Calhoun County

1891 Biography - Morris Fisher

MORRIS FISHER. It requires but a cursory view throughout the business streets of any municipality to give an observer a fair idea of the most prominent and progressive dealers. In walking about Hardin one will find several flourishing establishments, but will soon he led to conclude that that of our subject occupies the front rank. A handsome frame building, 32x69 feet and two stories in height, is the seat of the mercantile operations of Mr. Fisher, whose business tact and enterprise are meeting with their due reward in securing for him a competency. The upper floor of the building is occupied by the Odd Fellows and the lower is filled with a full line of groceries, dry-goods and other articles of household use. The goods are nicely arranged, are well selected and are willingly displayed by the courteous employes.

Mr. Fisher was born in the Dukedom of Coburg, now a province of Prussia, February 25, 1834. His father, John Fisher, was born in the same province and there grew to maturity and married Mary Reihiemer, a native of the same place. John Fisher learned the trade of a shoemaker and followed it in his own land until 1836, when he came to America. He had lost his wife, and their only child, our subject, was left in charge of an uncle. Mr. Fisher settled in York County, Pa., buying a home and continuing to work at his trade there until about 1854. He then came to the Prairie State and settled upon a farm a mile and a half north of Milton, Pike County. From that time until his decease he devoted himself principally to agriculture.

Our subject was two years old when his mother died and he remained with his uncle attending school until fifteen years old. He then came to America to join his father and a few months after his arrival began to learn the trade of a carpenter. He served an apprenticeship of three years in York County, Pa., did journey-work there a year and then spent a year in Memphis, Tenn. Returning to Pennsylvania he carried on the business of a contractor and builder until 1860, when he went again to Memphis and sojourned until 1861. He then came to Pike County, this State, and lived in his father's neighborhood a year, after which he followed his trade in the rural districts of Calhoun County five years.

At the expiration of that time Mr. Fisher located in Hardin, working at his trade until 1883, and during the last ten years of the time being also engaged in the sale of furniture and hardware. He finally gave up his work at the bench and turned his attention entirely to mercantile pursuits. He kept a full line of furniture, groceries, hardware and undertaking goods and was prospering in business, when on March 7, 1885, his store, shop, dwelling and stable were destroyed by fire and the savings of twenty-five years nearly swept away. Undismayed by the catastrophe, Mr. Fisher at once began his preparations for rebuilding and soon his present handsome store reared its walls aloft. Groceries and dry-goods, queensware, hardware, boots and shoes, hats and caps, and harness are kept in stock, and almost everything in everyday use in the home may be found in Mr. Fisher's store.

The family of Mr. Fisher now occupies a pleasant and commodious dwelling, erected by him in 1885 not far from the store. At the head of the household is the lady who became his wife in September, 1855, prior to which date she had borne the name of Sarah Weller. She was born in York County, Pa., to Jacob Weller, her father being a native of Germany and her mother of the same place. Mr. and Mrs. Fisher have six children living named respectively: Henry, Louisa, Jane, Annie, Morris and Clara. The entire family belong to the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Fisher votes the Democratic ticket.

Extracted 24 Jan 2017 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Album of Pike and Calhoun Counties, Illinois, published in 1891, pages 270-271.


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