Walter Lowrie Fisher 1862-1935 m. Mabel Taylor 1867-1953

s/o Daniel Webster Fisher 1838-1913 & Amanda D Kouns 1837-1911


1862 Jul 4 – born in Wheeling, Virginia; his parents were Rev. Daniel Webster Fisher, President of Hanover College, Hanover, IN, and Amanda D Kouns; West Virginia seceded from Virginia and was admitted to the Union on June 20, 1863 [The National Cyclopedia of American Biography, Vol. 17, p.406 (doc)

1863 Aug 8 – baptism

1870 Jul 6 — Census-Wheeling Ward 4, Ohio, WV [Daniel Fisher 35; Amanda Fisher 32; Walter M Fisher 8; Howard Fisher 4; Mary E Fisher 9-1/2 mos; Faney Garner 20; Amanda Mountz 13; Mary Ryland 39; Cary Ryland 16; Samuel Ryland 20] (doc)

1878-1879 – Attended Academy of Marietta College, Marietta, Ohio [Dictionary of American Biography, p.299] (doc)

1879-1886 – attended Hanover College, Hanover, IN; M.A, 1886 [1879 Catalogue of Hanover College lists WLF as one of the 17 freshmen (doc)

1880 Jun 8 — Census-Hanover, Jefferson, IN [D. M. Fisher 42; Amanda D Fisher 43; Walter L. Fisher 17; Howard F Fisher 14; Mary E. Fisher 10] [WLF occupation listed as student] (doc)

1880 Jul 2 —
Greenburg Standard: “Hanover Commencement-…Freshman Award for declamation and scholarship went to WLF” (doc)

1883 – received A.B. degree from Hanover College [Annual Catalogue and Circular of Hanover College] (doc)

1884 – Came to Chicago (as noted in 1905 Book of Chicagoans, p.207)

1884-1892 — WLF held numerous positions with Sigma Chi national and local Chi Chapter, including: Delegate to 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th and 20th Chapters; Grand Tribune 1884-88; Editor of the Sigma Chi 1884-88; Grand Quaestor 1888-90; and Grand Counsul 189-1892. [Residence Directory of Sigma Chi Fraternity Chapter Rolls, p.196; doc] [Sigma Chi Fraternity Manual and Directory, n.d., p.108; doc] [Sigma Chi Quarterly: The Official Organ of the Sigma Chi Fraternity, Vol 17, p.119; doc]

1884-1886 – Read law in office of Wirt Dexter [1905 Book of Chicagoans, p.207] (doc)

1886-1888 – Read law with Lyman & Jackson [1905 Book of Chicagoans, p.207] (doc)

1886 – received M.A. from Hanover College [Annual Catalogue and Circular of Hanover College] (doc)

1888 – admitted to Bar, Chicago, IL; practiced law in Chicago until 1935; entered in partnership with Rudolph Matz (eventually firm called Matz, Fisher, & Boyden) [1905 Book of Chicagoans, p.207] (doc)

1888-1911 —Matz, Fisher & Boyden, Law partner

1888-1935 — Admitted to bar and practiced law, Chicago, IL [1905 Book of Chicagoans, p.207] (doc)

1888-1889 – appointed special assessment attorney for Chicago, IL [1905 Book of Chicagoans, p.207] (doc)

1889 —
Annual Catalogue and Circular of Hanover College lists WLF as one of the seven students receiving a Master's Degree at Hanover College in the Class of 1883; p.59, 76. [also listed as being in 1880 p.9, 1881 p.8 , and 1882 p.7 editions; brother Howard Fisher listed as Class of 1886] (doc)

1890 Jun 4 – Passport issued (doc)

1891 Mar 2 — WLF elected a member of the Chicago Literary Club,
Chicago Literary Club: A History of Its First Fifty Years, p.218 (doc)

1891 Apr 22 – Marriage to Mabel Taylor in Boston, MA (Boston Marriage Register, doc; MA Marriage Records, doc)

1891-1905 – member of Chicago Literary Club, Chicago Historical Society, Trustee of Gilpin Fund, Republican Club, Union League; 1905 Book of Chicagoans, p.207 lists his office as 107 Dearborn St and residence as 463 N State St.) (doc)

1892 Feb 20 – Walter T Fisher born 463 North State St, Chicago, IL; lists him as 1st child of WLF age 29 and “Mable Taylor Fisher” age 24; delivered by John T. Binkley, Jr., MD. [Return of a Birth, Cooks, IL #4958] (doc)

