1912. History of Porter County, Indiana: A Narrative Account of its Historical Progress, its People and its Principal Interests. Chicago, Illinois: Lewis Publishing Company. 881 p.
Page(s) in Source: 707-710

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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