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Dr. Frederick Kenner Fisher




Dr. Frederick Kenner Fisher
By Adelaide Selkirk Secretan

Dr. Frederick Kenner Fisher was born in Matagorda on May 22, 1852, and died in Galveston, February, 1920. On the evening of July 12, 1877, Frederick Kenner Fisher and Lucy Adelaide Selkirk were married.

Dr. and Mrs. Fred Fisher lived in Matagorda and later moved to Indianola, where Dr. Fisher was a quarantine officer, until the town of Indianola was destroyed by the storm of 1886. They then moved to Galveston and built a home in 1888. It withstood the Galveston storm of 1900.

One of Dr. Fred Fisher’s brothers was Walter Fisher. With the exception of one child, two-year-old Kenner, and his nurse, Walter’s entire family was lost in the 1900 storm; Walter himself, drowned trying to reach home from town to be with his family. As he swam past a drugstore, he called to the druggist, “If I don’t make it, tell my family I died trying to get to them.”

On May 30, 1905, Frederick K. Fisher adopted Frederick Kenner Fisher, the only surviving child of Walter P. and Lillie B. Fisher, stating that, “he is a minor and an orphan, both his parents having been drowned in the storm of Sept. 8th, 1900.”

The lives of Dr. and Mrs. Fred Fisher were shattered when young Kenner died in 1913.

Medical and Surgical Directory of the United States 1886

Mortuary Reports

FISHER--Funeral services for Dr. Frederick Kenner Fisher, 58 years old, a resident of Galveston for the past thirty years, who died Wednesday afternoon, were held yesterday morning at 10 o'clock at the family residence, 8603 Avenue P, thence to St. Mary's Cathedral, where requiem high mass was said. Very Rev. J. W. Kirwin, V. G., preached the eulogy after the celebration of requiem high mass and funeral services. The children's choir sang under the direction of Rev. M. S. Chatnignon. The children of St. Mary's Orphanage, together with the nuns, attended the mass in a body, and the bishop was present in the sanctuary. Interment was in the Catholic Cemetery. Decedent is survived by his wife, one brother, Dr. W. C. Fisher Sr. of Galveston, and one sister, Mrs. John Armstrong of Tampico, Mexico.

Galveston Daily News, February 14, 1920


Frederick Kenner Fisher

Birth Date:

22 May 1852

Birth Place:

Matagorda, TX

Death Date:

11 Feb 1920

Death Place:

Galveston, TX

Type Practice:


Practice Specialities:

Galveston, TX, Jan 19, 1911



Practice Dates Places:

Galveston, TX, Jan 19, 1911

Medical School:

Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans: Univ. of LA Med. Dept., 1873, (G)


Common school, Washington & Lee Univ., VA

JAMA Citation:


Cause of Death:

valvulus heart disease; (M)


Galveston Storm 1900
by Mary Catherine Armstrong

8 Sep 1900, Galveston, Texas

Galveston Storm – 1900

As I was told, the night of the Galveston storm Mr. and Mrs. John Harris were having a ball. All of the family’s children were next door with their nannies. When the height of the storm arrived and its severity was obvious, the people in the big house cut holes in the floor to allow the water come through, keeping the house from being torn from its foundation. All efforts to go to the children failed and there were only two survivors, little Kenner Fisher and his nurse. The two were sleeping on a brass bed which overturned and trapped them, keeping them safe as the house was demolished. Many houses were washed out to sea. A few of them returned to land. Twenty-two members of the Fisher family were killed.

Young Kenner Fisher was the son of Lily Harris Fisher and Walter Fisher, first cousins who were married and who both lost their lives in the storm.

Galveston Lad Dies
Passed Through Storm As Babe to Succumb to Appendicitis.

Special to the Enterprise

Galveston, Tex., June 27.—Frederick Kenner Fisher, aged 11 years, the adopted son of Dr. and Mrs. Fred Fisher of this city, died at 1:30 o’clock Sunday morning from appendicitis. He was a grandson of Judge Harris, one of the pioneers and famous characters of Texas and the son of Walter Fisher and Lillie Harris Fisher, who, with all the other members of the their family, except the son who died yesterday was killed in the storm of September 8, 1900. At that time the young Fisher was a child in arms and his life was saved by the canopy of his bed which kept the debris of the wrecked home from crushing out his life, as it did that of every other member of the family.

The funeral took place yesterday afternoon from St. Mary’s cathedral at 4 o’clock. Rev. Father Kirwin officiating. Interment in Lakeview cemetery.

Beaumont Enterprise, June 28, 1910

Donates Block of Ground
St. Mary's Orphan Asylum Comes Into Block North of Building for Playground Purposes.

In the donation Thursday, the 16th, of a block of ground, immediately north of the orphanage building, St. Mary's Catholic Orphan Asylum has come into a most valuable addition to playground facilities in the southwestern section of the city. The block of ground, valued at approximately $10,000, was the gift of Dr. F. K. Fisher, joined by John W. Harris of Galveston, Mrs. Cora Davenport of San Antonio and Mrs. Samuel Fisher of Austin.

The donation, however, emanates from a desire expressed by Kenner Fisher, a minor, who died several years ago. The property given the orphanage for playground purposes was the site of the old Harris homestead and occupied prior to September of 1900 by Frederick Kenner Fisher, his father. It was on this property that the Fisher family, with the exception of Kenner Fisher, then a babe in arms, lost their lives in the storm. Kenner Fisher, in the arms of his nurse was rescued and later the child was adopted by Dr. F. K. Fisher and wife.

