Biography of Albert M. Fish
Erie County, OH Biographies





ALBERT M. FISH has lived actively and usefully in Milan Township fully fifty years. This is a family with many exceptional characteristics and distinctions, and has been identified with the American colonies in the northeastern part of the United States for four or five generations at least. While in Erie County the family has been chiefly identified with manufacturing as well as agricultural activity, their homes have been centers of culture and influence, and several of the name have attained high rank in the professions.

Of old English ancestry, the earliest ancestors of Albert M. Fish of whom there is record lived in Connecticut. His great grandparents were Joseph and Abigail Fish, who were born in Connecticut, and it is believed that they lived and died there. Joseph Fish was born in 1756 and died in 1805, survived several years by his wife. They possessed many of the hardy characteristics of New England people, were upright, stanch and progressive, and made their influence count for the betterment of the community in which they lived.

Uriah Fish, grandfather of Albert M. Fish, was born in Connecticut, and personally exemplified the elements of a strong New England character, possessed a rugged physique and was positive and determined in his actions and in his mental processes. His descendants may take pride in the fact that he served as a soldier throughout the War of 1812. He had probably moved to New York State before the war, and it is certain that more than a century ago this branch of the family was located at Otisco, Onondaga County, New York. Uriah Fish spent many years on his farm there, and eventually established around him his five sons, on separate farms. He died about 1856. He had been born during the Revolutionary war, and reached good old age. He possessed model habits, was a man of affairs and had a business judgment which enabled him to provide for himself and for his descendants. Uriah Fish married Lovina Carpenter. She was probably born in Connecticut, and belonged to the old Carpenter family of the New England states. They were probably married before they left Connecticut for New York State, and she outlived her husband some eight or ten years and was past fourscore when she died. Both she and her husband were members of the Universalist Church, and many years ago had been closely identified with the abolition movement. A brief record of their children is given as follows: Eliza married John Bishop and died in New York State leaving descendants. Lovisa married Lewis Wells, and they lived and died in New York State and were survived by two sons and one daughter. David spent all his life near the old homestead in New York, and after his death left three daughters. John was also a farmer near the old home in Onondaga County, and one son survived him. The next in age was Samuel, to be mentioned in following paragraph. Mindert came to Ohio and died at Berlin Heights, being survived by several children. Willis C. was the favorite son, was made heir to the old homestead, but his fine sense of justice prompted him to break the will and by his own election the estate was divided in equal shares among all the children; he married, but had no descendants.

In the next generation is Samuel Fish, father of Albert M. He was born on the old homestead in Onondaga County in 1819. His son Albert has at his home in Milan among other heirlooms and possessions a fine etching of his father, and the portrait exhibits many of the lines and lineaments which denote force of character and energy, and those qualities were positively displayed by Samuel Fish in all his activities. Another engraving in Mr. Fish's home shows the large and beautiful homestead where the family lived for many years at Otisco, New York. It was on that homestead that Samuel Fish grew to manhood. After getting his education and starting out for himself he married a poor but noble girl from a neighboring family, and for several years they lived at the old Fish home. Albert M. Fish was born there in the same house and in the same room where his father had first seen the light of day. Albert M. Fish came into the world November 5, 1846, and has himself almost completed the span of three score and ten. The first eighteen years of his life were spent among the scenes and environments of Onondaga County, and he gained an education in the public schools.

In 1864, when Albert was eighteen years of age, and a few days after the Presidential election at which Abraham Lincoln was retained for a second term in the White House, Samuel Fish, who had delayed long enough to cast his vote for the great emancipator, started with his family for the West, and arriving in Milan located and bought a farm in what is called East Milan, just outside the corporate limits of the village of that name. The purchase was a large ten room brick house, surrounded by twelve acres of ground. While the place was small, Samuel and his son built up there a considerable industry as a tile and flower pot factory, and they conducted this from 1865 until the death of Samuel Fish on September 15, 1900. At that time he was eighty one years of age. This factory at Milan was one of the landmarks in the industrial history of the township Many years ago the proprietors introduced the manufacture of flower pots, and that was perhaps the largest feature of the business, and the wares had an extensive sale. After the death of his fattier Albert M. Fish continued the operation of the plant for five years, and then abandoned this branch of manufacture and bought some agricultural lands in that locality. He now owns ninety acres of well improved and high class farming land, and devotes his time to general agriculture. However, since the death of his wife he has made his home at the old brick house which was formerly owned by his father, and which is now the property of his sister Miss Celinda Fish, one of the best known women in Milan Township.

Albert M. Fish was married in Milan to Miss Emily Graves. She was born in Lorain County, Ohio, in October, 1846, but gained her early education in Berlin Heights. She died at the Fish home August 8, 1911. She is remembered by her family and friends as a devoted wife and mother, and a woman of many excellent qualities. Her parents were Murray and Cynthia (Gibbs) Graves. Her father was born in Hatfield, Massachusetts, in 1818, and died in Milan in 1895. Her mother was born in Cameron, New York, October 28, 1824, and died in Milan Township, February 15, 1894. Murray Graves lived in Lorain County for a number of years but finally came to Milan Township in Erie County. He was a good citizen, very industrious, and his business was chiefly in butchering and dealing in meats.

The oldest of the children of Albert M. Fish is Fred A. Fish. He was born at the old home in East Milan in 1875, graduated from the Milan High School in 1892, subsequently took up electrical engineering, in which he gained his first knowledge at local plants, later pursued a technical course in Buchtel College at Akron and was graduated in the electrical engineering department at the. Ohio State University, and for his standing was granted a scholarship in the University of Wisconsin. After completing his education in 1898 he subsequently filled a chair in the Ohio State University, and from that went to. the Iowa State Agricultural College at Ames as associate and later as professor in electrical engineering, and has occupied the position for a number of years. He is now living at Ames, and is recognized as one of the best qualified educators in the state. He married Anna Calkins, of Troy. New York, who is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin. Their two daughters are named Frances and Elizabeth.

Carl W., the second son of Mr. Fish, has also been well educated and is now a foreman with a telephone company. He married Miss Olivia Brandrup, who was a well educated Iowa woman and had taught in San Francisco, California.

Roy M., the youngest of Mr. Fish's sons, was born at the old homestead at East Milan, December 11, 1881. He pursued the study of electrical engineering for a short period, but his health failing about that time he went West with his wife to California, and spent the greater part of 1908-09 in traveling along the west coast. After his return to Ohio he bought sixteen acres in West Milan, and is now engaged in the raising of small and tree fruits and general farming. He married Miss Ada M. Hart, the daughter of Philip and Lucy (Fisher) Hart. She was born in Norwalk, Huron County, was graduated from the Norwalk High School in the class of 1902 and from the Woman's College at Cleveland, and at the age of twenty was principal of the Milan High School, a position she held for three years until her marriage. Mr. and Mrs. Roy Fish have two children, Jean Allison and Robert M. This little family are members of the Presbyterian Church, while Roy Fish is affiliated with Milan Lodge No. 329, F. & A. M.

Mr. Albert Fish and his sons are rather independent in political matters. The father at different times served altogether for three terms as township trustee. He is treasurer of Milan Lodge No. 239, F. & A. M., and is also a member of Milan Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry.

From:
A Standard History of Erie County, Ohio
By: Hewson L. Peeke
Assisted by a Board of Advisory Editors
The Lewis Publishing Company Chicago and New York 1916


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