Mabel Taylor 1867-1953 & Walter Lowrie Fisher 1862-1935

d/o Frederick Bourne Taylor 1832-1891 & Abigail E. Snow 1825-1878


1867 Nov 14 – Mabel born in Boston, Massachusetts; her parents were Frederick Bourne Taylor and Abigail Elizabeth Snow; Frederick was a well-known furrier who was a business partner of Thomas N Hart (four-time mayor of Boston) in Hart, Taylor & Company that had been started in 1861. In June of 1885, Abbie Hart, daughter of Thomas H Hart and Elizabeth Snow, married Carl William Ernst. After their marriage, they lived with her parents at 298 Commonwealth. Carl Ernst was a journalist, author, and historian, and served as Thomas Hart’s private secretary for many years. Carl Ernst married Abbie Snow Hart, whose granddaughter was Katherine Meyer Graham, making Mabel Taylor and Katherine Meyer Graham 1st cousins twice removed (Birth record-doc; birth register-doc) [Mabel was born when her mother was 42 years old. After her mother's death, when Mabel was 8 or 9 years old, she and her father lived with Aunt Abby (Abby Hart, d/o Elizabeth Snow and Thomas Hart) really her cousin, but quite a bit older, in the Ernst (Carl W. and Abby Hart Ernst) household, along with uncle Thomas, Abby's father, Thomas N. Hart, the four-time Mayor of Boston. They lived at 298 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, an often-visited family center for Fishers attending Harvard. Granny often would recount of the moment she spied Walter Fisher across the parlor in the downstate IL house of the friend whom she had met when Mabel and her father were taking the grand tour of Europe. I saw this man and I said I am going to marry him and have eight children. The eighth child died in infancy. He was never named which makes it clear to me that there was something spectacularly wrong physically with the baby that made it clear that it would not live. Yet, I was astonished to learn in recent years that it lived six months! I never heard my father, or Margaret, or Granny refer to him (other than Mabel's claim that she had eight children. (And a few references in Granny’s diary that noted the anniversary of his birth. Given what we know about genetic descent of medical problems it is regrettable that we do not know, and I believe will never know what this child’s problem was!! It must be from those records that i came to know of the dates of the boy's birth and death. The place where Mabel died was in Margaret's barn-house -- into which a hospital bed had been moved. I helped carry the corpse to the undertaker's hearse. Mabel Taylor (of Boston) not a Boston blue blood. Father a furrier, uncle prominent in Boston politics after it was opened to those who were not blue bloods. MTF was only child and her mother died when she was ten. Largely raised by a cousin, Aunt Abby. While on a grand tour to Europe she met a young woman of same age who came from a prosperous land-owning family in IL. It was while visiting this friend she met WLF. Granny often said that the moment she met him she resolved to marry him and have eight children. These 8 children are now all dead.] [MA Birth Index; Boston Birth Register #5172] (doc)

1870 Jun 3 — Federal Census 11th Ward Boston, MA: Frederick 39, Abigail 37, Mabel 2 (doc)

1878 Jan 27 – Abigail Elizabeth Snow, her mother, died in Boston, MA; buried at Section 31 Lot 3231, Blue Hill Ave, Forrest Hills Cemetery

1878-1891 – lived at 298 Commonwealth Ave, Boston in the home of Thomas N Hart, Mabel’s uncle by marriage, and Elizabeth Snow, sister of Mabel’s mother; Hart was four-time mayor of Boston (from 1889 to 1890 and from 1900 to 1902)

1880 Jun 8 – Census shows Mabel and her father living with Thomas N Hart and Abigail Snow in Boston, Suffolk, MA at 298 Commonwealth Ave (She resided at this address until immediately after her father’s death on 30 Mar 1891. She married Walter L Fisher about 22 days later) [Thomas N. Hart 51; Elizabeth D. Hart 58; Abbie D. Hart 28; Frederick B. Taylor 48; Mabel Taylor 12; Bridgett Nolan 38; Margaret Burrows 25; Maggie McCarty 18] (doc)

1881 – Boston Blue Books shows Frederick owned and had previously lived at 564 Shawmut Ave and his father George Stonehouse Taylor at 176 Springfield St.