1892 Jun 4 – Passport application/issued #40416; lists him as 29 yrs old, 5’10” tall, medium forehead, Blue eyes, straight nose, medium mouth, round chin, light hair, fair complexion, and long face; passport was mailed to WLF care of Thomas N Hart in Swansea, MA (doc)

1893 —
Sigma Chi Fraternity Directory, p. 53, lists WLF as Grand Consul. (doc)

1894 Mar 3 – Arthur Fisher born in Chicago

1896 Sep 4 – Thomas Hart Fisher born in Winnetka

1896 Sep 4 – Frederick Bourne Taylor Fisher born in Winnetka

1898 May 23 – Margaret Fisher born in Winnetka

1900 Jun 23 – Census New Trier, Cook, IL as living in Winnetka, IL with wife Mabel [Walter Fisher 37; Mabel T Fisher 32; Walter T Fisher 8; Arthur Fisher 6; Thomas H Fisher 3; Frederick F Fisher 3; Margaret Fisher 2; Sina Mortrud 28; Josephine Nelson 35; Anna Peterson 33; Annie McKay 33; Annie Lund 35] (doc)

1900 — WLF listed as an Annual Governing Member of the Chicago Historical Society (doc)

1901-1906 – Secretary, and later president, Municipal Voters League of Chicago, Chicago, IL. “As the directing head of this organization he conducted a vigorous offensive against the ‘gray wolves’ a term which he used to characterize corrupt alderman. So successful was it that soon two-thirds of the members of the city council were elected on pledges drawn up by the league. A crusading reformer who labored hard to secure a better city government, Fisher knew how to meet politicians with their own weapons, a knowledge that measurably increased his effectiveness as a reformer. In helping to solve Chicago’s transit problem, which had been aggravated by corruption, bad management, and public indifference, he rendered another important service to his adopted city. Edward F Dunne had been elected mayor in 1905 on the issue of immediate municipal ownership of street railways, and the following year Fisher was appointed traction counsel for the city. He put forward a plan for a franchise grant to the companies, subject to termination through purchase by the city on specified terms at any time that the municipal government could raise funds for the purpose. Accepted by the city council, the plan was approved by the voters on a referendum vote. Later he served as attorney without pay to the commission appointed to investigate dishonesty and waste in municipal expenditures. He conducted with marked skill the examination of witnesses before the commission, whose chairman was Charles E Merriam.”

1902 – listed in
Sigma Chi Directory, Class of ’83, Read, Editor of Catalogue of 1890 & Secretary of Municipal Voters’ League; p. 465 (doc)

1903 Oct 30 – Howard Taylor Fisher born in Winnetka

1904 May — WLF listed as a member of the Chicago Historical Society, Annual Report of the Chicago Historical Society. p.159. (doc)

1904 — Editorial cartoon by W.B. Johnstone of Walter L. Fisher of Matz, Fisher & Boyden Lawyers and the Municipal League; WLF depicted as fighting grafters, doodlers, and tramp voters (drawing)

1904 — WLF listed as Trustee of the Gilpin Fund, Chicago Historical Society, p.210. (doc)
1905 — Portrait #0 80979 (photo)

1906 May 26 – male child born; died soon after

1906 Jul — WLF listed as a member of the Chicago Historical Society, Annual Report of the Chicago Historical Society. P.69. (doc)

1906-1932 – Special counsel for Chicago, IL, regarding local transportation, railway terminals, and other matters

1907 –
Social Register of Chicago as living at 463 N State St with wife Mabel (doc)

1908-1909 – President, Conservation League of America; “He was president of the Conservation League of America, 1908-1909, and, with Gifford Pinchot, he drew up the declaration of principles of the National Conservation Association, which was organized in 1909 and of which he became president the following year. A leader in the movement to conserve the natural resources of the United States, he favored federal control over the development and use of water-power on non-navigable streams.”

