Ellwood H. Fisher

A residence covering a period of a quarter of a century in Bozeman, during which time he has been connected with some of the leading industries of the city, gives Ellwood H. Fisher, prestige among the leading business men of his locality and as secretary and treasurer of the Owenhouse Hardware Company he is known as one of the directing powers in an enterprise that has added prestige to the city's commercial importance. Mr. Fisher was born in Bucks County Pennsylvania, June 26, 1855 and is a son of Manning Force and Harriet (Rittenhouse) Fisher, natives of Hunterdon County New Jersey.

Manning Force Fisher was born in 1824 and secured his education in the schools of New Jersey, from which state he removed as a young man to Bucks County Pa, and was there engaged in the coal business. He subsequently followed the same line of endeavor in Jersey City, New Jersey and New York City and died in 1863, in the faith of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was a strong anti-slavery man and a great admirer of Abraham Lincoln and although his age and illness precluded the idea of his enlisting as a soldier during the first years of the Civil War he gave his moral and financial support to the Union cause. His wife, who was born in 1829, passed away in 1884, having been the mother of seven children, of whom three are now living: Charles, a resident of Newark, New Jersey; Ellwood H; and Manning L. of Cleveland Ohio.

The education of Ellwood H. Fisher was secured in the public schools of Jersey City and when still a lad began clerking in a store in New York City, having lost his father when he was only eight years old. The year 1885 marked his advent in Montana, and for two years there after he was identified with the sheep business at Big Timber, Sweetgrass County. In 1887 he came to Bozeman where he became bookkeeper for the Nelson Story Milling Company but in 1890 embarked in business on his own account as the proprietor of a grocery store. Three years later this was merged with the Genepe-Owenhouse Company, a general merchandise house and in 1905 Owenhouse and Fisher took over the business and incorporated it under the name of the Owenhouse Hardware Company, which has become one of the leading establishments of its kind in Bozeman. Among the articles handled by this firm are Buick automobiles, Parlin and Orensorff farm implements, Deering farm machinery, Adanve threshing machinery, Lightning hay presses, DeLaval separators, Monarch ranges, Cole's Air Tight heaters and Lincoln paints as well as a full line of carriages and harness, and a large stock of all kinds of light and heavy hardware. Since his earliest boyhood Mr. Fisher has displayed ability of a high order and a progressive spirit that refused to recognize any obstacle as insurmountable.

On October 4,1882, Mr. Fisher was married to Miss Clara V. Mecabe, who was born in Jersey City, daughter of Charles P. McCabe, born in Vineland New Jersey. The mother was a native of Chestnut Hill, near Philadelphia Pennsylvania. Mrs. parents, who are now deceased, had seven children, of whom four are now living, she having been the third in order of birth. Her father, a wholesale butter merchant for a number of years was a stanch Republican and a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. and Mrs. Fisher have four children: Clara, who died in 1907, at the age of twenty-three years; Charles B;Helen and Lillian, who died in infancy.

source: A History of Montana by Helen Fitzgerald Sanders, 1913


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