Young Fisher as a child expressed a desire that the property go to St. Mary's Orphanage. He said that when he attained his majority he would make the donation. He died, however, before becoming of age. Knowing his wishes in the disposition of the property, the family has carried them out. The block of ground, bounded by Fortieth and Forty-first streets, Avenues Q and Q 1/2, is soon to be improved and fitted with the most modern of playground equipment.

Kenner Fisher Memorial Place.

The Southern Messenger of May 23 contains the following:

On Thursday, May 16, Dr. F. K. Fisher filed for record in Galveston a deed in which he conveys the entire block of ground to the north of St. Mary's Orphan Asylum to that institution as a park and playground to be known as the "Kenner Fisher Memorial Place." In the donation of this valuable tract he was joined by John W. Harris of Galveston, Mrs. Cora Davenport of San Antonio, Mrs. Annette Armstrong of San Antonio and Mrs. Samuel Fisher of Austin.

The property donated is a portion of the Harris homestead, where all the members of the family perished in the storm of 1900, with the exception of two children. One of these, Kenner Fisher, a babe in arms of his nurse, almost miraculously saved. In the course of years--in fact, eleven years ago on the very day, Ascension Thursday, that the deed was filed--he was adopted by Dr. F. K. Fisher and wife. A remarkable child in the beauty of his soul and sentiment and intellect, he determined to donate the plot of ground to the orphanage when he should attain his majority, that it might be a memorial to his father and mother and other relatives who, in storm and stress, had there been suddenly called to God.

As he grew in years the beautiful thought possessed his mind, and he had planned in detail the form the park should take--the shade trees and cloistered retreat for the good sisters, and the ball grounds for the boys and the tennis court for the girls. Suddenly and unexpectedly death came to claim him, two years ago, and God took him to himself. But the beauty of his thought lingered and his relatives, all of whom, with one exception, are non-Catholics, desired to make real his desire. The property has been deeded to the asylum and eventually the Kenner Fisher Memorial Place will take the form and beauty he had planned, and the merry shouts of orphan boys and girls at play will be "their reward exceedingly great."

"A little child shall lead them."

Galveston Daily News, May 26, 1912

Eliza Ophelia Smith Fisher
17 Jun 1823 - 30 Apr 1877
Daughter of Patrick Smith & Eliza Sessions Smith

Samuel William Fisher
29 May 1819 - 15 Sep 1874
Son of Samuel Rhoads Fisher & Ann Pleasants Fisher

Parents of Frederick Kenner Fisher and William Comstock Fisher

William Comstock Fisher, Sr., M. D.

W. C. Fisher, Sr., M. D., pioneer physician and surgeon of Galveston, whose years of practice have brought him both success and prestige, is the oldest practicing physician in Galveston, in point of years of practice here, and is looked upon as the dean of the local fraternity. Dr. Fisher came to Galveston in 1881, at the beginning of his career, and was shortly sent to the Mexican border, in the service of the state, maintaining quarantine against Mexico for yellow fever. He returned to Galveston in 1883, beginning his private practice at that time, and has continued to follow his vocation to the present, advancing to a position among  the foremost physicians of the city. Dr. Fisher has a large general practice, and is well worthy the honors and obligations of his profession, throughout his career of more than four decades remaining faithful to his duties as guardian of his patients' welfare. Dr. Fisher has his offices in the American National Insurance Company Building.

Dr. W. C. Fisher was born in Matagorda County, Texas, the eighteenth of January, 1860, the son of S. W. Fisher, a merchant at Matagorda, Texas, and whose father was the first secretary of the Navy in Texas, under Sam Houston. His father, S. Rhodes Fisher, was one of the pioneers of the state, who came to Texas with Stephen F. Austin's colony, and was a pioneer of the pioneers. Dr. Fisher received his academic education in Locust Dale Academy, in Virginia, and continued his studies under private tutors. Later he entered the office of Dr. Wooten, reading medicine there, and still later went to the University of Virginia, where he took his medical degree in 1881. In 1882 he came to Galveston, and with the exception of two years on the border, has continued to reside here, practicing general medicine in all that term implies until the present.

Dr. Fisher was married at Galveston, the twenty-fifth of June, 1884, to Miss Alice Porter, daughter of a Georgia family who were living here at that time. Dr. and Mrs. Fisher had a family of five children, Dr. W. C. Fisher, Jr., a practicing physician of Galveston who served his country during the World War as officer in the United States Army; Sidney L. Fisher, also an officer in the United States Army during the World War, and whose death occurred in France while in service; Captain Royden Kenner Fisher, of the Nineteenth Infantry, U. S. A., and who also saw service in the World War; and two daughters, Mrs. W. C. Cromby, of El Paso, and Mrs. C. C. Forskey, of Houston. Dr. and Mrs. Fisher is a member of the Galveston County Medical Society, the Texas Medical Association and is active in his work for the advancement of medical standards in county and state. He belongs to the Zeta Zsi college fraternity and is a member of the A. M. P. O. medical fraternity and during his college days mailed out circular advertising from Austin during the campaign to locate the medical department of the University of Texas. Dr. Fisher served as city officer for six years and for one years was president of the Galveston County Medical Society. He is also division surgeon for the Southern Pacific Railroad, and is active in civic work and especially in all public health work.

[Dr. William Comstock Fisher was born in Matagorda County, but did not practice medicine in Matagorda County.]

Photos courtesy of Ann Shafer


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Jan. 9, 2014
Jan. 9, 2014