1908 Oct 22 —Letter from Daniel Webster Fisher to Walter Lowrie Fisher: In response to your letter to your mother I enclose our family tree so far as I am able to give it. By following in the order of the pages, and noticing the starred names you probably can easily trace the direct line of your ancestors. Perhaps it might be well for you to have this record carefully transcribed into a book. You have a great many relatives scattered about the world. Many of my mother’s people are still in Snyder Co. Pa. That is a fine farming region, and many of these people are well-to-do. Whether any of the Fishers still are in Berks County I do not know. I never was in either county except as passing through on a train. A good many of your grandmother's people on your mother's side are in southern Ohio, or on the Ky. side. Her brother George was a well-known steam boat captain, for a while in the New Orleans and Red River trade. Some of them reside in Cincinnati. If after looking over these genealogical trees you need further information I will do what I can; but I have not much more to tell. So, Howard has told you of the autobiography. I have always intended at the proper time not only to tell you of it, but to give you an opportunity to read so much of the Ms. As you care to see. I finished it only last week. I must explain how I came to write it. Several of my old students have at different times suggested to me the publication of a volume of my Baccalaureates but I have always responded that I did not believe that the sale would justify such a venture. It occurred to me that perhaps the story of my life would be much more satisfactory to my old students, and those whom I consulted quite agreed. I am not speaking of the sale but of the character of the book. I started to work, without any decided conception of size and the like. When you see something to do, and I have been almost surprised at the material I could come. The excursuses are many, but may be more interesting to some than the plain biography. I have allowed the Ms. to be read by your mother, and by Howard and Edith. There is so much that concerns Hanover that I have thought it wise to allow it to be read by Dr. Barnard at Madison, and by Profs. Young and Tyler at Hanover. It is at present out there. I feel bound to allow Rev, Dr. Covert to read it, for the reason that he has shown special interest first in the publication and the baccalaureates, and later in this autobiography. When he has seen it, it will come to you. Beyond you I do not now think of submitting it to others. I think that I would have sent it to you before allowing others, not of our family, to see it, had it not been for two reasons. One is that I know you to be so busy just now that I did not see how you could find time to read it, and the other because I do not care to ship it back and forward over the same track. Dr. Covert has recently written in such a way that I ought to let him see it so soon as practicable. Of course, publication lies beyond and is an unsolved and untouched problem. I anticipate that it will be hard to find a publisher unless a guaranty is furnished. Your mother remains quite well for her, though never strong. We anticipate your visit here with much pleasure. Just now the Conner family are much occupied with the wedding of Julia. I forgot, that is a sort of secret. So keep it to yourself. Your Father, D. W. Fisher (doc)

1908 —
Readers Guide to Periodical Literature Vol 2, p.791 lists “How Chicago is finding herself” by WLF. (doc)

1908 —
Readers Guide to Periodical Literature Vol 2, p.791 lists “Portrait: World To-day” by WLF. (doc)

1909 — National Conservation Association

1910-1911 –Member of Railroad Securities Commission by appointment of President Taft

1910-1911 – Vice president, National Conservation Association

1910 Apr 28 – Census Chicago Ward 21, Cook, IL as living in Chicago, IL with wife Mabel [Walter L Fisher 49; Mabel T Fisher 42; Walter T Fisher 18; Arthur Fisher 16; Thos H Fisher 13; Frederick T Fisher 13; Margaret Fisher 11; Howard T Fisher 6; Annie Finley 25; Emma Swanson 35; Mary McLaughlin 30; Amanda Hallenberg 24; Chas Anderson 48] (doc)

1910 Jul 15 – Ruth Fisher born in St. Luke’s Hospital, Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Cook, IL; family resided at 1313 N State St. Chicago, IL (8th child of Mabel Taylor and Walter Lowrie Fisher, according to birth certificate #4561 and Register of Births (doc)

1911 Mar 7 — WLF named a Secretary of Interior,
The American Library Annual, 1911 Vol 12,Index to Dates of Current Events in 1911, p.35 (doc)

1911 Mar 7 — Le Grand Evening Observer: “Ballinger Resigns and a Pinchot Man Slated for his Portfolio . . . Fisher Will Succeed Him-It was announced that Walter L. Fisher of Chicago will be his successor. …” (doc) [1911 Congressional Directory p. 21 lists WLF as 3rd Secretary of Interior and appointed on March 5, 1911; doc]

1911 Mar 8 — Portrait (photo)

1911 Mar 13 – Took Office and President William Howard Taft swore him in as Secretary of the Dept of Interior; resided at 1810 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington DC. “Following the retirement of Richard A Ballinger, who had been accused by Pinchot and others of friendliness to special interests in Alaska, and with indifference to the whole conservation movement, Taft appointed Fisher secretary of the interior, and he took the oath of office on Mar 13 1911, serving until the end of the Taft administration two years later. As he had been an adviser to Pinchot in his controversy with Ballinger, his selection won the general approval of those who had criticized his predecessor’s administration. As secretary, Fisher evidenced a keen interest in the problems of Alaska and the government’s conservation program; he also encouraged the development of the national parks. Taking over the department when it was much in the public eye, he proved an able administrator.“ [
1911 Congressional Directory p. 21 lists WLF as 3rd Secretary of Interior; doc] 2015 Photo of 1810 Connecticut Ave DC (photo) 1911 Mar 7 — WLF named a Secretary of Interior, The American Library Annual, 1911 Vol 12,Index to Dates of Current Events in 1911, p.35 (doc) [The American Year Book, 1911, p.197, lists him as Secretary of Interior, “charged with patents, pensions, public lands and parks, education, and Indian affairs, geological surveys, reclamation of arid lands, and mines;” doc]

