Edward C. Fisher

EDWARD C. FISHER, M. D. While Rice County was organized more than thirty-five years ago and even before that was the home of a considerable number of people, none of the real pioneer physicians are still living there or in practice. The honor of being the oldest active physician and surgeon in continuous practice belongs to Doctor Edward C. Fisher, who located at Lyons thirty-three years ago. Doctor Fisher is a man of notable attainments in his profession, and brought to Rice County the ability and value of service which would have made him as successful in the larger centers of population as he has been in this country community.

Doctor Fisher was born at Newcastle, England, April 25, 1844, but has lived in the United States since early childhood. His father, John Fisher, also born at Newcastle in 1822, grew up and married in that city and was superintendent of the mine at that great coal center. In 1847, when Doctor Fisher was three years of age, the father brought his family to the United States and became identified with the ownership and operation of coal works in Southern Ohio. He finally retired from business and lived in Boston, Massachusetts, until his death in 1908, at the venerable age of eighty-six. After coming to America he identified himself in a strenuous manner with the republican party, and regularly gave it support from the time of its organization until the party elected its last presidential candidate. He was equally zealous in church affairs as a Methodist, and fraternally was identified with the Independent Order of Odd Follows. John Fisher married Ann Combie, who was born at Newcastle, England, in 1826, and died at Middleport, Ohio, in 1896. Of in their children Doctor Fisher was the oldest. The second, Anna, married Rev. Mr. Biler, a Methodist minister, and both are now deceased. Joseph S. is a physician and surgeon at Kansas City, Missouri. John, the fourth child, was a merchant and died at Spokane, Washington. Three other children died young.

Doctor Fisher spent his early life at Middleport, Ohio, where he attended the public schools. In February, 1864, when not yet twenty years of age, he enlisted in defense of the Union in Company C of the Fifth Ohio Cavalry. This regiment was part of General Kilpatrick's famous brigade of cavalry during the operations around Atlanta under Sherman. Doctor Fisher saw some active service and was in the army until mustered out in October, 1865. Returning home, he graduated from the high school at Middleport, Ohio, and then entered the University of Michigan, where he took his M. D. degree in 1871. In that year Doctor Fisher located at Clifton, West Virginia, and was in active practice four years. While an enlarging clientage gives proof of his success, he was not content with a routine performance and never has been. On leaving Clifton he spent a year during 1874-75 abroad, visiting Scotland, France, Germany and Italy, and this trip was not only a means of general culture but also gave him the opportunities of attending clinics at such famous surgical and medical centers as Berlin, Vienna and the Royal College of London. On returning to America in 1876 Doctor Fisher located for practice at Racine, Ohio, and remained there until he came to Kansas in 1884.

Since that year he has been steadily practicing at Lyons, though in 1897 he spent some months in the Chicago Polyclinic in post-graduate study. Doctor Fisher is a member in good standing of the Rice County and State Medical Societies and the American Medical Association. His offices are in his own building, known as the Fisher Building, on the south side of the Square.

He has been successful in a business way, owns a good home on Commercial Street and other local real estate, but has sold his farming porperty. He is a stockholder in the Saxman State Bank.

At different times his fellow citizens have conferred upon him offices indicating their esteem and requiring much of his time and attention. He served eighteen years on the school board and for four years was mayor of Lyons. Doctor Fisher is a republican, a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, is past master of Royal Lodge No. 192, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and was formerly affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Ancient Order of United Workmen.

In 1876, while abroad at Edinburgh, Scotland, Doctor Fisher married Miss Stella Reichenau. She was born on the River Rhine in Germany. Six children were born to their union. Charles E., the oldest, was graduated from Kansas University in the classical course and later from Northwestern University Medical School at Chicago, and is now a successful eye, ear, nose and throat specialist at Lyons. The second child, Anna Florence, is the wife of L. C. Needham, in the real estate and insurance business at Lyons. Wilhelm R. is a physician, connected with the St. Francis Hospital at Wichita. Thekla R. married Paul A. Jones, editor of the Sun at Pittsburg, Kansas. Elsie is the wife of A. J. Hartronf, a real estate and loan man at Lyons, Kansas. Nancy, the youngest, married R. J. Stuart, who is connected with the McCall Advertising Company and lives at Berkeley, California.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written & compiled by William E. Connelley, 1918, transcribed by Jessica Elaine Price, student from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, January 26, 2000.

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