George A. Fisher, vice-president of the Fisher Machine Works Company, of Leavenworth, was born in Pittsburgh, Pa., Dec. 14, 1831, a son of George A. and Mary Ann (Gary) Fisher, the former of German and the latter of Scotch extraction. The father was a boilermaker and worked at that trade the greater part of his life. His father, whose name was also George, was a noted mechanic of his day, and was for a long time in the employ of the German government, on account of his discovery of a process for tempering metal to be used in the manufacture of cannon. Both of Mr. Fisher's parents died in the city of Pittsburgh, the father about 1896. In 1849 George A. Fisher ran away from home and made his way westward until he reached Fort Leavenworth, being attracted to that place by the report that there was a large Indian encampment there. After a short time at Fort Leavenworth he went to St. Louis, where he sold papers and worked at odd jobs until his father, who had come to St. Louis to do some work, accidentally found him and took him home. He remained at home but a short time, however, when he went to New Orleans and found employment upon the boats plying between that city and Mobile. In 1853 he crossed the plains to California. He was with Gen. William Walker in the filibustering expedition to Nicarauga. For his participation in this affair he was arrested by the Federal authorities, but was soon released on account of his youth. Again his father met him in St. Louis and persuaded him to return to Pittsburgh, where he served an apprenticeship at the machinist's trade, receiving for his services during his apprenticeship of four years $100 and a suit of clothes. He then went back to Fort Leavenworth at the time of the border troubles, and was engaged in carrying despatches[sic] between the fort and Lawrence. For a time he was in the employ of the American Fur Company; was with General Harney in the campaign against the Sioux Indians, and was one of the guides of General Sully's expedition in 1860. In 1863 Mr. Fisher went back to Pittsburgh, his last service in the West having been as a scout with the First Dakota cavalry.
While in Pittsburgh in 1863 he married Miss Anna B. Clause, and soon after his marriage settled on a ranch near Bonham, Dakota Territory. Indian depredations were common in that section, and in a short time he removed to St. Joseph, Mo., where he resided until 1870, when he located in the city of Leavenworth. For a time after becoming a resident of Leavenworth Mr. Fisher worked in a packing-house as machinist. He was then in the dairy business for a few years, and in 1897 he and his four sonsall trained engineers and mechanicsfounded the Fisher Machine Works Company, which is one of the leading concerns of the kind in the West. The first building of the company was a one-story brick structure, twenty-five by one hundred and twenty-five feet, located at 219 Cherokee street. Within three years the business had grown to such proportions that it became necessary to purchase four lots and erect several large buildings. In 1903 the company was incorporated under the laws of Kansas. The entire plant was destroyed by fire on April 6, 1905, but in a short time a new site, consisting of twenty-one lots at the southwest corner of Fourth and Choctaw streets, was secured and the present modern plant erected. The works are equipped with the most modern, and improved machinery, and the motto of the company, "A Square Deal for All," has brought to the Fisher works some large orders. Their trade extends over a large territory, and the Corliss engine manufactured by this company has never failed to give satisfaction.
George A. and Anna. B. Fisher became the parents of eleven childrensix sons and five daughters: Anna B. is the wife of Charles Disk, of Boling, Kan.; Minnie Belle is the wife of Jeremiah Biddle, of Leavenworth; George H. is president and general manager of the Fisher Machine Works Company; Cora C. is deceased; Harry G. is second vice-president and superintendent of the company; Arthur J. is secretary of the company; Walter, now deceased, was secretary of the company at the time of his death; Grace and Clara live at the parental home; and Ernest and Richard are both connected with the company.
George H. Fisher, the eldest son, now president and general manager of the company, was born in Leavenworth Jan. 9, 1874. After attending the public schools of his native city he completed a course in mechanical engineering. He then learned the machinist's trade in order to equip himself thoroughly for his work, and it is no disparagement to the other members of the company to say that much of its success is due to his superb technical training and his excellent executive ability. He is always alert to the interests of his business, never loses an opportunity to secure orders for the products of his factory, and is equally watchful to see that no defective or imperfect piece of machinery leaves the works. George A. Fisher has had an eventful life, such as come to but few men. It is said that during the years he was engaged in the fur trade he never slept in a house; he has several times been wounded by "bad men" while acting as scout and trader; was at one time thoroughly acquainted with the Dakota Bad Lands, and knew practically every rod of the country from Pittsburgh to the Pacific coast and from Canada to Mexico. Yet he is not boastful of his achievements, but is a modest, unassuming American citizen, with a desire to discharge his duties as he sees them, always tolerating a liberal spirit toward his fellow men and a due regard for their opinions.Pages 894-896 from volume III, part 2 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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