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Family traces its roots to Fisher's Garrison

August 07, 2006|BRENDA S. EDWARDS

Earl Hickman has traced his roots from St. Charles, Mo., to Danville through a large family tree scroll that was passed down through his great-grandmother.

He's not sure how his Fisher family made its way to his hometown in St. Joseph, Mo., but he knows the 4-foot 3-inch family tree drawing was made about 100 years ago by the Compton Co. in St. Louis. It was handed down from his great-grandmother, Jeanette Yeager Shepherd, to his grandmother and his mother.

Hickman's got the canvas scroll with more than 1,000 names about 50 years ago. The family apparently originated with Lewis Fisher in the 1700s. The scroll was made in 1890 for Col. James A. Fisher by his daughter, Mattie L. Fisher. "The scroll is really neat and has few cracks," said Hickman. "You can read just about every name."

When the 75-year-old Hickman began to get serious about his genealogy, he learned via the computer that all of the old family names - Fisher, Yeager, Slaughter, Hardin and Schooling - were on the tree.

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Stephen Albert Fisher, a Revolutionary War soldier, established Fisher's Garrison in what is now Boyle County. A roadside marker on Lexington Road says Stephen Fisher was assigned in 1775 to active duty and was wounded while serving with Col. John Bowman's militia. He came to Kentucky in 1779 with his wife, Mary Magdalene Garr, and established the garrison of military significance on a 400-acre tract. His brothers, Adam and Barnett, followed him to Kentucky soon after.

Station was the largest and best manned

Fisher's Garrison was probably the largest and best manned of the early stations in the wilderness of Kentucky, according to Calvin M. Fackler's "Early Days in Danville." The station has a two-story log or frame building that stood until about 1900.

Fackler says Stephen Fisher came to what is now Kentucky in 1775, returned to Virginia a year later, then back to Kentucky with his wife, Magdalena. They had 10 children and lived at the station.

Many of his German neighbors were named Yeager, Garr and Wilhoit.

Hickman's great-grandmother, daughter of Hurt and Lucinda Yeager, was born in 1851, and died in 1939 at age 87. She told him the family had two slaves, whom they called aunt and uncle. The slaves continued to live with the family after the Civil War and were always included in family activities.

"When they went to town in the wagon, they were always with them," he said.

Early Fisher descendants were Lewis, Barrett, Stephen, Jeremiah, Rosanna, Suzanna, Margaret, Agnes, Susan and Benjamin Fisher.

Hickman said there were several sons of the early Fishers that were named Jeremiah. One of the Jeremiahs was one of the first trustees for the city of Danville and also the Danville Academy, according to Fackler's book.

James A. Fisher, born Sept. 11, 1811, is the earliest of the family buried in Bellevue Cemetery. He died Feb. 22, 1894, cemetery records show.

Hickman wants to share information with anyone who is working on the Fisher family. He can be contacted at 26 Spring Oaks Drive, St. Charles, Mo. 63303, or via telephone (636) 723-8953.

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