1911 Mar 17 — Catalogue of Copyright Entries, 1911, Vol. 8 p.294 [Week’s Notable. Walter Lowrie Fisher, by Vincent Towne. (doc)

1911 Mar 22 – Amanda D Kouns Fisher, his mother, died in Ravenswood, Jackson, WV; 1910 Census says she and Daniel Webster Fisher were living with Walter’s brother Howard Lowrie Fisher in Washington DC on 28 April 1910 [(DC Selected Deaths Index #2115392 cn197899) age 74; and 1911 Mar 22 Obit in Washington Times]

1911 Apr 13 — Nominated as Secretary of the Dept of Interior

1911 Apr 17 — Confirmed as Secretary of the Dept of Interior

1911 Jun — The Argonaut: Individualities-Walter Lowrie Fisher, successor to Secretary Ballinger, is a Chicago lawyer, prominent in municipal affairs. …; p.165” (doc)

1911 Jun 26 — Washington Times: “Fisher Promises Action to Relieve Danger From Fire …” (doc)

1911 Aug 15 —
Tacoma Times: “Coal Men Talk to Fisher-Alaska coal claimants conferred with Walter L. Fisher, secretary of the interior, today. …” (doc)

1911 Aug 26 — travelled to western U.S. and Alaska on public business; photographed at the Childs Glacier on Copper River, Cordova Alaska. (photo)

1911 Oct 28 — New York Times: “Fisher Announced Plans for Alaska: Leasing System for Coal Lands and Government Ownership of Railroad, His Policy …” (doc)

1911 – published “Alaskan Coal Problems”

1911 – Portrait (photo)

1911 — Secretary Fisher and Gov. Clark of Alaska at White Pass, Alaska (photo)

1911 —
Annual Report of the Commissioner of Patents (p.xiii) indicates that WLF welcomed the delegates to the Conference of Washington. (doc)

1911 — Editorial cartoon of Secretary Fisher “shark” fishing in Alaska by John T McCutcheon; signed by artist “with my compliments” (drawing)

1911 —
Seymour Tribune: Fisher, the new secretary of the interior, has been in New York for several days attending meetings of the Railway Securities Commission, of which he is a member. To reporters Fisher said: ‘I have no statement to make except that I have accepted this position with a deep appreciation of its obligations and its opportunities to accomplish practical and constructive work.’ He will go home to Chicago next week for a few days of setting his house in order before returning to Washington to start work as a member of the Cabinet.” (doc)

1911 — WLF listed as Secretary of Interior in
Tenth Annual Report of the Reclamation Service, p.61 (doc)

1912 Jan 6 — participated in New Mexico statehood [Photo of Taft and WLF at signing of statehood proclamation]

1912 Jan 11 — Washington Post: “Asks Aid for Birds … Secretary Walter L. Fisher [was] invited to address the meeting [the Washington Humane Society], but did decline.” (doc)

1912 Jan 18 —
Washington Times: “Taft’s Golf Companion Prominent In Tourney-Walter L. Fisher, secretary of the interior and a prominent golf companion of President Taft on local links, is a likely contestant in the advertising golf tournament which started yesterday at Pinehurst, NC.” (doc)

1912 Feb 14 — participated in Arizona statehood [Photo of Taft and WLF at signing of statehood proclamation]

1912 Feb 21 — Washington Post: “Bar Wine and Cards- Sigma Chi Holds Banquet… Secretary Walter L. Fisher, past president of the fraternity, [was] unable to attend…” (doc)

1912 Feb 26 —
Washington Post: “Acting President of Panama Reduces Expenditures of the Government-… Walter L. Fisher, the American Secretary of the Interior, who arrived here last Thursday, has been engaged in a careful inspection of the canal. A reception was given in his honor at the American legation tonight.” (doc)

1912 Mar 17 —
Washington Post: “Canal Men to Alaska- Mr. Fisher would transfer forces from Panama…” (doc)

1912 May 30 —
Washington Times: “Watrous Chosen-…The following Washingtonians were elected members of the advisory committee [to the national conference on city planning]: … Walter L. Fisher.” (doc)

