Biography of Manning F. Fisher
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

MANNING F. FISHER. Americans everywhere during the present century have become familiar with the system of chain stores, in which the efficiency and standard quality of goods and service of a single establishment are by means of centralized management duplicated and manifolded in scores and perhaps hundreds of similar stores covering an entire metropolitan district and in many cases extending beyond state boundaries. While this form of business has had an enormous form of development within the present century, there were pioneers working out the fundamentals of the plan thirty or forty years ago. One of them was Manning F. Fisher, who is president of the Fisher Brothers Company of Cleveland, owners of a system of grocery stores known to if not patronized by every family in Cuyahoga County.

Mr. Fisher was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, December 8, 1863, son of Manning F. and Harriet (Rittenhouse) Fisher. He had limited opportunities to attend school and when thirteen years of age he became an employe of a wholesale hat company in New York City. He began as office boy and remained with the firm six years in increasing responsibilities. Then in 1882, forty years ago, with a very slender capital account he set himself up in business by opening a retail butter store in New York City. Thus modestly launched in the provision trade, he has been in that field ever since. His one butter store prospered and he established four others, and had all of these five stores in one section of New York. He sold this business in 1887, and he then became department manager for James Butler, who at that time had achieved the conspicuous and unheard of success of owning and operating a chain of 150 retail grocery stores is New York City. Mr. Fisher was a department manager associated with the Butler business for about twenty years.

In 1917 he removed to Cleveland and formed the firm of Fisher Brothers. In 1908 the business was incorporated as the Fisher Brothers Company, with Manning F. as president. Their first retail grocery store was located at the corner of West Forty seventh Street and Lorain Avenue. In seventeen years the business has grown until now the company owns and operates more than 200 retail stores, serving practically every neighborhood and community of Cleveland and vicinity. Over 1,200 persons are employed at these stores and in the various departments of the business. In the central business district is located a large fireproof warehouse and bakery, to which the outlying individual stores are supplied with their merchandise stocks. This was one of the first firms in Cleveland to inaugurate the "cash and carry" policy in the retail grocery business.

Mr. Fisher is a member of the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce and the Cleveland Chamber of Industry, which he served as president in 1917. He is a member of the Cleveland Rotary Club, Cleveland Advertising Club, and treasurer of the City Savings & Loan Company, and was actively associated with various organizations handling the local war program. Mr. Fisher married Miss Bertha Christie, of Bayonne, New Jersey. They are the parents of four children. The two oldest Britton and Ellwood, are both graduates of the West High School and are now associated in business with their father. Ellwood was graduated in 1921 from DaDartmouthollege. The third child, Miss Harriet, is a graduate of Wellesly College, and the youngest, George, is attending the Culver Military Academy in Indiana.

A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924

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