Ruth Fisher 1910-1990 m. Charles Edward Rhetts 1910-1970

d/o Walter Lowrie Fisher 1862-1935 m. Mabel Taylor 1867-1953

1910 Jul 15 – 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. (Certificate #4561, lists her as 8th child-7 still living; doc) (Register, p.92, lists her as 8th child of Mabel and Walter; doc) (SSN 215-46-8440)

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

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.”

1911 Mar 22 – Amanda D Kouns Fisher, her grandmother, died in Ravenswood, Jackson, WV (1910 Census says she was living with her son Howard Lowrie Fisher in Washington DC on 28 April 1910)

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)

1913 Jan 28 – Daniel Webster Fisher, her grandfather, in Washington, DC, while living with her uncle Howard Lowrie Fisher (1910 Census says he was living with his son Howard Lowrie Fisher on 28 April 1910).

1920 — Federal Census 1313 N State St Chicago, Cook, IL lists Walter 57, Mabel 53, Ruth 9. (doc)

1928 Aug (aft) – Ruth Fisher wrote “The Relationship between the Mexican State and Church” (doc)

1928 – graduated from Winsor School, Boston. She lived with her mother Mabel Taylor Fisher while Ruth’s older sister Margaret attended Harvard Architecture School.

1928, fall — entered Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA as a freshman.

1930 May 3 – Federal Census for 1060 Sheridan Lane, Winnetka, Cook, IL with Walter Lowrie 67 and Mabel Fisher 62, parents, and brothers Arthur 36, Howard T. 26, sister Margaret 21, Ruth 19. (doc)

1930 Sep 3 – arrived New York from Cherbourg with her mother Mabel

?? – member of Pan-Am Women’s Hockey Team

1932 — graduated from Stanford University with B.A. degree

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 Walter Lowrie and Mabel Fisher, parents, and Margaret Fisher, sister) (doc)

1932 Jan 14 — Oakland Tribune: “Five Newcomers: Stanford University: Women’s Block “S” society elected five new members today. Included are: Jacqueline Hugge, Ruth Fisher, Shirley Harcourt, Kay Harwood, and Bess Leggett. President is Edith A. Badger.” (doc)

1933 May 12 — was President of the Women’s Athletic Association at Stanford University and was guest speaker at the San Mateo Junior College Women’s Athletic Association annual banquet (Source: The San Mateo Times and Daily Leader newspaper) (doc)

1932 May 29 — Oakland Tribune: “Mothers in Campus Meet . . . Ruth Fisher, manager of Women’s Athletic association…” (doc)

1934 Nov 1 —
Nevada State Journal: “… second and concluding installment of Ruth Fisher’s story on Senator Pitman’s life will be issued in the Nevada State Journal on Sunday.” (doc)

1934 Nov 4 —
Nevada State Journal: ran Ruth Fisher’s story on Senator Pitman’s life

1934 – graduated from Stanford University with M.A. degree in Political Science

1934 – worked for Nevada Newspaper Syndicate covering U.S. Senator Key Pittman’s 1934 re-election campaign; Right out of college (B.A. and M.A., Stanford University), Ruth Fisher got a job with the Nevada Newspaper Syndicate and she was assigned the job of covering Senator Key Pittman's 1934 re-election campaign. Key Pittman served as United States Senator from Nevada from January 29, 1913 to November 10, 1940. Key Denson Pittman (September 19, 1872 -November 10, 1940) was a United States Senator from Nevada. He was a Democrat. Pittman was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi, in 1872 and was educated by private tutors and at the Southwestern Presbyterian University in Clarksville, Tennessee. He studied law, then later became a lawyer. In 1897, he joined in the Klondike Gold Rush and worked as a miner until 1901. Pittman moved to Tonopah, Nevada, in 1902 and continued the practice of law. He represented Nevada at the St. Louis Exposition, the Lewis & Clark Centennial Exposition, and the irrigation congress. In 1910, he made an unsuccessful run for the Senate. Later, he was elected as a Democrat to the Senate in 1913 to fill the vacancy caused by the death of George S. Nixon, and served until his death in 1940. Between 1933 and 1940 he was the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations and was also a member of the Committee on Territories and the Committee on Industrial Expositions. In addition, during those years Pittman was President pro tempore of the United States Senate. Among his legislation is the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937 that set up a formula for federal sharing of ammunition tax revenue for establishing state wildlife areas. The program is still in effect. It was rumored for years that he died before his final election in 1940, and that party leaders kept his body on ice in a hotel bathtub until he was re-elected; this story has been disproven.[1] In fact, he suffered a severe heart attack before the election, and died after the election at the Washoe General Hospital in Reno, Nevada. His brother, Vail M. Pittman, served as the Governor of Nevada. Several pieces of legislation bore his name, including the Pittman Act of 1918 and the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937.

