The Shelby Museum Of History
 
 

 
 
 
 
Further details concerning the John Chamberlain Fish Family
 
 
 
 
 
Mentioned near the start of this article was the fact that John C. Fish's family were from Sheldon, Vermont and moved to Shelby, Ohio sometime between 1865 and 1872. John's mother, Helen Carlisle Fish, was born October 26, 1835 in Vermont. Her parentage has not been deteminded at this time. John's father, Cortez, sometimes listed as Curtez, Courtis, or Curtis was evidently nicknamed "Corday" by his family and he most often signed his name as "C. F. Fish".
 
Mr. C. F. Fish was born in Vermont on March 4, 1824 to John Fish (born in Vermont c. 1794) and Lois Chamberlain (born in Sheldon, Vermont c. 1797). He was the oldest of four known children. He had one sister, and two brothers:
 
1. Abigail was born c. 1834. (We know nothing more about her at this time. )
2. Daniel Ebenezer Fish was born in 1826, never married, and died 23 years later in 1849 in Sheldon, Vermont.
3. John Fish Jr., born in 1836, married Elizabeth Colton Kendall in 1859. John and Elizabeth had seven
children and lived in the Sheldon, Vermont area all of their lives.
 
John Fish Sr. and wife Lois as well as sons Daniel and John Jr. are all buried in
Sheldon, Vermont at the North Sheldon - Fish Cemetery.
 
Mr. C. F. Fish (We'll refer to him as Cortez.) was still living at home with his parents at the time of the 1850 Federal Census. His father, John, was listed as a farmer. Cortez married Hellen (Helen) Carlisle (born October 26, 1835) in 1859 in Vermont and they started their family the following year with the birth of their first child, Frances, and a second child, a son, John, was born in 1864. Cortez and Helen were living in Sheldon in 1865 and paid the local taxes but sometime soon after moved to Shelby, Ohio where their third and final child, Cortez, was born in 1872. The 1880 census indicates that Cortez and Helen were living on High Street (East Main) in Shelby, Ohio and Cortez is a Flour Mill Merchant. He was associated with the Shelby Junction Mill Company located on North Broadway. Cortez died in Shelby on April 8, 1883 and is buried in the Oakland Cemetery. In 1900, Helen was living with her son, John, on South Broadway and in 1910 she was living with her daughter, Frances, in Akron (after the loss of Frances' husband) and by 1920 (after Frances had passed away) Helen was back in Shelby living with her daughter-in-law Anna Fish. Helen passed away in 1921.
 
Facts on Cortez and Helen's three children are as follows:
 
1. Frances S. Fish was born August 14, 1860 in Sheldon, Vermont. Frances graduated from Shelby High School in the class of 1879 and on May 16, 1888 she married David Leslie Marvin (born 1860) who lived in Akron, Ohio. David was a lawyer and a son of Ulysses (born 1839) and Dorena Rockwell Marvin (born c. 1838). David and Frances had two children: Helen Dorena born 1892 and Dorothy Frances born c. 1901. David Marvin died by suicide on June 30, 1900 and Frances passed away in Akron in August of 1919.
 
2. John Chamberlain Fish, named after his Grandfather, John Fish, and his Grandmother, Lois Chamberlain, was born April 14, 1864 in Sheldon, Vermont. John married Anna May "Nannie" Roberts on March 2, 1892. Anna May's parents were Obediah and Susan B. Martin Roberts. Both were residing at the Fish home on South Broadway at the time of their death in 1910. (more below)
 
3. Cortez Ferdinand "Ferd" Fish, born January 1872, (probably in Shelby, Ohio) married Lillian __?__ on ___?__. "Ferd" became secretary of the newly formed Shelby Printing Company and he and wife, Lillian, were living at 27 Marvin Avenue when the 1908/1909 Shelby Directory was published. Then on June 13, 1908, The Daily Globe published the following:
 
 
Click image for entire obituary

Shelby Daily Globe - June 13, 1908
 

 
 
John Chamberlain and Anna May Fish's children consisted of three sons:
 
1. DeForest Roberts Fish - born May 27, 1894 - graduated with the class of 1911 and was living at South Broadway in Shelby for the 1910 Federal Census and also in the 1913/14 Shelby Directory. Deforest was killed along with 2 other youth in car crash west of Galion, Ohio on June 12, 1917. He never married and is buried in the Oakland Cemetery in Shelby.
 
