El Dorado County
JOHN P. FISHER
The fellow citizens of John P. Fisher, taking cognizance of his ability and trustworthiness, called him to the office of county clerk, auditor and recorder of El Dorado County, and in that capacity he is now serving, his creditable course showing that the confidence reposed in him was well merited. Throughout his entire life he has resided in California and is deeply interested in all that pertains to its advancement in lines that contribute to the public good. Born in San Francisco, on the 8th of August, 1863, he is a representative of one of the pioneer families.
His father, John Fisher, came to the Pacific coast in 1849, before the state was admitted into the Union. He was a native of Hamburg, Germany, and acquired his education in the Fatherland. Believing that he might better his condition in the new world, he sailed from his native city on the brig Helene, landing at San Francisco, and in August, 1849, he went to the mines at Gold Bluff, Trinity County. Subsequently he went to Yreka and operated in the North mines, with excellent success, taking out about twenty-five thousand dollars in gold dust. In 1853 he made a trip to old Mexico, remaining in the land of Montezuma until the spring of 1854, when he returned to California, as he expected “broke” and barefoot! With others he had chartered a vessel to go to Mexico, and they were robbed by a band of Apache Indians, barely escaping with their lives. On again reaching California Mr. Fisher went to Angel’s Camp; but high water caused him to leave that place and he returned to San Francisco. He had no money, but soon secured a government contract for hauling sand and gravel to the fortifications at Fort Point and Alcatraz. Soon afterward he established a brick-yard and built up a very extensive business at California City, continuing in that industry until 1860, when he engaged in the shipping business at San Francisco. He built schooners and carried on general freighting, with excellent success, receiving a patronage which necessitated the ownership of a number of schooners. He is still the proprietor of several vessels, but at present is not actively identified with business interests, having put aside the more arduous cares of life to enjoy a rest to which former toil and his advanced years justly entitle him. He has passed the seventy-fifth milestone on life’s journey, and in the evening of life receives the veneration and respect of his fellow men by reason of an upright career.
John Fisher was united in marriage to Miss Mary McConnell, a native of county Meath, Ireland. Their only son and child is John P. Fisher, the subject of this record. The mother departed this life on the 9th of August, 1889, at the age of sixty-three years.
John Peter Fisher was educated in San Francisco, being graduated in the Lincoln grammar school with a class of seventy-seven boys, and having completed the high school course in the class of 1879; and he also was graduated in a business college in 1882, and thus well prepared by theoretical training, he put his knowledge to a practical test by accepting a situation with the firm of Andrew Crawford & Company, where he soon demonstrated his ability to master the problems of business life. He remained with that house for five years, on the expiration of which period he removed to Greenwood, El Dorado County. Fond of the outdoor life of the woods and particularly attracted by the sports of the huntsman, he for some time engaged in hunting and trapping. He is a splendid marksman and secured much game, which brought good prices on the market and proved a source of income until 1890. During that time he attained great celebrity as a hunter and was considered excellent authority on subjects pertaining to guns, ammunition and hunting, including a knowledge of the haunts and habits of game. In the winter of 1888-9 he was caught in the snow, which reached a depth of fifteen feet on the summit of the Sierras, where he suffered such severe hardships during that winter that he decided to give up the business. Subsequently he accepted a position in the employ of the American Land & River Company as an accountant and cashier, continuing with the corporation until 1895. He was next appointed deputy assessor of El Dorado County and came to Placerville. Subsequently he received the appointment of deputy sheriff and tax collector, and his services were so well performed that he was made a candidate of the Republican Party for clerk, auditor and recorder. He was elected by a majority of two hundred in a Democratic county, a fact which indicates his personal ability and the confidence reposed in him. In these offices he is now serving and is a very popular and trustworthy official.
On the 4th of December, 1892, Mr. Fisher was united in marriage to Miss Mary Jane Summerfield, a native of El Dorado County and a daughter of J. M. Summerfield, who came to Placerville, then Hangtown, on the 7th of August, 1849. Mr. and Mrs. Fisher now have one son, James Wesley. Our subject holds membership in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He is a thoroughly capable public officer, a liberal and progressive citizen, and for many years he has been known for his sterling qualities and his fearless loyalty to his honest convictions.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.