Eduard J. Fischer, one of the most prosperous and highly respected citizens of Pottawatomie county, a leading merchant of Wamego and the largest shipper of sweet potatoes in Kansas, was born in Staunton, Ill., Dec. 13, 1863, son of Christopher and Anna Fischer. His parents were born and reared in Germany; they were members of a party that emigrated from the Fatherland at an early day to seek what fortune held in store for them in the New World. Soon after arriving in the United States they were married and took up their residence in Illinois, when there were few settlers there and the country was wild, unbroken woods and prairie. When not actually working on his claim Christopher Fischer worked for as little as fifty cents a day, as money was very scarce in the new country. For a time he was employed as a flour packer, but this health failed and he engaged in the mercantile business and followed that line for nearly twenty years and then retired, and he died in 1903. Two of his sons purchased the business some twenty years prior to Mr. Fischer's death and they have the oldest store in Staunton, Ill. In the old country Mr. Fischer had learned to be a basket maker, but never followed the trade in America to any great extent. Mrs. Fischer still lives in Illinois.
Eduard J. Fischer was reared in his native town and attended the German Lutheran parochial schools until his fourteenth year, when he decided to start in life for himself as a blacksmith's helper. Subsequently he entered a cooperage shop to learn that trade, and at the same time became familiar with general mercantile business. After finishing his apprenticeship he worked as a cooper five years and then went to St. Louis and became employed in a large tobacco warehouse, but returned to Staunton to be a partner of a brother in a store. A year later he came to Kansas and worked in a mill a year before he established his present grocery business, under the firm name of Fischer Brothers. Subsequently he bought his brother's interest and has since continued the business alone. Within a short time he began to ship sweet potatoes, which is one of the chief products of Pottawatomie county, and now has a trade in apples, Irish and sweet potatoes that reaches to Denver on the west, Wyoming on the north, and Chicago on the east, while a large part of his shipments each year are sent to jobbers in Kansas City, Mo., and St. Louis. Mr. Fischer is essentially a self-made man and he owes his present prosperous business and financial position to himself alone. He had little schooling, and has won his way to the top and gained a good practical education by dint of hard work, persistence, and the determination to win, and great credit is due him for the success he is making of life. He has always stood for progress in his own life and upholds it in civic, state and national politics, being a member of the insurgent branch of the Republican party, which stands for good government. Fraternally he is associated with the Modern Woodmen of America, and in religious belief he is a Lutheran.
In May, 1888, Mr. Fischer married Sarah Anna Gibson of Topeka, and three children have been born to this union: Earl M. is a graduate of the University of Kansas, and is now a reporter on the "Daily Capital" of Topeka; Floyd E. is attending the University of Kansas at Lawrence; and Loran R. O. is at home.Pages 597-598 from volume III, part 1 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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