1912 May 30 —
Washington Post: “Washington Men Chosen-At the closing session of the fourth national conference on city planning . . . the following Washingtonians were elected members of a general advisory committee . . . Hon. Walter L. Fisher…” (doc)

1912 Jun 11 —
Washington Times: “Señor Herrarte, secretary of foreign affairs of Guatamala, who is spending a few days in Washington, was the honor guest at dinner last evening of the Secretary of State, Philander C. Knox . . . The additional guests were .. the secretary of the Interior Walter L. Fisher …” (doc)

1912 Jun 14 —
Washington Post: “Golf Match with Fisher- Secretary of the Interior Wins Eighteen-Hole Medal Handicap at Chevy Chase . . .Walter L. Fisher, secretary of the interior, won the eighteen-hole medal handicap golf competition yesterday afternoon at the Chevy Chase Club when he made a net score of 78 . . . Fisher received a handsome silver trophy donated by Victor Kauffmann.” (doc)

1912 Jul 22 — Letter from Secretary Fisher to Dr. Charles E. Rice of Mount Union College, Alliance, Ohio: “Dear Sir: In compliance with your request I am glad to give you this note for your collection. Sincerely yours, Walter L. Fisher” (doc)

1912 Aug 21 —
Washington Times: “The Secretary of the Interior Walter L Fisher expects to leave Washington Sunday for Hawaii, where he will make an inspection tour. Mrs. Fisher, and their young son Walter T. Fisher, will accompany him.” (doc)

1912 Oct 16 —
Washington Post: “World Sympathy His. Messages from all over the Globe Reach Roosevelt- … the following was received from Walter L. Fisher, secretary of the interior: ‘I sincerely trust that the news report of your fortunate escape from serious injury and of the mental irresponsibility of your assailant are correct.” (doc)

1912 Nov 4 —
Washington Post: “Will Get Returns Here- Secretary Fisher Only One of Taft’s Cabinet to Remain in City…” (doc)

1912 Nov 12 —
Washington Post: “Quiet at the White House-Few people went to the White House, where Assistant Secretary to the President Forster was in charge. Needless to say, the returns were not received with enthusiasm . . . Secretary of the Interior Walter L. Fisher and Secretary of Commerce and Labor Nagel were the only members of the President’s Cabinet who were in the city.” (doc)

1912 —
ATHOL Directory lists WLT as Secretary of the Interior, salary $12,000 [President Taft’s salary was $75,000] (doc)

1912 – gave speech to American Civic Association in Washington, DC on “The Need for a Bureau of National Parks; National parks-the need of the future”, address by Ambassador Bryce. The... by American civic association. Dept. of national and state parks. [from old catalog] Taft, William H. 1857-1930. Bryce, James Bryce, Viscount, 1838-1922. Fisher, Walter L. 1862-1935 McFarland, J. Horace 1859-1948.

1912 – Travelled to Hawaii, investigating charges against territorial government

1912 — Portrait (photo)

1912 — Family portrait (photo)

1913 Jan 28 – Daniel Webster Fisher, his father, died in Washington, DC, while living with Walter’s brother Howard Lowrie Fisher at 20th and Kalorama Sts, Mendata Apartments (1910 Census says he was living with his son Howard Lowrie Fisher on 28 April 1910; doc) [District of Columbia Select Deaths Index #209304; doc]

1913 Mar 4 — President Taft term ended.

1913 Mar 5 — resigned as Secretary of Interior at the end of the Taft administration. “In 1913 he returned to Chicago and resumed the practice of law. He was special adviser to Judge H Wilkerson and later to the mayor in regard to the traction plans, 1930-32, and in 1933 he was appointed by a federal court to guide the merger of surface and elevated transit lines in Chicago. He was an able lawyer, and his professional and public career was marked by altruism and a keen sense of civic responsibility. Corrupt politicians found him a formidable opponent. A liberal in his political philosophy, he contributed much to the conservation movement.”

1913 — Book by WLF:
Application for Lake Eleanor and Hetch Hetchy Valley reservoir sites, Act of February 15, 1901 by Fisher, Walter L. 1862-1935. United States. Department of the Interior.

