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Mary Georgiana Shaw Fisher
Birth: Jul. 11, 1855
Butler County
Ohio, USA
Death: Jun. 5, 1937
Los Angeles County
California, USA

She was born at Paddy's Run (later called Shandon), in Butler County, Ohio, the daughter of Dr. Griffin McKendree Shaw, a well-to-do physician and surgeon, and his second wife, Susan (Fisher) Shaw. Mary had an older stepsister Lucy, a stepbrother, Griffin Jr., and a younger brother, Albert Shaw. Their father died when Mary was about 8 years old. The widowed mother and the two youngest children were still living in Paddy's Run in Morgan Township at the time of the 1870 census, but they later moved to Grinnell, Iowa where Susan Shaw's sisters, Joanna Fisher White and Mary Fisher Whitcomb and their families lived. Albert Shaw attended Iowa College (later called Grinnell College) and graduated in 1879, and Mary Shaw married Dr. John Crocker Fisher in Grinnell on May 11, 1880, when she was 24 and he was 29 years old.

Dr. John C. Fisher was a young medical officer working for the Marine Hospital Service who was sent to visit various ports during the yellow fever epidemic of 1878-1879. He described how he met his future wife in his unpublished autobiography:

"My stay in Mobile [Alabama] was short. The officer in charge at Cairo, Illinois died from an attack of yellow fever about two weeks after my arrival in Mobile and I was ordered to go immediately to Cairo and take charge of the service. ....The day after my arrival in Cairo [in December 1878] I went to the office of the Collector of Customs to collect a refund of traveling expenses and my salary. On presenting my vouchers the Collector said, 'Your name is Fisher, is it? Well, that is my name [George Fisher], and I have a son whose name is the same as yours: John C. Fisher.' We visited a short time but were too busy to spend much time just then so I was invited to dine with the Collector Christmas day which was near at hand and a welcome invitation for me, a stranger. We found we were not related [as] the Collector's family [had] come from England [and] mine from Ireland. But at this time I met Miss Mary Shaw, who was spending the winter with her uncle, the Collector. Miss Shaw's home was Grinnell, Iowa. Sufficient to say we were married some months later and have had many years of happy life."

The newlyweds were next stationed in Washington, D.C., where their daughter, Edith, was born. Their next post was New York City (October 1883 to October 1884). Then, tired of being moved about, Dr. Fisher resigned from the Marine Hospital Service and decided to relocate to Beirut, Syria (today Lebanon) where he had been offered a faculty position at the Syrian Protestant College (today known as the American University of Beirut). Over the next five years there he taught courses in gynecology, diseases of the skin, diseases of children, legal medicine, chemistry and mineralogy, and Materia Medica and therapeutics. Their son, John, was born in Beirut in 1886. But by the end of 1889 the family had returned to the United States, due to the continuing poor health of daughter Edith, who had never completly recovered from a bout of smallpox and (diphtheria? typhoid?), and the poor health of Mary's mother, Susan Shaw. On the way back to the States, Dr. Fisher visited and studied several European spas, baths, water-cures, and sanitaria, with a view to starting one of his own.

In Warsaw, Wyoming County, New York, the town where he had been born, educated, and raised, Dr. Fisher became founder, head physician, and medical supervisor in charge of the first salt-bath sanitarium in North America, the Warsaw Salt Baths and Sanitarium, built in 1890 on the west hill of his father's family farm. The institution was funded by a consortium of 50 Warsaw residents, reflected the most modern medical practices and facilities, and could accommodate 100 guests seeking either help with various physical and nervous ailments or simple relaxation and retreat. It opened for business April 1, 1891. Mary Fisher served as hostess, frequently opening the Baths to the local community for concerts and other entertainments. Their son, Albert Shaw Fisher, was born in Warsaw in 1893.

In 1896 the Fisher family relocated to Healdsburg, Sonoma County, California where Dr. Fisher once again was head physician at a similar modern new sanitarium facility, Lytton Springs Sanitarium. According to local Warsaw newspaper reports, Mary Fisher's health was the reason for the move to a better climate. Not long after three-year-old son Albert's accidental death there in January 1897, the family returned to New York State. The Warsaw Salt Baths and Sanitarium's main building burned down on February 16, 1897, and although insurance reimbursed the investors, the business climate in the area had declined from its earlier peak during the salt-mining era, and so the resort was not rebuilt and the company was dissolved.

Dr. Fisher went on to serve as resident physician at the venerable Gleason Sanitarium in Elmira, New York, where he, Mary, and their daughter Edith remained for about 30 years. Edith went away to college for brief interludes. John and Mary were members (and he was a ruling elder) of the First Presbyterian Church of Elmira. In her spare time, Mary wrote poetry and did oil paintings of landscape scenes.

By 1928 Dr. John and Mary Fisher had retired. They first moved with daughter Edith to a home on the Byway of the Forest Home area in Ithaca, N.Y. near the home of their son, John Fisher Jr., and his family. They became members of the First Presbyterian Church of Ithaca. But by 1931 they had happily relocated to a home at 330 West Sixth Street in Claremont, California and had joined the Claremont [Congregational] Church. Following Dr. John's death in August of 1932, Edith and Mary remained living together in their Claremont home. On June 1, 1937 Mary tripped on a rug in their home and fell, breaking her right hip and suffering from shock. She died on June 5, 1937 at Pomona Valley Community Hospital, Pomona, Los Angeles County at the age of 81. Her remains were cremated June 7, 1937 and transmsitted to son John, Jr., then living in Columbus, Ohio, to be scattered, as were the ashes of her husband. No one alive today can remember when or where the ashes were scattered, but there is a good chance they were scattered by John, Jr. at or near Drummond Island, Michigan.
Family links: 
  Griffin McKendree Shaw (1817 - 1863)
  Susan Fisher Shaw (1828 - 1892)
  John Crocker Fisher (1850 - 1932)*
  Edith Fisher (1881 - 1960)*
  John Crocker Fisher (1886 - 1943)*
  Albert Shaw Fisher (1893 - 1897)*
  Griffin McKendree Shaw (1847 - 1872)**
  Lucy Delia Shaw Stephenson (1849 - 1939)**
  Charles Wade Shaw (1853 - 1854)*
  Mary Georgiana Shaw Fisher (1855 - 1937)
  Albert Shaw (1857 - 1947)*
*Calculated relationship
Cremated, Location of ashes is unknown.
Created by: Memories of You
Record added: Feb 13, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 84908965
Mary Georgiana <i>Shaw</i> Fisher
Added by: Memories of You
Mary Georgiana <i>Shaw</i> Fisher
Added by: Memories of You
Mary Georgiana <i>Shaw</i> Fisher
Added by: Memories of You
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- Neil B (John 3:16)
 Added: Oct. 10, 2016
This page is sponsored by: Memories of You

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