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Maj Stearns Fisher

Maj Stearns Fisher

Marlboro, Windham County, Vermont, USA
Death 28 Jul 1877 (aged 72)
Wabash County, Indiana, USA
Burial Wabash, Wabash County, Indiana, USA
Plot Sec OP, lot 170, sp 2
Memorial ID 38833982 · View Source
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(From "History of Wabash County, Indiana" pub. 1884, pg. 249)
STEARNS FISHER, the son of Jonathan and Sarah (Stearns) Fisher, was born November 25,1804, in Marlboro, Vt. His father and mother were natives of Vermont also; the former, losing his father when but seven years old, was brought up by Mr. and Mrs. Hastings in Massachusetts, and became in after life a man of character and influence in his native State. Stearns Fisher, the son, remained in Vermont with his parents until his thirteenth year, when he removed with them to Cuyahoga County, Ohio, and there attended the common schools of the country, such as the times afforded, studying diligently to qualify himself as a teacher.

Mr. Fisher was an apt scholar, and by the generous exercise of his faculties soon became sufficiently learned to satisfactorily instruct others in the fundamental branches. He taught his first school in 1824, and as compensation for this onerous duty he received an equivalent in hemlock boards, "which," the record says, "are still in use in a barn then belonging to his father." His occupation as a teacher was only a means to an end. He desired to become a scholarly, business man, to aid himself in the accomplishment of which he appropriated a portion of his time to teaching, and from the proceeds prepared the way for a life of usefulness and distinction by close application to those departments of study which he conceived to be best calculated to lead him directly life toward the hoped-for position in life. Laboring during the day to secure the means of subsistence, he studied at night after night, sometimes unitil the small hours of morning, to make more rapid advancement in his prepatory course.

Afterwards, he engaged as a common laborer on the Wabash & Erie Canal, during the early stages of its construction, devoting his nights, as before, to preparation for the practical duties of a civil engineer on that most important thoroughfare. Perseveringly he labored on, and erelong the ideal of his life was attained, and he was elevated to the position of assistant civil engineer, and subsequently employed as such, holding the place until the completion of the canal.

As an engineer in laying out and directing the construction of public works in detail, he had few equals and no superiors. With the excellent record he had made for himself in view, he was afterward made superintendent, and held that position until the canal passed into the hands of the bondholders in 1847.

Again, in 1852-54, when the projection of the Lake Erie, Wabash & St. Louis Railroad through this county had been determimed upon, he superintended the survey and location of its line, with the fidelity characteristic of his life and experience.

Mr. Fisher's ability was not confined to the accepted sphere of a civil engineer. He was a proficient also in the department of practical agriculture, a qualification recognized by the leading agriculturists of the State, who in 1855, elected him a member of the State Board of Agriculture. This position he held for a number of years, and during the time served two terms as President of the board. At that time, and for several years anterior, commencing at the conclusion of his work on the railroad line, he had removed to and was comfortably situated on his farm, four miles west of the city, engaged chiefly in its management, and in the working of his valuable stone quarry, both of which were sources of profit to him.

In 1860, he was elected to represent Wabash County in the Lower House of the State Legislature, and served as such during the exciting session of 1861, commanding, by his exercise of a sound judgment in measuring men and discriminating in matters of public policy, the respect and confidence of the leading legislative and executive officers of the State. Indeed, he was a confidant of Gov. Morton, who placed great reliance in his judgment concerning the grave matters that affected even the perpetuity of the State and nation.

In 1862, he was appointed by Gov. Morton State Paymaster, with the rank of Major, and he continued to hold the position until the close of the war in 1866. In 1868, legislative honors were again conferred upon him by his constituents, the people of Wabash and Miami Counties, awarding him the position of Senator from that district, in which he served them faithfully during the sessions of 1868-69 and 1871. In 1872, he was a prominent candidate for the office of Lieutenant Governor of the State, lacking but few votes to secure his nomination by the Republican convention.

From the close of his Senatorial term until the time of his death, he was more or less occupied with public affairs, being universally respected for his sterling integrity, profound judgment and superior executive ability. He was extensively known in political and business circles, and was a member first of Whig and then of the Republican party. Religiously, he was a member of the Baptist Church in Wabash, of which he became a member in 1850, and continued during life. The interest of temperance and education were dear to him. He was a noble example of true manhood, kind, genial, cheerful, unassuming, self-educated, talented, and strictly temperate and honest. At times, his duties required of him the handling of large sums of public money, but not one cent of this did he ever appropriate directly or indirectly to his own use.

His first wife was Susan Ingersoll, of Piketon, Ohio. She died in April 1843, leaving three children. He was married again, October 26, 1845, to Mrs. Luther Woods, whose maiden name was Harriet Loveland, by whom he had children, some of them still living; Mrs. A. P. Ferry and Mrs. M. H. Kidd, children of Maj. Fisher, now reside in Wabash. Mr. Fisher died at his home in the city on the 26th of July, 1877, in the seventy-third year of his age.

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  • Maintained by: Friends of Falls Cemetery
  • Originally Created by: v f
  • Added: 28 Jun 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 38833982
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Maj Stearns Fisher (28 Nov 1804–28 Jul 1877), Find A Grave Memorial no. 38833982, citing Falls Cemetery, Wabash, Wabash County, Indiana, USA ; Maintained by Friends of Falls Cemetery (contributor 47178769) .