Lee County Biography


Forty years ago Edward Fischer, then a youth of nineteen years, left the German Fatherland to found a home for himself on American soil. He selected the great Prairie State as the scene of his future abode and life work, and in due time purchased land on sections 32 and 33, South Dixon Township, which under his care has become one of the best improved and most desirable farms in the locality, its buildings of a substantial order, its rich pastures affording sustenance for many cattle and horses of fine breeds, and its highly tilled fields yielding abundant harvests.

Mr. Fischer was born December 18, 1831, in Middle Hauscn, near Erbert, Saxe-Weimar, coming of good German stock, a son of Johan D. Fischer, and a grandson of John G. Fischer, who were also natives of Middle Hansen. His grandfather was a small farmer, who lived and died in his native Province, his death occurring at the age of eighty yean. He married a German lady of Saxon birth, who was also a life-long resident of the same place as her husband, both were active members of the Lutheran Church.

John D. Fischer enlisted in early manhood to servo under Napoleon, and was with that great leader in many an engagement, acting as a signaler and body-guard to the General, and he was also a skillful musician. At one time he was captured by the enemy, and made fast to his horse for safe keeping. But he managed to escape to the timber where he cut himself loose from the horse with a small penknife, and made good his escape back to his regiment. He afterward took part in the famous battle of Waterloo, and though often in the thick of the light, got off without a wound. He subsequently returned to his home, took unto himself a wife, and settled down to a quiet life, following the profession of a musician for several years in the place of his birth, and acquiring considerable local fame for his talent in instrumental music. The latter part of his life he devoted to farming, and died February 9, 1869, at a ripe old age, being nearly eighty years old. To the last he retained much of the strength and vigor of his early days, and his death was caused by his fall from a pear tree. His first wife, mother of our subject, died in 1847, when a little past middle age. She was a native of the same province as himself, coming of a good German family, and her maiden name was Sophia E. Frenzel. Her parents, Christopher and Maria (1-ange) Frenzel, lived and died in Saxe-Weimar. The)1 were prominent members of the Lutheran Church, as were John Fischer and both of his wives. His second wife was Sophia J. Ellinger, who was born, reared anddied hi Middle Hansen, she being about fifty years old at the time of her death.

Our subject is the youngest but two of the seven children born to his mother, of whom six are yet living. His sister Augusta, wife of William Amme, died in Boone, Iowa, when quite full of years. His brother Henry married Minnie Barth, and is a farmer in Wittenbcck, S. Dak.; Bernhard H. married Elizabeth Claassen, now deceased, and is a resident of Green Mountain, Iowa; Doratha M. married Henry Holzhaus, and they live at the old home in Germany; Augu.it \V., a farmer in Boone, Iowa, married Johanna Kuppe; Julius J., a farmer near Yankton, S. Dak., married Harriet Albright Edward Fischer had the benefit of the excellent school system of his native country, and was well prepared as regarded his education to start out in life on his own account when he bade farewell to his friends and the beloved scenes of his birthplace to sail away to the New World,embarking at Hamburg, August 12, 1850, on the "Progressive," of New York, and landing in that city some two months later. He made his way to Sterling in this State, arriving there November 12, and soon found employment, He worked out by the month in Whiteside County, and also rented land until he came to this county, and by diligence and wise economy he laid by enough money to enable him to become independent, and in 1861 he purchased the land in South Dixon Township, that he has since developed into his present choice farm, all the improvements being the work of his own hand, so to speak. His farm comprises two hundred and forty acres of highly cultivated, well drained and neatly fenced laud, upon which he has erected a line residence and other suitable buildings, and has set out beautiful shade trees, which have grown to a good size, and add greatly to the attractiveness of his place. He is thrifty, wide-awake and progressive in his farming methods, and raises none but the most approved breeds of horses, cattle and swine, for which he always finds a ready market at good prices.

During his residence in Whiteside County, our subject sought in marriage the hand of Miss Friedericke K. Dittmann, and they were wedded October 25, 1857. Their domestic life is one of true felicity, and to them have been born the following children: Caroline, who died when a child; Hosetta K., wife of Louis Levan, a farmer of Marion Township; Kldena II., a farmer of South Dixon Township, who married Miss Km ma Duis; William F., who lives with his parents; Henry A., a resident of South Dixon, who married Miss Minnie Drake; David J., Mary S. D. and Kate C. the latter three at home with their parents. The children are all well-educated, the family is one of the leading families of South Dixon, and all its members belong to the Lutheran Church. Mrs. Fischer was born at Bressow, near Merlin, Germany, September 23, 1833, and came to this country when a young woman in 1854, making her home in Sterling, this State, for some years after that. Her parents were Michael and Catherine Dittmann, who were born, lived and died in Prussia when old people. They were standing members of the Lutheran Church.

Mrs. Fischer and her sister, Mrs. Christina Strasburg, who makes her home with her, are all of the family in the United States. They have two brothers, William and Christian, living in Prussia. Our subject has made his influence felt in this home of his adoption not only as a wise and skillful farmer, but as an intelligent citizen, who has a good practical knowledge of the laws and political issues of the country, and is one of the leading local Democrats. He is the present Assessor of South Dixon Township, which important office he has held twelve years, administering its duties with sagacity and discretion, and he has also been Highway Commissioner. Although he is sincerely at- tached to this country, and is intensely loyal to the Government, he still retains his natural affection for his native land, as a true man should, and Lakes pleasure in revisiting his old home. Twice ie has recrossed the wnters to Germany, once in 1874, and again in the winter of 1890-91 be spent three months there.

Portraits and Biographical Lee County IL 1892

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