1882 – Frederick Bourne Taylor served as an Alderman of Boston; Thomas N Hart served as Alderman from 1879 to 1882.

1886 — Passenger list shows Mabel age 18 travelling with Gertrude Randall also age 18 (they were paternal 1st cousins); both in same cabin and together they had 3 pieces of luggage; from Boston to Queenstown on SS Scythia. (doc)

1888 — Passenger list shows Mabel age 21 travelling with Gertrude Randall also age 21 (they were paternal 1
st cousins);; both in same cabin and together they had 4 pieces of luggage; from Boston to Queenstown on SS Scythia. (doc)

1889 or 1890 – took grand tour of Europe with father Frederick Bourne Taylor; made new friend from Chicago and while visiting with her in Chicago, Mabel first saw Walter and she announced that “I saw this man and I said I am going to marry him and have eight children”. She did!

1891 Mar 30 – Frederick Bourne Taylor, her father, died in Boston, MA; buried at Section 31 Lot 3231, Blue Hill Ave, Forrest Hills Cemetery

1891 Apr 22 – Marriage to Walter Lowrie Fisher in Boston, MA; lived at 1313 N. State St. The family migrated with all furnishings out for the summer, back to Chicago for the winter, until some time in the late 1920s when they stopped going into the city in spite of the Hubbard Woods house not being winterized. [“WLF and MTF married in 1891, lived in Chicago at 1313 N. State Street. But MTF, with New England experience of a north shore immediately built a summer house, 1060 Sheridan Road, in Hubbard Woods (part of Winnetka--the names of the places are used synonymously in letters). The family migrated with all furnishings out for the summer, back to Chicago for the winter, until some time in the late 1920s(?) when they stopped going into the city in spite of the Hubbard Woods house not being winterized. MF was born in Hubbard Woods” (FDF also, when his parents were house-sitting in 1926) -- Francis Dummer Fisher, 2009] (Boston Marriage Register: Walter of Chicago 28, lawyer (parents Daniel W and Amanda D) Mabel Taylor of Boston 23, (parents Frederick B. and Abigail E.); married by Rev. Wm Elliot Griffis, Boston-doc)

1891 Apr 23 —
Boston Daily Globe: “Fisher-Taylor-Marriage of Chicago Lawyer to Niece of Postmaster Hart. Miss Mabel Taylor, daughter of the late Frederick B. Taylor, and Lawyer Walter L. Fisher of Chicago were married by Rev. W. E. Griffis, D.D., pastor of the Shawmut Congregational church, at 12:30 o’clock yesterday afternoon. The ceremony was performed in the parlors at the residence of Postmaster Thomas N. Hart, the bride’s uncle, at 298 Commonwealth av., and was private, only immediate relatives being invited, on account of the recent death of the bride’s father. Mr. and Mrs. Fisher will reside in Chicago at 463 North State St.” (doc)

1892 Feb 24 – Walter T Fisher born in Chicago

1894 Mar 3 – Arthur Fisher born in Chicago

1896 Sep 4 – Thomas Hart Fisher born in Winnetka

1896 Sep 4 – Frederick Bourne Taylor Fisher born in Winnetka

1898 May 23 – Margaret Fisher born in Winnetka

1900 Jun 23 – Federal Census New Trier, Cook, IL as living in Winnetka, IL with husband Walter [Walter Fisher 37; Mabel T Fisher 32; Walter T Fisher 8; Arthur Fisher 6; Thomas H Fisher 3; Frederick F Fisher 3; Margaret Fisher 2; Sina Mortrud 28; Josephine Nelson 35; Anna Peterson 33; Annie McKay 33; Annie Lund 35] (doc)

1903 Oct 30 – Howard Taylor Fisher born in Winnetka

1905 – Passport application stated she was traveling in Europe for 2 to 3 months in 1905 (doc)

