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William Meade Fishback
Birth: Nov. 5, 1831
Powhatan County
Virginia, USA
Death: Feb. 9, 1903
Fort Smith
Sebastian County
Arkansas, USA

17th governor of Arkansas. William Meade Fishback was born in Virginia on November 5, 1831, to a successful farming family. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 1855. While working as a schoolteacher, he began studying law, eventually passing the Illinois bar in 1857. He moved to Arkansas, where he also began practicing law. In 1861, he was named as a Unionist delegate to the secession convention, but ended up voting for secession. When war came to Arkansas, he left the state, serving as the editor of the St. Louis Democrat. Following the fall of Little Rock in 1863, Fishback was asked to return to Arkansas and raise a Union regiment. Instead he raised a newspaper, The Unconditional Union. He attempted to construct a Loyalist government and was instrumental in drafting the Loyalist Constitution of 1864. He was elected to the United States Senate; however, Congress would not allow him to take his seat. He married Adelaide Miller in 1867, and they had six children. After the war, Fishback became the federal treasury agent for Arkansas, and also practiced law in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He changed his party loyalty from Republican to Democrat, becoming the Democratic nominee for the State Legislature, where he served until 1881. He drafted the "Fishback Amendment," which attemped to reduce much of Arkansas’ debt at the time. The amendment was passed during the 1884 general election. He became the Democratic nominee for governor in 1892, soundly defeating two other candidates. As governor, he worked toward vigorously promoting the state of Arkansas. After leaving public office in 1895, he resumed his legal practice in Fort Smith. On February 9, 1903, William M. Fishback died of a stroke. He was buried at Oak Cemetery in Fort Smith, Arkansas. (bio by: pacifica) 
Family links: 
  Adelaide Miller Fishback (1845 - 1882)*
  Louis Frederick Fishback (1867 - 1958)*
  Bertha Ward Fishback Wheless (1869 - 1957)*
  William Meade Fishback (1873 - 1956)*
  Mazie Fishback Reed (1880 - 1960)*
*Calculated relationship
Oak Cemetery
Fort Smith
Sebastian County
Arkansas, USA
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Mar 20, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 20855
William Meade Fishback
Added by: Vernon Justice Jr.
William Meade Fishback
Added by: Jeff Buchwald
William Meade Fishback
Added by: Jeff Buchwald
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another Fishback descendant..
- Debra Gray Guthrie
 Added: Sep. 3, 2011
New York Times-Feb.10,1903William Meade Fishback-Little Rock, Feb.9-Ex-Govenor William M.Fishback died today at his home in Ft.Smith of paralysis. He was seventy two years of age. He was widely known as the author of the Fishback Ammendment, by which the ...(Read more)
- Paul V. Isbell
 Added: Apr. 29, 2011

- Åke Frisk
 Added: Feb. 9, 2011
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