from Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa by Manoah Hedge The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1906
James Fisher, who has a good farm on section 32, Prairie township, was born in Henry county, Iowa, near Salem, on the 17th of November, 1844. His father, Thomas Fisher, was born in Ohio, July 15, 1819, and when a young man came to Iowa, settling in Henry county. There he was married on the 19th of October, 1843, to Miss Mary Jones, who was born in Ohio, June 10, 1817, and was a daughter of Isaac Jones, who removed with ox teams from Ohio to Iowa about 1840 and took up government land in Henry county, after which he spent his remaining days upon a farm, which he there developed and improved. Thomas Fisher had purchased eighty acres of land in Henry county and made his home thereon until 1854, when he became one of the pioneer residents of Mahaska county, purchasing eighty acres of land near Oskaloosa. He built the first house upon the farm and otherwise improved the property. In 1859 he came to Prairie township and purchased eighty acres which adjoins on the north the farm upon which his son James now resides. Upon that place he built a log cabin and later a second house and there he lived until called to his final rest, his widow continuing to make her home there until her death. He passed away January 17, 1863, while Mrs. Fisher survived until March 12, 1899. They were the parents of six children, of whom James is the eldest. The others are: Rachel who was born July 1, 1847, and became the wife of J. N. Gaston, now living in Boone county, Iowa; Thomas, who was born March 16, 1854, and married Viola Godby, their home being now in Oklahoma; Elizabeth, who was born February 22, 1857, and is the wife of Milton Mitchell, both living in Burlington, Iowa; Phoebe Jane, the wife of Cannon Godbey, of Oklahoma; and Abigail, who died at the age of six years. James Fisher remained with his parents until twenty-two years of age and pursued his education in an old log schoolhouse seated with slab seats and benches. His first purchase of land comprised forty acres, whereon he now resides. The place was fenced and the land broken, but there were no buildings upon it. He paid twelve and a half dollars per acre for the property and with characteristic energy he began its improvement. Before his marriage he built thereon a house, hauling the lumber from Eddyville. On the 15th of September, 1867, in Granville, Iowa, he wedded Naomi Beal, who was born December 23, 1844, and is a daughter of Hiram Beal, a sketch of whom is given in connection with the history of H. A. Beal on another page of this work. The young couple drove across the prairie in a two-hone wagon to the place where the wedding ceremony was performed and then came to the new home which Mr. Fisher had prepared. Here he courageously began work. He enjoyed good, health and is fortunate in that he has never had to pay a doctor's bill. His earnest and persistent labor enabled him to add to his possessions from time to time. He purchased two different tracts of land of forty acres at thirty dollars per acre and thirty-two acres at twenty-nine dollars per acre, also eighty acres at twenty dollars. He has likewise helped his son pay for forty acres. Mr. Fisher's landed possessions now comprise one hundred and fifty-six acres, upon which there is no indebtedness. His nearest cash market in the early days was Ottumwa, Iowa, and he drove hogs to Burlington, which he sold for a dollar and a half per hundred. In those days he never wore an overcoat and overshoes were unknown. A lamp was made by placing a rag in a saucer of grease and later tallow candles were used. The pioneers raised flax and spun their own yarn. Mr. Fisher's mother would weave cloth and, make all the clothes and also knit the socks for the family. As the years have passed Mr. Fisher has kept in touch with the general progress along lines of agricultural development and has his farm now all tiled and in good shape. The house, though small, is well built and well painted. There is a good barn, windmill, sheds and outbuildings, a bearing orchard and fine shade trees. The place is divided into fields of convenient size by well kept fences and everything upon the place is indicative of the skill and labor of the owner. In connection with the production of cereals Mr. Fisher is extensively engaged in the raising of hogs and his sales have annually amounted to one thousand dollars for a number of years. He also raises good Norman horses and his stock commands the highest market prices. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Fisher have been born five children, of whom four are living. Alice is the wife of Milton Spain, of this county, and unto them have been born four children. Albert married Bertha Shoemaker and with their three children they reside upon a farm of their own south of New Sharon. Effie is the wife of Frank Pippin, now living upon her father's farm. Lillie is the wife of L. H. Faulkner, a resident of Union township. Lucy Ann died at the age of twenty-two months. In his political views Mr. Fisher has always been an earnest republican, casting his first presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln in 1864. He has held some school offices, but has never sought nor desired positions of political preferment. At the time of the mother's death the heirs chose James Fisher to settle up the estate, and he had the farm appraised and sold and the proceeds were divided to the satisfaction of all without the help or cost of an attorney. Both Mr. and Mrs. Fisher are faithful and devoted members of the Society of Friends. There was formerly a church in the neigborhood, but it has ceased to exist and they now occasionally attend services at New Sharon. Both Mr. and Mrs. Fisher are social, genial people, whose home is attractive by reason of its cordial and warm-hearted hospitality. His worth is widely asknowledged and his work has been the strong element in his success, for he has placed his dependence upon untiring labor and unfaltering industry and thereby he has become one of the substantial agriculturists of the community.
Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy