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D. O. Fisher
Source: Harry F. O'Beirne, Leaders and Leading Men of the Indian Territory, with Interesting Biographical Sketches, vol. 1: Choctaws and Chickasaws (Chicago: American Publishers Association, 1891); reprint Conway, AR: Oldbuck Press, 1994, page 36.

Dr. David Osborne Fisher

In the early days of Denison, people influential in the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations of Indian Territory played important roles south of the Red River. One of these was David Osborne Fisher.

This profile was published in 1891:

Osborn Fisher was born in August, 1850; is the son of Joseph Fisher, a Kentuckian, and Martha Hayes, a Choctaw of the Oka-la-fal-laya clan. He first saw the light on Pearl River, Mississippi, and came to Fort Towsen, Choctaw Nation, in 1832.

For three years he went to school at the old Choctaw Academy under the supervision of Richard M. Johnson. In 1837 he moved to Fort Washita and entered the employment of Gooding, who kept a trading post and general supply store. After four years' service at that point, he moved to Bok-tuk-kal-lo County, where he was employed in assisting Dan Saftrons, who had a contract to feed a recently arrived emigration of Choctaws. Five years afterward he moved to Panola County, on Red River, and opened a large farm.

At the age of twenty-three he married Elizabeth Kemp, sister of Judge Ben Kemp, by whom he had six children, all of whom are dead but Joseph, aged twenty-five years. At the youthful age of twenty-one, Osborn Fisher was elected County Judge of Bok-tuk-kal-lo County, and soon afterward served as representative of Kiamichi County at the Choctaw Council. During the war he was quartermaster of the Choctaw and Chickasaw regiment under Colonel Tandy Walker; after which, in 1865, he moved to Sebastian County, Arkansas, where he opened a farm, cotton gin, etc. Three years afterward he was burned out and moved to Perryville, and from there to Briar Creek, Pickins County, where he went into the stock business, and then moving from that point to Atoka, Choctaw Nation. Here he represented Atoka County in the legislature, and in 1873 made his debut in Chickasaw politics by representing Pickins County at the National Legislature.

We should have previously stated that Mr. Fisher was a member of both tribes, having been adopted by the Chickasaws through an act of the legislature passed during the year. In the latter part of 1874 he was commissioned, in company with Col. Lem Reynolds, as a delegate to Washington, which office frequently devolved upon him during the years which followed. In 1877, while the subject of this sketch was living at Atoka, he was again called to represent Pickins County at the Chickasaw National Council, and two years afterward moved to the capital, at Tishomingo, disposing of his livestock to Commissioner D. N. Robb, of Atoka, and the toll bridge to J. J. McAlester. Having moved to the capital, Mr. Fisher purchased the mercantile business of Byrd & Bro., in which branch he has continued.

During the administration of Gov. Jonas Wolf he was appointed National Interpreter, and National Treasurer in the Byrd administration of 1888, which office he was forced to resign owing to an overpress of business. Mr. Fisher has six hundred acres under cultivation and gives employment to at least thirteen families. He married Mattie McSweeney in 1868, by whom he has three daughters — Mary, Agnes and Blanche, the eldest being fourteen years of age.

[Source: O'Beirne, Harry F. Leaders and Leading Men of the Indian Territory, with Interesting Biographical Sketches ... Profusely Illustrated with Over Two Hundred Portraits and Full-Page Engravings, vol. 1: Choctaws and Chickasaws (Chicago: American Publishers Association, 1891); reprint, Conway, AR: Oldbuck Press, 1994.]

Some additional information about Osborn Fisher comes from the Internet, quoting Don Martini, Who Was Who Among the Southern Indians, 1698–1907:

David Osborne Fisher, Choctaw, was born in 1825, the son of Joseph Fisher. He first married Elizabeth Kemp (1848–1966), a Chickasaw, and was listed on the 1857, 1858, and 1860 Chickasaw annuity rolls. Elizabeth was listed on the 1859 roll. She died in 1866. David then married Matilda Olive McSweeney (1850–1910), at Fort Smith, Arkansas, on September 24, 1868. He died October 24, 1898. Matilda was living in Tishomingo in 1907. His daughter, Agnes, married Benjamin H. Colbert.


Source: D. O. Fisher Residence. Art Work of Grayson County
Probably located at 321 North Burnett Avenue, Denison, Texas.

Thus Fisher was related to the powerful Kemp and Colbert families who operated ferries on the Red River north of Denison and owned large acreages north of the river. In addition, Osborne was brother-in-law of Judge Robert L. Boyd, who in 1891 was District Judge of the Chickasaw Nation. Boyd was married to Matilda McSweeney's "full sister" Mollie.

Alexander Rennie was one of three brothers who had come to the Chickasaw Nation from Canada and prospered greatly. Alex was National Treasurer under William M. Guy, who won a hotly contested election for governor in 1886. When William Byrd unseated him two years later, Rennie "transferred his responsibility to D. O. Fisher."

Alex Rennie was a director of the State National Bank in Denison in 1887. By 1891, he had become bank vice-president. He still held this position in 1896 but was gone by 1901.

When Charles S. Cobb was recruited from Michigan to form the First National Bank of Denison in 1890, Cobb served as president, and D. O. Fisher was vice-president. He retained this position through the consolidation of the First National Bank and the National Bank of Denison, serving until his death in 1898. At that time, another man from Indian Territory, J. J. McAlester, succeeded him as vice-president of the bank.


231 West Woodard Street, with Munson Block in the background.
Probably this shows the wagon yard and coal store of D. Osborne Fisher. 
Collection of Grayson County Frontier Village.

There was a commercial livery stable at the northeast corner of Woodard Street and Rusk Avenue, across from the Munson Block. Between 1891 and 1896, D. Osborne Fisher began operating a wagon yard here. He also sold wood and coal. Heavy traffic at this intersection made it a prime place to advertise products and coming events. Later, the Federal Building (Post Office) was constructed on this property.


 231 West Woodard Street at corner of North Rusk Avenue.
1890s
Labeled John Carr Lumber Company, but around this time, the Denison City Directory says that D. O. Fisher had a wagon yard here.

Upon his death in October 1898, Osborn Fisher was buried in the Tishomingo City Cemetery in Tishomingo, Oklahoma. His wife Matilda and daughter Blanche Fisher Fleming are buried there, too. There is some indication that Osborne's only living son, Francis Joseph, died around 1894.

Francis Joseph Fisher [Chickasaw]

The subject of this sketch is the only son of Hon. D. O. Fisher, of Tishomingo. He was born in Panola County, Chickasaw Nation, and completed his education at the Jesuit College, Osage Mission, Kansas.

He spent the earlier part of his life taking charge of his father's stock interests; after which he entered into partnership with his father in the mercantile business till 1886, when he purchased the store of Messrs. Byrd & Perry, of Tishomingo.

His health becoming impaired by close application to business, he sold out the following year and opened a large farm. He is now residing seven miles southeast of the capital, where he owns 250 acres of good farming land on the Washita bottom, and on which he makes three-quarters of a bale of cotton and fifty bushels of corn to the acre.

In September, 1884, he was appointed National Agent under Gov. Jonas Wolf, which office he held till 1886. During Guy's administration in 1887, he was appointed to the office of Inspector of Permits, and is now a staunch adherent of the progressive party, while his father is looked upon as one of the pillars of the National or Full-blood element.

[Source: O'Beirne, Harry F. Leaders and Leading Men of the Indian Territory, with Interesting Biographical Sketches ... Profusely Illustrated with Over Two Hundred Portraits and Full-Page Engravings, vol. 1: Choctaws and Chickasaws (Chicago: American Publishers Association, 1891); reprint, Conway, AR: Oldbuck Press, 1994.]
 


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