2. Cortez Carlisle Fish - born July 3, 1896 - Graduated from Shelby High School in 1914, in the same class as Dawn Powell, who was instrumental in publishing Shelby's first high school yearbook. He married (c. 1923) Helen Imhoff (daughter of William and Virginia Armstrong Imhoff) who graduated from Shelby High School in 1915 and he later became manager and then President of Shelby Metal Products. Cortez died in 1965, and Helen lived until May of 1986; Cortez and Helen had no children. Cortez and Helen are buried in the Oakland Cemetery in Shelby.
 
3. John Chamberlain Fish - born November 16, 1898 - Graduated with the class of 1916 and married Marie Forbes c. 1922. Marie was born November 27, 1900 in Terre Haute, Indiana. The 1930 Federal Census shows him and Marie living at the Fish residence on South Broadway (in Shelby) along with his family of two girls (Joanne and Janis) and his mother, Anna May. (Marie was expecting their final child ,John Chamberlain, in November.) By 1937 they were living at 19 W. Jefferson and in 1939 they were at 20 W. Jefferson. Ship's records indicate that in May of 1940 John and Marie went on vacation in Bermuda. In 1950, their daughter, Janis, was killed in an auto accident in Columbus, Ohio. John was first a salesman and then sales manager at the Shelby Metal Products Company at the time of his death on September 8, 1951. Marie Forbes Fish was living in Indianapolis, Indiana at the time of his passing. Nothing more is known about Marie Fish at this time. Daughter Joanne married Adolph Johnston and was living in Indianapolis at the time of her father's death. John and Marie's son, John Forbes Fish, born April 9, 1930, survived a terrible car accident at the age of 9 and passed away in 2009 in San Diego, California.
 
 

 
John Chamberlain Fish's wife, Anna May Roberts Fish, after the death of their son, DeForest, continued to live in the Fish home on South Broadway with her two sons until they married. Cortez and wife, Helen, then moved to a residence at 107 North Broadway and son, John C. and wife Marie, lived at the remodeled and enlarged Fish residence on South Broadway with mother, Anna May. She was then Chairman of the Board of the Shelby Metal Products Company. Sons, Cortez, became a V. P. there while, John C., was manager of sales. Then on Sunday May 14th, 1939 while on a trip to Cleveland another tragic event occurred.
 
 
 
Click image for entire article

The Daily Globe - May 15, 1939
 
With the passing of Anna May Fish the home on South Broadway was now occupied for a short time by John C. and Marie Fish and their family. By 1945 John C. Fish had moved from South Broadway and was living in Mansfield, Ohio while Mrs. Marie F. Fish was a clerk for the B & O Railroad and lived at 160 West Main Street. The Fish home on South Broadway was now owned by R. I. Ulmer and was being used as a furniture store. In 1948, Marie F. Fish was no longer listed in the Shelby Directory (moved to Indianapolis, Indiana), the Fish home was still the R. I. Ulmer Furniture Store and John C. Fish was still living in Mansfield where he passed away in 1951.
 
It is not clear how many descendants of John Chamberlain and Anna May Roberts Fish may be living.
 
DeForrest Roberts Fish never married.
 
Cortez and Helen Imhoff Fish never had children.
 
John C. and Marie Forbes Fish had three children:
 
1. Joanne Fish married Adolph Johnson sometime prior to 1951, with no children at that time.
 
2. Janis Fish married a Mr. Spangler prior to 1950 and probably had no children.
 
3. John Forbes Fish married but there is no definite information known about children.
 
 

 
 
January 13, 2012
 
Recent correspondence with grandchildren of John Chamberlain and Marie Forbes Fish and their willingness to share their family information has been extremely helpful in bringing our story up to date.
They have provided the following:
 
Joanne Fish married Adolph F. Johnson and were parents of three children.
Leanne Christine Johnson
Linda Marie Johnson
Kathryn "Kathi" Johnson
 
Janis Bostwick Fish married John Gerald Spangler and were the parents of
John DeForest Spangler
 
John Forbes Fish married three times and with Dorothy Broughton had two children:
Janis Fish
Jeff Fish
 
Many thanks to John Spangler and Janis Fish Desmond for contacting us and supplying much of this family information and giving permission to post the following additional material and pictures.  
 