1905 — listed in
Book of Chicagoans, p. 207 (doc)

1906 May 26 – male child born; died soon after

1907 –
Social Register of Chicago, p. 113 and p 126 as living at 463 N State St with husband Walter (doc)

1910 Apr 28 – Federal Census Chicago Ward 21, Cook, IL as living in Chicago, IL with husband Walter [Walter L Fisher 49; Mabel T Fisher 42; Walter T Fisher 18; Arthur Fisher 16; Thos H Fisher 13; Frederick T Fisher 13; Margaret Fisher 11; Howard T Fisher 6; Annie Finley 25; Emma Swanson 35; Mary McLaughlin 30; Amanda Hallenberg 24; Chas Anderson 48] (doc)

1910 Jul 15 – Ruth Fisher born in St. Luke’s Hospital, Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Cook, IL (8th child of Mabel Taylor and Walter Lowrie Fisher, according to birth certificate #4561 and Register of Births); family resided at 1313 N State St. Chicago, IL. (doc)

1911 Mar 13 – President William Howard Taft swore Walter Fisher in as Secretary of the Dept of Interior; resided at 1810 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington DC until 1913

1911 Mar 16 —
Washington Post: “Snapshots At Social Leaders-Interesting Events and Gossip, Both at Home and Abroad, as Chronicled in the Post’s Exchanges. Mrs. Walter L. Fisher, wife of President Taft’s new Secretary of the Interior, holds the record of having the largest family possessed by any of the cabinet members. Big families, despite President Roosevelt’s views, apparently are not popular in Washington’s official society. The Fishers appear to be, on the other hand, very happy with a family of nine children, of whom the eldest is a boy of 20, now in college, and the youngest a baby girl, Ruth, who is less than a year old. Mrs. Fisher, before her marriage, was Mabel Taylor, of Boston, and showed her progressiveness first by taking a degree in Radcliffe College. Then she became a force in the Chicago women’s clubs. She intends accompanying her husband to Washington for a short time in the spring, but will not make her home here permanently until after school commencement. Until the Fisher’s entered the field the big-family championship was divided between Secretary Wilson and Secretary Nagel, each of whom has five children.” (doc)

1911 Mar 22 – Amanda D Kouns Fisher, her mother-in-law, died in Ravenswood, Jackson, West Virginia; 1910 Census says she and Daniel Webster Fisher were living with Walter’s brother Howard Lowrie Fisher in Washington DC on 28 April 1910

1911 May 10 —
Washington Herald: “Society-Mrs. Walter L. Fisher Returns to Chicago … Mrs. Walter L. Fisher, wife of the Secretary of the Interior, who has been at the Highlands with the Secretary for a fortnight past, returned to their home in Chicago yesterday. Mrs. Fisher was not in Washington “officially,” but on a house-hunting visit, her object was not entirely accomplished, as she returned without a final decision. Mrs. Fisher has been detained in her Chicago home this spring by illness among her seven children. Although she is the mother of the largest family in the Cabinet circle, she is the youngest of the Cabinet hostesses. She was formerly Miss Mabel Taylor, of Boston, a college-bred woman and accomplished in music and literature. She is also possessed of a considerable fortune in her own right, and is sure to be one of the leading factors in official society next season, when she takes up her winter residence here.” (doc)