1935 Nov 9 – Walter Lowrie Fisher, father, died in Chicago, IL; in addition to having served as Secretary of the Interior from 1911 to 1913, Walter was the principal lawyer in the case between Norway and the U.S. Government before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in Le Hague regarding the take over of cargo ships partly constructed in U.S. shipyards under contracts to Norway. Edward B. Burling was the principal lawyer representing Norway and Walter Fisher was hired to handle the principal argument before the Court. On 13 Oct 1922 the United States was ordered to pay to Norway in settlement of claims made by Norwegian ship owners as a result of the requisition of ships under construction in US shipyards at the time of the US declaration of war against Germany in 1917

1937 – met Ed Rhetts in Chicago

1938 Mar 30 —
Chicago Daily Tribune: “Fisher-Rhetts Nuptials Take Place April 9.” (doc)

1938 Apr 9 – married Ed Rhetts; ceremony was at 4pm at 1060 Sheridan Road, Hubbard Woods, IL, home of her mother Mabel Taylor Fisher (doc)

1938 Apr-May – honeymoon in Acapulco, Mexico

1939 Jan 9 – Passport issued to Ruth Fisher; occupation listed as housewife, Chicago, IL (no entries in passport) (doc)

1939 Feb 21 – Entry at Port of NY sailing from Port of Spain, Trinidad on the SS Uruguay departing on 16 Feb 1939; residence listed at 1641 35th St, Washington, DC (doc)

1939 Mar 23 – lived at 1641 35th St NW, Washington DC (according to 76th Congressional Directory)

1940 — Federal Census 1641 35th St, NW, Washington, DC lists CER 29 and Ruth 29. (doc)

1940 – bought farm at 346 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA

1940 Apr 17 – Mary Edith Fisher, her aunt, died in Lewiston, Androscoggin, ME

1942 Jul 8 – John Edward Rhetts, son, born in Washington, DC

1946 Mar 26 –
Paul Fisher Rhetts, son, born in Washington, DC

1946 Jul 8 – Howard Lowrie Fisher, her uncle, died in Arlington, VA

1950 May 8 – Abigail Victoria Ruth Rhetts, daughter, born in Washington, DC

1951 Sep 6 — Ruth arrived Boston from Halifax, N.S. on the SS Nova Scotia; lists residence as RFD#1, Falls Church, VA (doc)

1953 Aug 18 – Mabel Taylor Fisher, died in Winnetka, IL

1953 Oct 4 — Ruth arrived NY from London on PANAM. (doc)

1954 – purchased 2620 Foxhall Rd, Washington, DC from Senator Key Pitman’s widow for $94,000 [Ruth and Ed Rhetts purchased 2620 Foxhall Rd in Washington DC from Pittman's widow in 1954 for approximately $94,000. 2620 Foxhall Rd remained as Ruth's family home until 1989 when she moved to Columbia, Maryland, to be near her son Paul and daughter-in-law Barbara Awalt.]

