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California Genealogy and History Archives

San Bernardino County and Riverside County


WILBUR ADRIAN FISKE. Of an active career of more than thirty years devoted to education. Professor Fiske has spent about fifteen years in Southern California. He holds the important chair of geology and chemistry in Junior College at Ontario and is also librarian of the Chaffey Library.

He was born at Ashland, Ohio, August 19, 1866, son of John Wilbur and Arminda Alice Fiske. His mother was of German ancestry. John Wilbur Fiske, who was a Union soldier and died just as the Civil war came to an end, was descended from the stock of the Pilgrim Fathers. One branch of his ancestry was the Yocums, a long English line, some of whom came over in the Mayflower. The ancestral line also includes William Penn and others who settled the Pennsylvania colony. The Yocums were largely school teachers or ministers of the Gospel, and the Fiskes have contributed many names to the same professions.

Wilbur Adrian Fiske completed his liberal education after he had done some teaching. He graduated in 1886 from Fort Wayne College, received a degree from DePauw University of Greencastle, Indiana, in 1889, and subsequently did post-graduate work at Harvard University leading up to the degree A. M. His studies at DePauw Normal School were chiefly in preparation for teaching. Prior to coming to California Mr. Fiske among other engagements of his professional career was superintendent of schools at Owensville, Indiana, two years and one year at Liberty Mills, Indiana, and for sixteen years was teacher of physics and chemistry in the Richmond. Indiana, High School. His service in the cause of education in California comprised seven years as professor of geology and mineralogy in Occidental College at Los Angeles^ while for the past eight years he has been professor of geology and chemistry in Junior College of Ontario.

In addition to his teaching he has considerable administrative work, including the duties of librarian of the Chaffey Library. This Library has an endowment of $85,000.00, and is affiliated with the Chaffey Union High School and Junior College. While a more complete account of this educational institution appears on other pages, it should be noted that the high school has an enrollment of eight hundred pupils, the Junior College, three hundred, and the night schools have also been conducted for the benefit of the large number of people in the community.

Professor Fiske's interests and activities have been almost entirely in the field of politics and educational work. He served as president of the Department of Science Instruction, National Educational Association, in 1903; has been a member of the American Association for the advancement of Science since 1900; in 1908 he organized the California Science Association. As a scientist he is author of a Physical Laboratory Manual, published in 1902, and in 1920 another book appeared under his authorship, entitled Amenities of Books. He is a member of the literary and social organizations known as the New Century Club of Pasadena and the El Camino Real Club of Ontario. He is a republican voter and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

At Greencastle, Indiana, November 7, 1889, Professor Fiske married Miss Edna Bayne, daughter of Thomas and Sarah Bayne. Her father throughout his active life has been a lumberman and is still in that business in Louisiana. Mrs. Fiske was reared at Greencastle, the seat of DePauw University, and is a graduate of that institution. Professor and Mrs. Fiske have two children, Donald Bayne Fiske and Elizabeth Alice Fiske, both unmarried.


History of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties 
By: John Brown, Jr., Editor for San Bernardino County 
And James Boyd, Editor for Riverside County 
With selected biography of actors and witnesses of the period 
of growth and achievement.
Volume III, the Western Historical Association, 1922, 
The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, ILL

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011