1911 May 21 — Washington Herald: “Society-The past week was a pronounced contrast, in social activity, to the preceding one. In all fairness it must be said this was due more to the intense heat than to the disinclination of people to entertain and be entertained. … The Cabinet circle is already broken, with the absence of the Attorney General and Mrs. Wickersham at their summer home on Long Island. … There will be two new hostesses, both of whom will be strangers, more or less, in official life here. These are Mrs. Walter L. Fisher, wife of the new Secretary of the Interior, and Mrs. Stimson, wife of the new Secretary of War. The former will be found in the Dickinson house, which the secretary has leased, and the latter will select her winter home later. Mrs. Dickinson, in spite of her deep morning and complete retirement from all social affairs during the past season, will be genuinely missed in society here. She was a woman who was universally liked and admired, principally for her true womanliness. She was rather of the old-fashioned style, and her Southern wholesomeness and hospitality made a bright spot in the two seasons she was a member of the Cabinet circle. She has had the sincerest sympathy of the whole community in the death of her son, which has seemed a part of an unusual number of sorrows in one family. This is the second break in the President’s original cabinet circle, the first one being the departure of Secretary and Mrs. Ballinger, who had made many close friends and warm admirers during their residence here. These two retiring hostesses were the two closest friends in the Cabinet circle, which is a little strange, inasmuch as they are the two who are now missing.” (doc)

1911 Dec 12 — Washington Post: “Sidelights On The Smart Set-Interesting Events and Gossip, Both at Home and Abroad, as Chronicled in the Post’s Exchanges. Her devotion to her children has won for Mrs. Walter L. Fisher, wife of the Secretary of the Interior, the title “Madonna of the cabinet.” Mrs. Fisher has five children living, more than any other cabinet woman, and they range from a boy in Harvard to a 7-month-old baby. She seldom is seen without the company of one or more of her children, and she cares absolutely nothing for society. It was with great reluctance that she took up the necessary social duties of a cabinet member’s wife.” (doc)

1911 Dec 31 — Washington Herald: “New Year’s Receptions The receiving line at the White House will be shorter tomorrow than it has been at any time within recollection of the oldest inhabitant. The Vice President and Mrs. Sherman will be out of the line the early part of this season because of the mourning they are observing for Mrs. Sherman’s mother. … The line will therefore include … Mrs. Walter L. Fisher, wife of the Secretary of the Interior, the newest member of the circle, …. Mrs. Walter L. Fisher, wife of the Secretary of the Interior, will have a reception in their home, but it will be informal, and she will have no assistants.” (doc)

1912 Feb 21 — Washington Post: “Mrs. Fisher wore a gown of blue satin with chiffon and touches of lace.” (doc)

1912 Mar 13 — Washington Herald: “Mrs. Fisher, wife of the Secretary of the Interior, will not be at home to-day.” “Secretary Fisher in Florida Secretary of the Interior Walter L. Fisher reached Florida yesterday on his return from the Panama Canal Zone. He will arrive in Washington next Monday.” (doc)

1912 Mar 26 — Washington Post: “Reception At Museum-Private View of its Rare Art Needlework for Society Plan to Add to Collections Mrs. James W. Pinchot and the members of the committee arranging the loan exhibit of laces and costumes, received at a private view of the magnificent gift at the National Museum yesterday afternoon. More than 250 society women were present. … Among those who were at the view were … Mrs. Walter L. Fisher … .” (doc)

1912 Mar 27 — Washington Post: “Dinners and Concerts Entertain Society Folk Mrs. Walter L. Fisher, wife of the Secretary of the Interior, was a guest of Mrs. James W. Pinchot at the Washington Symphony Orchestra concert yesterday afternoon at the Columbia theater.” (doc)

1912 Apr 3 — Washington Post: “Mrs. Walter L. Fisher will not receive today.” (doc)

1912 Apr 9 — Washington Post: “Meyers Host at Dance; Many See Durbar Views The kinemacolor of the durbar, given at the Belasco Theater yesterday afternoon, for the benefit of the House of Mercy, attracted a large and fashionable audience in which were many children. Additional boxes were installed and all were occupied. Mrs. Leiter had one of the stage boxes. Her guests were Mrs. Charles E. Hughes, Mrs. Wilmer, Viscountess Benoist d’Azy, Countess Eleanor Gizyeka, and Mrs. Prettyman. The mention of the name of the late Lady Curson as having designed some of the costumes shown in the pictures called forth much applause. Mrs. Bryce, wife of the British Ambassador, was a guest in the box of Mrs. Charles Henry Butler, who had with her also Mrs. Walter L. Fisher, wife of the Secretary of the Interior. …” (doc)

