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Abner Crosby FISH
 1835 - 1899

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  • Birth  13 Aug 1835  Cayuga County, New York Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender  Male 
    Died  23 Dec 1899  Chicago, Cook, Illinois Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Person ID  I52527  Brainard (Brainerd) / Foster / Fish
    Last Modified  27 Mar 2005 00:00:00 
    Father  Ira FISH, b. 4 Jul 1806, Berne, Albany, New York  
    Mother  Sallie Ann BULL, b. 12 Apr 1816, Dutchess County, New York  
    Family ID  F22780  Group Sheet
    Family  Marion Louise SWEETZER 
    Family ID  F22821  Group Sheet
  • Notes 
    • The following Biography is taken from the History of Racine & KenoshaCounties, Western Historical Co., Chicago Illinois (1879):
      A.C. Fish was born in Cayuga Co., New York Aug 13, 1835. In 1846 hisparents moved west and settled on Rock Prairie, near Janesville,Wisconsin. As a boy on the farm, Mr. Fish was noted for his steady habitsand his persevering industry. His parents were poor. He did not ask foror take any holidays. The only opportunity he had for going to school wasa few weeks each year during the winter months. He made the most ofthese. At 21, he left the farm, with his little savings, consisting ofabout $10 in silver, and started to walk to Racine, with the purpose ofattending the Racine High School, then under the charge of John G.McMynn. The first person he met, on arriving in Racine, recommended himto apply to J.I. Case, for the privilege of boarding with him, and to payfor his board by working about the threshing-machine factory before andafter school, and on Saturdays. Mr. Case very kindly gave him theopportunity sought. At the end of the first term of school, his littlesavings were exhausted, and he applied for and received the appointmentof teacher of the district school in the town of Yorkville, Racine Co.Some of the stanch farmers of the town remember him for other qualitiesthan those of "pulling at the stick" successfully. At the end of thewinter term of the Yorkville School, Mr. Fish returned to Janesville andattended the high school one term, and was then appointed Principal ofthe First Ward Grammar School in that city, a position which he held forthree years. These were years of hardest work, for, in addition to thelabor of teaching a large school, he took private lessons in Latin andGreek =, and obtained his preparation for college. He entered thefreshman class in Tuft's College, near Boston, in September, 1860. Heserved his country as a common soldier in the 44th Mass. Regt. During theJunior year of his college course; made up the studies, and graduatedwith his class in 1864. He then taught the high school at Melrose, nearBoston, a year and a half, putting all his leisure time into the study ofthe law, in the office of Hon. D.W. Gooch of Boston. He was admitted tothe Boston bar, on examination before Hon. Uriel H. Crocker, in January1866. Receiving, at this time, from his brother, T. G. Fish, in Racine,Wisconsin most tempting inducements to go into the manufacturing businesswith him, he bought out Daniel Bull and entered into partnership with hisbrother, under the firm name of Fish Brothers. The brothers, workingassiduously and harmoniously together, built up a large and flourishingbusiness in Racine, in the manufacturing of farm wagons and carriages. Inthe spring of 1873, A.C. Fish sold out his interest in the wagon businessto his two brothers T. G. and E.B. Fish, and J.C. Huggins

      The following is taken from the Racine Journal of May 21, 1873:
      Presentation - a pleasant affair at Fish Brothers' Wagon Manufactory -The address
      Last Saturday afternoon, Mr. A.C. Fish, the second member of the firmof Fish Brother, retired from the firm. The employees, as a slighttestimonial of respect for him, presented him with a magnificent goldchain, locket and ring, which were purchased at Watt's, and valued at$125. A few minutes before 5, the whistle sounded, and the employees, 180in number, assembled in front of the office, and one of the number wassent to invite Mr. Fish out. Busily engaged in writing, he had notnoticed the gathering, ad, as he stepped out of the door, heinvoluntarily asked, "Why, what's the matter?" He found out, for, justat this time, Mr. George H. Smith stepped forward and, in the followingappropriate remarks, made the presentation:
      " Mr. Fish: it is not ordinary occasion that calls us together today.You have been invited here for the purpose of taking a formal leave fromus, your employees. Learning that you had severed your business relationswith this establishment, and were about to engage in another and, to you,more congenial profession, we, the workmen employed in our manufactory,with whom you have been so intimately associated for the last sevenyears, desire to express, in some substantial manner, our highappreciation of your universal kindness, noble qualities, generousimpulses and gentlemanly demeanor; and to accomplish this end, we haveprocured a slight testimonial, which we ask you to accept; not for itsintrinsic value alone, but that, in after years, when recurring to thisevent, it may serve to remind you of the spontaneous enthusiasm withwhich each member, whose name is attached herewith, subscribes himselfyour friend, in the fullest acceptation of the term, wishing that yourfuture career may be crowned with happiness and prosperity."
      To say that Mr. Fish was completely surprised, would do but faint justiceto it; but he rallied bravely, and thus thanked them:
      " Boys: I thank you for these tokens of your esteem. I accept them inthe same spirit with which they are given. As an incentive for thefuture, as a memento of the past, as tokens of your appreciation andrespect, these gifts are invaluable to me - more prized than the gold andprecious stones of which they are made. May this chain prove the means offorging many links in that golden chain of friendship that binds ustogether, each to the other and all to each - that chain of humansympathy and good-will which neither time nor distance can sever. May thespirit of kindness and co-operation, of mutual respect and esteem,continue between employers and employees in the firm of Fish Bros. & Co.;may it be, like the right which you give me as a token, without end"
      Then with three rousing cheers for A.C. Fish, the men dispersed.

      On retiring from business the old question which had previously puzzledMr. Fish, again came up - the question whether he could do more good inthe world by preaching than by practicing law. After duly considering thematter, he began work as a lay-preacher in the Church of the GoodShepherd, Racine. In 1874, in addition to his work in the church, he wasappointed City Superintendent of the Schools of Racine. In the spring of1875, he broke down in health from overwork, and was advised by hisphysicians to give up all professional labor. He then engaged in businessa Racine Junction. Having in a measure regained his health, he began thepractice of lay in Racine in the winter of 1878, and in the fall of thesame year, was elected District Attorney of Racine County, the officewhich he now fills.
  • Sources 
    1. [S43] United States Census, 1850 - Wisconsin, Rock, La Prarie page 437 Taken 23 Aug 1850.
      Abner C. Fish age 14 male, son of Ira and Sally A. Fish. attended school within the year.

    2. [S138] Fish Genealogy, Menke, Phyllis M., (Manuscript - 27 Oct 2001).


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