Major William H. Fisher, of Columbus, is one of the best known railway officials in Ohio. He has been general
passenger agent for the Hocking Valley Railway since June 1, 1890, and was identified with railroading in various
other capacities for a dozen years prior to this long and continuous service.
Major Fisher was born August 5, 1854, five miles east of Elyria, in Lorain County, the son of Hart E. and Lucretia
(Lilley) Fisher. His father was a native of Vermont and his mother was born in Massachusetts. William H. Fisher
was reared in Elyria, attended the public schools there, and learned the printer's trade. He worked at printing
for several years. In 1879 he was publishing "The Railroader" at Toledo, Ohio. This was a weekly paper
devoted to the interests of the railroads and railroad people. Doubtless it was the means of introducing him to
what has filled his permanent career in the railroad service. When he retired in 1880 from the management of the
paper it was to take a position as traveling passenger agent for the Indianapolis, Peru & Chicago Railway,
later a part of the Lake Erie & Western Railroad and now a part of the Nickel Plate. His headquarters were
in Indianapolis. Subsequently, he was made ticket agent for the Wabash Railroad at Indianapolis and while there
he was attracted back into his old field, journalism, and for three years had charge of the outside circulation
of the Indianapolis Journal. Mr. Fisher later became general agent at Indianapolis for the Cincinnati, Hamilton
& Dayton Railroad, and in 1889 was made general passenger agent of the Ft. Wayne, Cincinnati & Louisville
Railway, with Ft. Wayne, Indiana, as his headquarters. This road subsequently became a part of the Lake Erie &
Western, and now a part of the Nickel Plate.
It was in 1890 that Mr. Fisher came to Columbus to take up the duties of general passenger agent for the Hocking
Valley Railway. During the World War he had charge of Liberty Bond sales among the employes of the Hocking Valley
Railway system and under his leadership, and with the assistance of his chosen associates, more than a million
dollars worth of bonds were sold.
Mr. Fisher was one of the organizers in June, 1898, of the old Columbus Rifles, a famous independent military unit
of its day, and one which acted as a picturesque adjunct of many notable occasions not only in Columbus but in
distant cities as well. The Columbus Rifles attended officially the opening of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition
at St. Louis in 1904, being a full company of 100 men, together with a military band of fifty. Similarly they participated
in the Pan American Exposition at Buffalo, N. Y. The organization was maintained for a period of eleven years and
for ten years of that time Mr. Fisher served as captain. While the war with Germany was taking place Captain Fisher
secured a reorganization of the old company, which was designated as Company E, being part of the regiment of Reserve
Guards. Mr. Fisher was elected captain and subsequently was promoted to the rank of major.
Major Fisher's home is at Worthington, a suburb of north Columbus. He is an active spirit in local affairs of that
community, being former president of the Chamber of Commerce, ex mayor, and an elder in the Presbyterian Church.
Mr. Fisher married Miss Mary S. Cunningham, of Elyria, Ohio. Her father, Myron H. Cunningham, was one of the oldest
residents of Ohio, his 100th birthday anniversary being in September, 1923. Major and Mrs. Fisher have three children:
Carl H.; Lewis W.; and Ruth, married Frank E. Archer.
History of Franklin County, Ohio
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka - Indianapolis 1930
Franklin County, OH
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