1954 Jul 3 – Frederick Bourne Taylor Fisher, brother, died in New Canaan, Fairfield, CT

1956 – moved to 303 East Walnut Street, Salem, IN

1957 Apr 15 – Passport issued to her; occupation listed as housewife residing at 303 E Walnut St, Salem, IN (doc)

1957 Jul 3 – Entry at London Airport

1957 Aug 10 – Embarked from London Airport

1957 Aug 11 – Entry at Detroit, Michigan on Flight #59/10 (doc)

1958 Sep 20 – Entry at Lisboa Auerporto

1958 Sep 20 – Exit at Lisboa Aueroporto

1958 Sep 20 – Arrive at RG Orly, France

1958 Sep 21 – Exit RG Orly, France

1958 Sep 24 – Exit at Zurich Flughafen, Airport, Zurich Switerland

1958 Sep 24 – Exit at Bromma, Stockholm, Sweden

1958 Oct 2 – Entry at Flughafen Airport, Zurich Switerland

1958 Oct 5 – Exit at Suisse, Brigue-Gare

1958 Oct 5 – Enter at Ferrovia, Italy

1958 Oct 9 – Enter at London Airport

1958 Oct 12 – Embark from London airport

1959 Jun 29 – Effie Maupin Rhetts, mother-in-law, died in Salem, IN

1960 Nov 12 –Arthur Fisher, brother, died in Washington DC; Ruth listed as one of his survivors [Nov 18, 1960 –
Journal Daily News: “Leukemia Takes Life of Registrar of Copyrights.” (doc) Nov 18 1960 – Great Bend Daily Tribune: “Leukemia Takes Life of Registrar of Copyrights.” (doc)

1961 Jan 10 – Passport renewed

1962 Jul to 1964 Sep 30 – resided in Monrovia, Liberia; husband Ed Rhetts was ambassador

1965 Mar 15 – Edith Mae Rhetts Tilton, half-sister-in-law, died in Detroit, MI

1967 Apr 26 – John Edward Rhetts, father-in-law, died in Washington, DC

1969 Nov 15 – Thomas Hart Fisher, brother, died in Chicago, Cook, IL

1971 Nov 9 – Ed Rhetts, husband, died in London, England

1973 Jun – travelled to Alaska with John and Susan Rhetts

1973 – travelled to St John, Virgin Islands with John and Susan Rhetts

?? – travelled to Russia with Charles Parkhurst et al with Baltimore Museum of Art tour group

1979 – Ruth Rhetts donates Francis Bacon painting to National Gallery in honor of Charles E Rhetts on behalf of John, Paul and Abby.

?? – travelled to Panama with son Paul and daughter-in-law Barbe Rhetts to visit daughter Abeille Rhetts

1989 – 2620 Foxhall Rd sold; house torn down in about 2000 and replaced by new structure that has 10 beds, 9 baths, and approximately 12,740 square feet. The property has a lot size of 2.8 acres and was built in 2006 (according to; current owner is Eugene Ludwig (according to

1990 Jan 1 – Ruth Fisher Rhetts died in Columbia, Howard, MD; cremated and buried in Hanover, Jefferson, IN at the Hanover Presbyterian Cemetery with her parents Walter and Mabel Fisher, and her grandparents Daniel Webster and Amanda D Kouns Fisher. [Social Security Death Index, doc]; Grave (photo)

Notes in 2009 from Frank Dummer Fisher: As a child, Ruth lived with MF and MTF in Boston, while MF attended architecture school. Stanford graduate. Married Charles Edward Rhetts, one of the New Deal hot shot young lawyers. Rhetts took on a few cases, with which he had success. Sought unsuccessfully to be elected from IN to Congress, backed Hubert Humphrey against JFK for Democratic nomination, but managed to be named Ambassador to Liberia for a two-year stint. Three children, John, Paul, and Abigail (MTF's mother's name). (doc)