1913 — Formal painting of Secretary Fisher at Interior Dept. by Louis Betts a student of William Merritt Chase [Interior Museum INTR 01629] (photo)

1913-1915 — WLF was the President of the University Club;
Herringshaw’s City Blue Book of Biography, p.143 (doc)

1914 – published Report of Walter L Fisher and Bion J Arnold to the Citizen’s terminal plan committee of Chicago (Gunthorp-Warren Printing Co)

1914 — The Chicago Blue Book lists WLF as President of the Chicago Literary Club, p.363. (doc)

1914 — The Chicago Literary Club: A History of its First Fifty Years, p.185, indicated that WLF gave his inaugural address in 1913 on “The Literature of Alaska;”

1915 Jul – published “Waterways and Our Transportation System” in Journal of Political Economy

1915 Aug 21 – Water Taylor Fisher of 1313 North State St, Chicago.IL, oldest son, married Katharine Dummer of Portland, OR [
Harvard Class of 1913 Report II, p.108] (doc)

1915 Dec — Family portrait (Ruth not in picture) in front of Joy Farm. (photo)

1915 —
The Bulletin of the Alumni Association of Rush Medical College, p.13, lists Walter L. Fisher at a speaker at a Class of 1915 event (doc)

1916 Jan 27 – gave a speech at the 97th Convocation at University of Chicago on “Preparations for peace” at the Industrial Club of Chicago; also published in University Record [Bulletin of the New York Public Library 1918 p.145; doc]

1917 Jul – published “A League to Enforce Peace” in Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science

1917 — Photo of Walter L with daughter Ruth making a snowman (photo)

1918 (abt) – Arthur Fisher, son, married Anne Marie Nielson

1919 — WLF listed in Herringshaw’s City Blue Book of Biography, p.143 (doc)

1920 – Census Chicago Ward 21, Cook (Chicago), IL as living in Chicago with wife Mabel [Walter Fisher 57; Thomas Fisher 23; Margaret Fisher 21; Frederick Fisher 23; Howard Fisher 16] (doc)

1920 — Family portrait (photo)

1921 Oct 22 – Frederick Bourne Taylor Fisher, son, married Alice Pritchard Bradley in Lake Forest, IL

1922 Jun 20 – Passport application/issued #194372, WLF listed his office as 134 So. La Salle St, Rm 1130, Chicago, IL [Walter L Fisher 4 Jul 1862 Wheeling, Virginia; Residence: Chicago, IL; Father Name: Daniel W Fisher; Father's Birth Location: Pennsylvania; Father's Residence: Dead] [5’10”, 59 yrs, high forehead, blue eyes, straight nose, medium mouth, round chin, brown hair, ruddy complexion,](doc)

1922 Jul 1 – left NY on SS Finland to France, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Hungary, Norway, and Sweden

1922 Sep 20 — WLF age 50 departed from Southampton to NY on the SS Homeric (doc)

1922 Oct 13 – Represented Norway at Hague, Netherlands, in WWI ship case against U.S.; Walter was the principal lawyer in the case between Norway and the U.S. Government before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in Le Hague regarding the take over of cargo ships partly constructed in U.S. shipyards under contracts to Norway. Edward B. Burling, law partner of Dean Acheson, was the principal lawyer representing Norway and Walter Fisher was hired to handle the principal argument before the Court. On 13 Oct 1922 the United States was ordered to pay to Norway in settlement of claims made by Norwegian ship owners as a result of the requisition of ships under construction in US shipyards at the time of the US declaration of war against Germany in 1917.

1923-1925 – Special counsel to Agriculture Dept, investigating meat packing company mergers

1924 Apr 21 — Letter from Walter Lowrie Fisher to C.W. Scarborough, 1565 Kearney St, Denver, CO, dated April 21, 1924: Replying to your letter of April 18th, I can give you very little information about John and Abraham Middleswarth. In a letter of my father's dated October 22nd, 1908, he said. Many of my mother's people are still living in Snyder County, Pennsylvania. That is a fine farming region, and many of these people are well-to-do. In a family tree that he once prepared my father notes that his mother was Martha Middleswarth, and that she was born in Bethlehem Township, Hunterdon County, New Jersey, March 5, 1794, and that she died in Sinking Valley, Blair County, Pennsylvania, on June 26, 1877. He also says: John Middleswarth was a revolutionary soldier. Born in NJ. Died May 14, 1815. I have no record beyond the above as to the Middleswarth family. The last Adj. General Stryker of NJ who was an expert in such matters, informed me that my Middleswarth ancestors had a van before his name. Ner Middleswarth was a conspicuous Whig politician, resident in what was then Union Co and is now Snyder Co., PA. He was, I think, speaker of one of the Houses of the Legislature and perhaps more than once. He was the Whig candidate for State Canal Commissioner in the 50s but failed of election by a small minority. Later he represented the Harrisburg (PA) district one time in Congress. He at one time was considered to be quite wealthy-— owning a number of charcoal furnaces. But in later years he was not so prosperous, though never poor. It may be that the foregoing will furnish you some clues which you can follow up profitably in your search for genealogical information. (doc)