1912 May 5 — Washington Post: “Society-The officials of the general land office have sent out invitations for the celebration of the one hundredth anniversary of the organization of the office on Tuesday afternoon, May 7, at 3 o’clock, at Continental Hall. Mrs. Walter L. Fisher, wife of the Secretary of the Interior, and the families of the members of the committees on public lands of the Senate and House will occupy boxes. Mrs. Fred Dennett, wife of the commissioner of the general land office, will act as hostess.” (doc)

1912 May 19 — Washington Post: “Mrs. Nagel, Mrs. Walter L. Fisher, Mme. Riann, Mrs. Frank Ellis, Miss Meyer, Miss Patten, and Miss Wetmore are among the patronesses of the strawberry festival to be held at Raucher’s next Friday afternoon for the benefit of the new church at Clarendon, VA. A tea room will be in charge of a number of prominent women. There will be dancing throughout the afternoon.” (doc)

1912 May 22 — Washington Post: “Dinners and Receptions Keep Society Folk Busy Mrs. Judson Harmon, wife of the governor of Ohio, and Mrs. T.T. Anaberry, wife of Representative Annaberry, of OH, whom she is visiting, were the guests of honor at a small luncheon given yesterday by Mrs. John. W. Timmons. The other guests were Mrs. Walter L. Fisher, Mrs. Murray Crane and Mrs. Arthur Lee.” (doc)

1912 Dec 22 — Washington Post: “Society-Patronesses for the production of Tolstol’s comedy “The Fruits of Culture,” by the Yale University Dramatic Association at the Columbia Theater next Friday afternoon are: Mrs. Taft, … Mrs. Walter L. Fisher, …” (doc)

1912 –
Social Register of Chicago, p. 120 as living at 463 N State St with husband Walter (doc)

1913 Jan 28 – Daniel Webster Fisher, his father-in-law, died in Washington, DC, while living with Walter’s brother Howard Lowrie Fisher (1910 Census says he was living with his son Howard Lowrie Fisher on 28 April 1910) (doc)

1913 —
Harvard Class Book lists Walter and Mabel as parents of Walter T. Fisher, born 1892. (doc)

1915 Jul — Photo of Mabel weeding in garden (photo)

1915 Aug 21 – Water Taylor Fisher, oldest son, marries Katharine Dummer

1918 (abt) – Arthur Fisher, son, marries Anne Marie Nielson

1918 — Harvard Class Book lists Walter and Mabel as parents of Thomas Hart Fisher, born 1896. (doc)

1920 – Federal Census Chicago Ward 21, Cook (Chicago), IL as living in Chicago with husband Walter [Walter Fisher 57; Thomas Fisher 23; Margaret Fisher 21; Frederick Fisher 23; Howard Fisher 16] (doc)

1921 Oct 22 – Frederick Bourne Taylor Fisher, son, marries Alice Pritchard Bradley in Lake Forest, IL

1922 — Chicago City Directory, p. 574 lists Mabel and Walter L (doc)

1924 Apr 28 — Passport Application #4024 lists her as 56 yrs old; 5’7” tall, medium forehead, blue eyes, medium nose, regular mouth, round chin, fair complexion, and round face. Daughter Ruth, age 13, personally identified Mabel on the Passport Application. Application also indicates she was preparing for travel to France, Belgium, and Holland. (doc)

1924 Jun 14 — departed on Europe trip on SS Olympic as noted in Passport app on April 28, 1928. (doc)

1924 Sep 24 — departed NY on
SS Berengaria to Cherbourg with Howard age 20. (doc)

1925 – Thomas Hart Fisher, son, marries Ruth Marian Page

1925 — Chicago City Directory, p. 766 lists Mabel and Walter L (doc)

1926 Jun 23 – Francis Dummer Fisher born in Hubbard Woods while his parents were housesitting at 1060 Sheridan Road, Winnetka/Hubbard Woods

