The Fishers of Lyndonville, VT

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collected by George E. Fisher

[[Notes by Laurie Dickinson Trask Mann, 1996]]
Many thanks to Alice Fisher Bassett for sending along photos!

Visit the Fisher Family Genealogy Forum.

Lewis Fisher emmigrated to America from Germany with his wife, Frederica Kerbs, in the early 1800s. They appeared with their son Christoper in the 1850 Census for Vermont:

Excerpt from 1850 Census

One of Christopher's sons was George Fisher, who was born in 1869, and who married Alice MacLaren:
George Fisher, late 1880s Alice MacLaren, late 1880s

George Fisher worked for the railroad and served a term or two in the Vermont legislature (during the time when politics was still considered a service rather than a life-long profession). He collected newspaper clippings, seed packets, and all kinds of odds and ends. In his old age, he created many scrapbooks. I've seen two of the scrap books, and they contained lots of material about the Civil War, trains, poetry, humor, horticulture, Vermont politics, and a few family stories. I understand there are many other scrapbooks around. Here's some of the family data from two scrapbooks.

[[from a newspaper clipping dated March 27, 1929]]
George E. Fisher served in the Vermont legislature in 1906

[[from a newspaper clipping dated 1936]]
Mrs. Agnes M. Goozey [[his sister-in-law]] of Charles street, who is confined to her home by blindness, had the pleasure of hearing one of her poems, "Tried and True," read by Dr. John Thomas on the radio, telling the story of Dolly, a faithful Morgan horse the family once owned. This poem was published in 1914 in The Vermonter.

[[I did some research on Agnes Goozey and found she had at least 3 poems published by The Vermonter in 1913 and 1914.]]


[[from a letter dated September 6, 1936]]
A brief newspaper article of mine concludes, "Poor, old, decaying Wolcott, if you will, now not much more than a hamlet, but join the throng that was singing "We are Coming, Father Abraham, Three Hundred Thousand 'ore". Some have naturally assumed that I was referring to my father's Civil War service, which is not correct.

The 118 included two uncles, Henry J. and Gustave P. Fisher, while my father, Christopher C. Fisher, is credited as having enlisted in the Sixth Vermont from Essex. My mother's only brother, William J. Domag, enlisted from Jericho in Bordan's 1st U. S. Sharpshooters and was killed during the first day's fighting in the Wilderness[[(on 5/5/1864, according to a KIA list)]]. He sleeps probably among the 2118 unknown dead who were gathered from several battle fields and fill one grave in Arlington Cemetary.

I once heard from Yvonne, who is descended from this line of Fishers. Lewis W. Fisher emmigrated from Hirschberg, Germany with his wife, Frederica Kerbs, at some point in the 1840s or 1850s. Their son, Christopher C. Fisher, was my great-great grandfather, and he was born in Germany. Yvonne didn't have Henry J. listed as one of Christopher's brothers, but did have Gustave. It was great to see Yvonne's research!

George married Alice MacLaren and they had two children: Clayton and Marion Newton Fisher Shonyo. Marion was born in 1900, and died of TB on March 17, 1939, and most remaining pictures of her show a sickly woman. However, here are some photographs of her when she was quite healty:

Marion Newton Fisher, Circa 1900 Marion & Clayton Fisher, Circa 1906 Marion Newton Fisher, Circa 1916

I was delighted to meet Marion's niece Alice for the first time in many years at a family reunion in 1999. She brought along many pictures I'd never seen of the Fisher family, including the lovely photo of my grandmother and her brother, Clayton which is in the middle.

Alice and Alan Fisher, Ruth Shonyo Berta, Clayton, Alice and Alice and Alan Fisher

Beneath the turn-of-the-last-century photo is a photo circa 1935 of Alice (straight haired), my mother (with those close-to-Shirley Temple curls) and Alice's brother Alan (who was born with severe cerebral palsy and died in the early '50s). And the last picture was taken in about 1932, with Uncle Clayton in the back, and, in the front, unknown on the left (a relative of Berta's, perhaps?), Aunt Berta in the middle, and Grammie Fisher on the right holding Alan. Alice is in the front looking...suspicious.

Alice and Alan's father, my great uncle, Clayton Fisher lived to be quite old, but we only saw him occasionally.

Alice McLaren Fisher Cook Bassett
Burlington Free Press Obituary

Alice McLaren Fisher Cook Bassett died at home with family on Dec. 28, 2011. She was 86 years old and had been a resident of Wake Robin Retirement Community in Shelburne since 1993. Born in 1925 in Lyndonville, the daughter of Clayton Fisher (1894-1987) and Alberta Campbell Fisher (1903-1981), Alice grew up in New London, N.H., and Lyndonville. Her parents taught chemistry and music at Colby (now Colby-Sawyer) Junior College. Alice graduated from Colby, and on May 21, 1944, she married Clinton Dana Cook II, the son of a St. Johnsbury builder and a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Clint worked as a chemist for GE during World War II. He earned a M.S. degree from UVM and a Ph.D from Ohio State University. When he died in 1969, he was Vice President for Academic Affairs at UVM; the Cook Physical Sciences Building is named for him. Alice, a homemaker and mother of five all of whom survive: Dana of Toronto, Canada; Allison of Northampton, Mass.; Polly of Portland, Ore.; Tim of South Portland, Maine; and Cindy, of Adamant. Their families have gone on to produce 10 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, with another on the way. Widowed at age 44, Alice went back to school, earning a B.A. from UVM in 1971. She was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in recognition of academic excellence, and worked as manager of the Shakespeare Festival, a position she enjoyed thoroughly. In 1977, Alice met Thomas Day Seymour Bassett, a retired UVM history professor and archivist. Both sang in the choir at College Street Congregational Church. With mutual enthusiasms which included hiking, canoeing, gardening and music, they married in 1979. Tom died at age 87 in 2001. The author of several books on Vermont history, Tom Bassett was also a moving force in the Burlington Friends Meeting (Quakers). With encouragement from Tom and her father, and building on her experiences as a League of Women Voters activist in the 1960s, Alice Bassett ran for state representative in 1983. As a Democrat in Burlington's Ward One district, a liberal bastion, she won handsdown, spending the munificent sum of $51 in her first campaign. She held the seat until 1992. She asked that the photo she used in that campaign be used with this obituary. An ardent environmentalist, Alice served on the House Natural Resources Committee. She was particularly proud of her role in getting Burlington's run-down waterfront transformed into a park enjoyed by thousands. She also took pride in the civility of the legislative community of which she was a part. She took on leadership roles in a number of areas of interest including music, environmental and peace-related causes, and the governance of her church and the Wake Robin community. In all these roles, it was very important to her to engage with issues in ways that respected the views of others. She asks that any donations in her memory be made to the Nature Conservancy. A memorial service will be held at the College St. Congregational Church on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012, at 10 a.m., with a reception following at Wake Robin.