1924 Apr 24 – Arrived at NY Port from Bermuda on SS Monarch of Bermuda with Margaret Fisher, daughter (doc)

1925 – Thomas Hart Fisher, son, married Ruth Marian Page

1926-1929 – Special counsel for Interstate Commerce Commission in Milwaukee Railroad receivership investigation and O’Fallon Railway case

1927 Apr 8 – arrived NY from Bermuda on
SS Avon with wife Mabel and daughter Margaret. (doc)

1927 Apr 10 – arrived at NY Port (doc)

1929 Jan 3 – photographed by Underwood & Underwood, Washington DC (photo)

1929 Jun 7 – WLF age 67 arrived NY from Genoa on
SS Roma with wife Mabel 61 and Margaret 30 (doc)

1929 Jun 17 — Passenger List - Port of Departure: Genoa, Italy; Ship Name: SS Roma; Port of Arrival: New York, New York (doc)

1929 Nov 20 — Envelope to Louis Schwartz, 907 Prospect Ave, Bronx, NY with enclosed signature card (doc)

1930 – Gave a speech at the Non-partisan Committee on Traction Referendum in Chicago on “Analysis of the traction ordinance;” he is listed as being the Special Counsel of the US District Court; also published this date

1930 May 3 –Federal Census for Winnetka, Cook, IL with wife Mabel Fisher, and children Arthur, Howard T. and Margaret. (doc)

1932 Mar 14 — WLF age 69; Entry at Port of NY sailing from Port Said, Egypt on the SS Aquitania departing on 20 Feb 1932; residence listed at 949 Fishers Lane, Winnetka, IL (accompanied by wife Mabel Fisher 64 and daughters Margaret Fisher 33 and Ruth 21) (doc)

1933 – Chicago City Directory as living at 1060 Sheridan Rd p.762 (doc)

1934 Apr 26 – arrived at NY Port (doc)

1935 Nov 9 – Walter Lowrie Fisher died in Chicago, IL of coronary thrombosis. Buried in Hanover, Jefferson, IN, USA at the Hanover Presbyterian Cemetery with wife Mabel Fisher, daughter Ruth Fisher Rhetts and his parents Daniel Webster and Amanda D Kouns Fisher [IL Deaths and Stillbirths Index lists that he was buried at Graceland Cemetery, Chicago, Cook, IL; doc]

1935 Nov 10 – subject of articles in Chicago Sunday Tribune and N.Y. Times (doc)

1935 Nov 11 – subject of editorial in Chicago News (doc)

1935 Nov 15 —Letter from Howard Lowrie Fisher, M.D. to Mabel Fisher, dated November 15, 1935: I am at a loss as to the start, substance, or finish of this letter. Your good letter came a few days ago but I have not felt like answering it. As you say, so many of these cases of Angio on to recovery that I really thought Walter might pull out of it and be with us for years. Well we have both lost him and we are both in a daze over our loss. I want to say so much to you but I do not know what to say. He certainly was a good brother to me tho he teased me in our boyhood days that I should have murdered him. I am grinning now as I think of how I bit him once as we were all kneeling at prayer, the result of an unmerciful teasing he had put me through just prior to fathers calling us for family prayer. Walter just could not help tease me. I recall that when we were living in Wheeling he threw a dead cat at Beulah Boyd, supposed to be his sweetheart. I recall too that in my many fights with other boys, and there were plenty of them, he saw that the scrap was a fair one. I have been thinking, thinking how I should have loved to see him once more and go over those old boyhood days. Well Mabel I don’t know what to say to you. I know that you have poise enough to carry you through your trouble. You have my love and sympathy. Please remember me to all the family. Affectionately Howard (doc)

1938 – Howard Taylor Fisher, son, married Marion Ethel Hall

1938 Apr 9 – Ruth Fisher, daughter, married Charles Edward Rhetts (doc)

1940 Apr 17 – Mary Edith Fisher, his sister, died in Lewiston, Androscoggin, ME

1941 May 30 — Frank Lloyd Wright created presentation drawings for the “Walter L. Fisher Memorial Chapter House of Chi of Sigma Chi Hanover, Indiana.” Drawings were never approved for construction. (doc)

1946 Jul 8 – Howard Fisher, his brother, died in Arlington VA

1949 — Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774-1949, p.27 lists WLF as Secretary of Interior, March 7, 1991 to March 3, 1913. (doc)

