John Pfister, a prominent citizen of Lowville, N.Y., was born in Wesenbach. Baden, Germany, July 29, 1830, son of Michalel George Pfisterer; the final two letters of the name were dropped by the American brach of the family. Michalel George Pfisterer was a blacksmith and farmer, owing a well-culitvated farm. He married Eva Katharine Floor, and they were parents of four sons and one daughter, namely:
Michael, Henry, Leonard, John, Elizabeth.
The father of these children died in 1841, and in September, 1845, the mother, accompanied by her children and the wife, Mary, of her son Michael, emigarted to America on the ship "Argo"; after a voyage of thirty-eight days they landed in New York in the latter part of November; having letters of introduction to Edward Bossinger, a prominent flour merchant of New York, who introduced them to Dr. Bintse, who assisted the family in locating in Watertown, N.Y.
Before elaving Germany the sons were granted permission by the courts to leave the country and were exempted from military duty. Michael, the eldest son, engaged in the manufacture of wagons and carriages; during the Civil War he was a member of the Twentieth New York cavalry as regimental horseshoer. He reared a family of two sons and two daughters; he died at Watertown, Dec. 4, 1893, aged eighty years.
Henry, the second son, worked at various occupations, was a musician, and never married. He died at Watertown April 2, 1899, aged eighty years.
Leonard, the third son, engaged in dairying; he married, and had four sons and one daughter.
John, the fourth son, is mentioned at length below.
Elizabeth, the only daughter, married a Mr. Stutz, and died in Oswego. N.Y., Oct. 12, 1852, aged twenty-eight years.
The mother of these children made her home for many years with her son John; she died June 11, 1882, aged ninety-two years, seven months and ten days; buried in the Rural cemtery at Lowville.
John Pfister was reared and educated in his native country, remaining there until fifteen years of age. After his arrival in this country he wolked in Watertown and attended school for a short time. He then worked on a farm for Walter Collins in Jeffeson county for a year. During this time Mr. Collins was elected sheriff of the county, and John Pfister entered the employ of a widow, Mrs. Pierce, with whom he remained six months. He then entered the hardware store and tin shop of D.D. Otis, and served an apprenticeship of four years. On attaining his majority he worked as a journeyman for one year for Mr. Otis.
In 1852 he located in Lewis county and entered the employ of Smith Douglas & Company in the hardware business, remaining a short time, after which he returned to Watertown and worked for a Mr. Stanley for a time. Sept. 1, 1853, he removed to Lowville and formed a partnership with Moses N. Smith, his former employer, under the firm name of M.N. Smith & Company, and this connection continued for three years. October 1, 1856, the firm of Pfister & Boshort was formed, conducting a hardware and tinware business, where the drug store of Horace Bush & Son now stands. . After a period of three years Mr. Pfister purchased his partner's interest and conducted business alone until Oct. 1, 1860, when he formed a partnershp with G. W. Fowler, under the firm name of Pfister & Fowler, which continued until March 20, 1865. During this time, Mr. Pfister purchased the building of John O'Donnell, where the Fowler Bros. hardware store is now located. He sold this building to G. W. Fowler, and his interest in the business to Charles H. Curtis.
May 1, 1866, Mr. Pfister engaged in the hardware business with Albert J. Dayan under the firm name Pfister & Dayan, and purchased the building corner of Dayan and State streets. This firm continued for eight years. During this time, in June, 1866, Mr. Pfister began he building of a foundry and machine shop on Valley street and the business was conducted under the name of Pfister & Richter one year, and was succeeded by Pfister and Powell. At the end of the year Mr. Richner purchased his partner's interst and he conducted an extensive busines for twenty years.
Aug. 18, 1874, the firm of Pfister & Dayan sold their hardware business to G.D. Boshort. In 1876 the store building burned down, and the firm sold the lot to Amos D. Smiley. In 1887 Mr. Pfister sold his machine shop to Hughes & Horton, and retired from active business. In 1872-3 he built a flouring mill near the lower bridge, which is now burned down.
In 1865 Mr. Pfister became one of the stockholders and a director of the First National Bank of Lowville, and a portion of the time served as vice-president. He served in the capacity of trustee in the village in 1870, and as president of the village two terms. He is a member of the Presbyterian church, and politically a Republican. He has always been classed among the energetic, public-spirited and representative citizens of Lowville, and he has enjoyed in a large degree the esteem and confidence of his business associates and acquaintances.
Mr. Pfister married, Oct. 21, 1859, Emily J. Winchall, born in Gouverneur, St. Lawrence county, N.Y., Aug. 19, 1834.
1. Carrie, married Dr. Howard J. Crosby, of Hiscock, South Dakota, now in Los Angeles, California, and has three children.
2. Manford J., now living and conducting business at Great Bend, Jefferson county, N.Y.; married Margaret Barnett and has two children: Growine and Wilhelmina Pfister.
3. Minnie, married Jesse J. Kellogg (see Kellogg family).
4. Fay B., a florist of Lowville; married Emma Martz, June 30, 1909.
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