 
John Chamberlain Fish was born in Shelby, Ohio. The 1920 Federal census shows that he was then living in Detroit, Michigan and was employed as an "automobile dealer".
 
Marie Iva Forbes and her sister Lavara "Vera" Forbes were born in Terre Haute, Indiana. The 1920 census indicates Marie was living in Terre Haute and employed as a stenographer for a rolling mill; sister Vera was employed as a book keeper.
 
Imagine our surprise when exchanging emails with John Spangler he shared that his grandmother (She was referred to by her grandchildren as "Momarie".) was at one time a "model". He sent the following New York Times Mid-Week Pictorial cover and the date is surprising - July 29, 1920. The description under her picture reads:
 
"American Beauty Type
Miss Marie Forbes, whose charming personality and clever acting in lighter
forms of entertainment have won her marked favor in the metropolis."
 
Marie Iva Forbes
(click for larger image)
 
Of course the question arises, how can a stenographer in Terre Haute, Indiana become a light entertainment favorite in New York City.
That is a question that will not likely be completely answered, but perhaps some clues can be obtained from her marriage and children.
 
 
Marriage Notice - Daily Globe - January 10, 1922
 
 
John and Marie's first child Joanne was born several years after their marriage and by the 1930 census their family (consisting of Joanne and second daughter Janis) was living with John's mother, Anna Fish, at 21 South Broadway (now Mansfield Ave.) in Shelby. Marie would have been expecting their third child John Forbes Fish.
 
The family continued to live in Shelby until shortly before John Forbes Fish graduated from high school. This allows us to "see"
Joanne and Janis through their graduation pictures.
 
 

  Shelby High School
Senior graduation picture
 
Yearbook byline:
 
Unusual combination
of beauty, brains,
and talent.
Joanne Fish Johnson
 
 

 

Shelby High School
Senior graduation picture
 
Yearbook byline:
 
Hot singer
of swing.
Janis Fish Spangler
 
 
 
The family moved from Shelby prior to John Forbes Fish graduating, so no Shelby High School Senior
picture exists, but hopefully someone may
be able to provide one.
 
 
 
It appears that both the Fish daughters inherited their mother's beauty and talent to entertain. John Spangler related that his
Grandmother Marie as well as her sister, Vera, were Ziegfeld Follies girls in the 1920s. Maybe there was a certain personality trait
or gift for entertainment that was passed down from one of the Forbes sister's parents.
 
Janis Fish sang and enjoyed the then popular "swing music" in high school. After moving to Columbus she continued with a
career in singing and performing in engagements across the country before her untimely death in an automobile accident at
the age of 23 and her son John was only 4.
 
Entertainment certainly seems to have continued in the family; John Spangler also has a passion for
musical entertainment as he plays guitar and performs professionally with nationally known groups.
 
 

Above photos courtesy of John Spangler
 
 
 

Above photos courtesy of Janis Fish Desmond
 
 
Our thanks go to John DeForest Spangler and Janis Fish Desmond for providing new
information on the John Chamberlain Fish Family.
 
 
 
 
If there is anyone who would like to share further information about this Fish family, please contact us at the Shelby Museum.
 
 
 
Page Index to Shelby Electric Company Information
Page 1 :  Shelby Electric Company _ Formation
 Page 2 : Shelby Electric Company - Growth and Change
 Page 3 : Shelby Electric Company - 1902 and beyond
 Page 4 : Researching the J. C. Fish Family
 Page 5 : Researching the A. A. Chaillet Family - Part I
 Page 6 : Researching the A. A. Chaillet Family - Part II

 Shelby Electric Company Article - (written in 1999 )

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% Sally Maier
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