1927 Apr 8 – arrive NY from Bermuda on
SS Avon with husband Walter and daughter Margaret.

1928 Apr 28 – Passport issued

1929 Jun 7 – arrive NY from Genoa on
SS Roma with husband Walter

1930 May 3 – listed in Federal Census for Winnetka, Cook, IL with husband Walter 67, Mabel 62 and children Arthur 36, Howard T. 26, Margaret 31, and Ruth 19. (doc)

1930 Sep 3 – Departed Cherbourg to NY on SS Leviathan; age 62 with Margaret 32 and Ruth 20. (doc)

1932 Mar 4 - Entry at Port of NY sailing from Port Said, Egypt on the
SS Aquitania departing on 20 Feb 1932; residence listed at 949 Fishers Lane, Winnetka, IL (accompanied by husband Walter and daughter Margaret Fisher) (doc)

1933 – Evanston IL City Directory as living at 1060 Sheridan Rd (doc)

1933 —
Chicago City Directory, p. 762 lists Mabel and Walter L (doc)

1935 Nov 9 – Walter Lowrie Fisher died in Chicago, IL. Buried in Hanover, Jefferson, IN, USA at the Hanover Presbyterian Cemetery with wife Mabel Fisher, daughter Ruth Fisher Rhetts and his parents Daniel Webster and Amanda D Kouns Fisher (doc)

1935 Nov 15 — Letter from Howard Lowrie Fisher, M.D. to Mabel Fisher: “I am at a loss as to the start, substance, or finish of this letter. Your good letter came a few days ago but I have not felt like answering it. As you say, so many of these cases of Angio on to recovery that I really thought Walter might pull out of it and be with us for years. Well we have both lost him and we are both in a daze over our loss. I want to say so much to you but I do not know what to say. He certainly was a good brother to me tho he teased me in our boyhood days that I should have murdered him. I am grinning now as I think of how I bit him once as we were all kneeling at prayer, the result of an unmerciful teasing he had put me through just prior to father’s calling us for family prayer. Walter just could not help tease me. I recall that when we were living in Wheeling he threw a dead cat at Beulah Boyd, supposed to be his sweetheart. I recall too that in my many fights with other boys, and there were plenty of them, he saw that the scrap was a fair one. I have been thinking, thinking how I should have loved to see him once more and go over those old boyhood days. Well Mabel I don't know what to say to you. I know that you have poise enough to carry you through your trouble. You have my love and sympathy. Please remember me to all the family. Affectionately Howard” (doc)

1938 – Howard Taylor Fisher, son, marries Marion Ethel Hall

1938 Apr 9 – Ruth Fisher, daughter, marries Charles Edward Rhetts at 1060 Sheridan Rd, Winnetka, IL (doc)

1939 — Chicago City Directory, p. 762 lists Mabel as a widow (doc)

1940 Apr 1 – Census lists Mabel 72 and Margaret 48 as living in Winnetka, IL (doc)

1940 Apr 17 – Mary Edith Fisher, his sister, died in Lewiston, Androscoggin, ME

1946 Jul 8 – Howard Fisher, his brother, died in Arlington VA

1953 Aug 18 – Mabel Taylor Fisher dies in Winnetka, IL; cremated and kept in Margaret Fisher’s home in Chicago, IL, then moved to family plot at Hanover Presbyterian Cemetery (Death Register-doc) (Find a Grave)

1953 Aug 20 —
New York Times, p27:

1954 Jul 3 – Frederick Bourne Taylor Fisher, his son, dies in New Canaan, CT

1960 Nov 12 – Arthur Fisher, son, dies in Washington, DC

1969 Nov 15 – Thomas Hart Fisher, son, dies in Chicago, IL

1979 Jan 23 – Howard Taylor Fisher, son, dies in Exeter, NH

1990 Jan 1 – Ruth Fisher, daughter, dies in Columbia, MD (doc)

1990 Jul 12 – Margaret Fisher, daughter, dies in Winnetka, IL

1991 Aug 27 – Walter T. Fisher, his oldest son, dies in Lake Forest, IL