1953 Aug 18 – Mabel Taylor Fisher, his wife, died in Winnetka, IL (doc)

1954 Jul 3 – Frederick Bourne Taylor Fisher, his son, died in New Canaan, CT

1959 Aug 28 — Walter L. Fisher Papers, Library of Congress, Acs 10,629; 11,910. (doc)

1959 Sep —
Walter L. Fisher Autobiography, 1931; donated to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign #69-1599 by son Walter T. Fisher (doc)

1960 Nov 12 – Arthur Fisher, son, died in Washington, DC

1969 Nov 15 – Thomas Hart Fisher, son, died in Chicago, IL

1969 —Book about WLF: Secretary of the Interior Walter L. Fisher and the Return to Constructive Conservation: Problems and Policies of the Conservation Movement, 1909-1913 by Alan Brant Gould West Virginia University, 1969 — Conservation of natural resources — 1200 pages

1969 — Book about WLF: Walter L. Fisher, Secretary of the Interior, 1911-1913 by William LeGrand Helton, University of Maryland, 1969 — 164 pages

1979 Jan 23 – Howard Taylor Fisher, son, died in Exeter, NH

1990 Jan 1 – Ruth Fisher, daughter, died in Columbia, MD

1990 Jul 12 – Margaret Fisher, daughter, died in Winnetka, IL

1991 Aug 27 – Walter T. Fisher, his oldest son, died in Lake Forest, IL

2009 Mar 16 — Walter L. Fisher Photograph Collection, Alaska State Library Historical Collections, PCA 498; donated by Andrew Fisher Acc#2009-010. (doc)

2016 Oct 1 — plaque dedicated at Hanover College, Hanover, IN honoring the first chapter house of Sigma Chi and WLF role in its establishment (photo)



Miller Center at University of Virginia says: Walter L. Fisher (1911-1913): Secretary of the Interior — Walter Lowrie Fisher was born in Wheeling, Virginia (now West Virginia) on July 4, 1862. He moved with his family to IN, where his father was president of Hanover College. Fisher attended Marietta College before transferring to Hanover for his bachelor's degree in 1883. He then studied law before moving to Chicago to open his own law practice. Fisher became president of a reformist organization, the Municipal Voters League of Chicago, in 1906, railing against corrupt aldermen. His efforts were so influential that candidates needed to sign a league pledge to become elected. Fisher also helped reform Chicago's transportation system by attacking its rampant corruption. His establishment of the National Conservation Association would later bring him cabinet-level consideration. Longtime friend President William Howard Taft appointed Fisher to the Railroad Securities Commission and later head of the Interior Department. A Progressive Republican, Fisher would serve as secretary of the interior from April 1911 to March 1913, helping Taft during the latter's 1912 presidential campaign. Walter Fisher died on November 9, 1935, at his home in Winnetka, IL.

US Interior Department says: Born: July 4, 1862, Wheeling, Virginia (now West Virginia) Appointed from: IL Nominated: April 13, 1911 Confirmed: April 17, 1911 Took Office: March 13, 1911 Served Under: Pres. William H. Taft Termination: March 5, 1913 Length of Service: 1 year, 11 months, 23 days Died: November 9, 1935 Buried: Hanover, IN — Walter Lowrie Fisher (July 4, 1862 — November 9, 1935) was United States Secretary of the Interior under President William Howard Taft from 1911 to 1913. Fisher was born July 4, 1862 in Wheeling, Virginia (now West Virginia) to Daniel Webster Fisher (1838 — 1913), a presbyterian minister, and his wife Amanda D. Kouns (1911). Educated at Hanover College in IN. He married Mabel Taylor on April 22, 1891 and they had five sons and two daughters. Fisher had a brother, Dr. Howard Lowrie Fisher, who established a hospital for war victims in France during World War I. He survived the sinking of the RMS Lusitania in 1915 by jumping off the ship. Dr. Fisher died November 9, 1935 in Winnetka, IL.

Notes in 2009 from Francis Dummer Fisher: Walter Lowrie Fisher, born of a Presbyterian minister who became President of Hanover College, Hanover, IN, where WLF went to college. WLF then moved to Chicago, read law and became a prominent lawyer, both in private practice and as Special Counsel to the City of Chicago in relation to "traction" matters. His successful campaign against the corrupt City Council and the "traction barons" is noted when he was named Secretary of Interior to Taft in 1911 (after Secretary Ballinger withdrew under a cloud concerning his handling of Alaska coal fields and some friends of his. He was involved in the final stages of statehood for both New Mexico (January 6, 1912) and Arizona (February 14, 1912). Also see section of Lincoln Steffans Autobiography on WLF and Chicago traction problems. (doc)