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Sunday, July 8, 2018

Defiance County Pioneer - Gabriel Fish

"Gabriel Fish was born in Austentown, Mahoning Co., Ohio, July 14, 1837.  He came to Defiance county more than half a century ago.  On the 10th day of November, 1860, he was united in marriage with Martha G. Miller.  Five children were born to this union, two of whom preceded their father in death.

Son, Carlos (Carl) Fish died on August 10, 1905. (Note on the tombstone, the Knights of Pythias shield and vine with five pointed Bethlehem stars indicating divine protection and guidance.) Another of Gabriel's children, Albertie, born in 1867, died in 1876. 
He has bought timber and been engaged in manufacturing for more than 30 years, in which business he was very successful, the present plant furnishing employment to a greater number of men than any other industry of our city.  He has meant a great deal in a business way to Hicksville and community, especially.  His familiar form will be missed greatly, as has been frequently expressed during his sickness and since his death.  He was a member of the K of P lodge for more than 20 years.  He has also been a member of the Masonic order for a brief period of time.

He began his religious life before his marriage when a very young man.  He has held membership since in the Presbyterian and United Brethren churches, being a member of the latter at the  time of his death.  His religious life was not without its failings, but perhaps none were more conscious of his failures than himself.  One day in the house of worship, he publicly referred to his mistakes, but expressed his purpose to strive on, saying, when he fell, he would get up and go on again.  To his pastor and some of his relatives during his recent illness, he bore positive testimony of his reconciliation with his God, saying, he was not lost and that he was prepared to meet his Savior.

His death, which followed 18 days of severe affliction, was due to a complication of difficulties which no medical or surgical skill could remove.  He passed away from us Friday morning, December 4, 1908, at ten minutes past seven at the age of 71 years, 4 months, 20 days, leaving as near relatives, his faithful wife, 3 daughters, two residing here and one at Palisade, Colorado, ten grandchildren, 2 sisters, Mrs. Gilbert of Hicksville, and Mrs. Noble of Ft. Wayne, 3 brothers, namely, Watson Fish of Detroit, Michigan; Simon Fish of Nebraska; Joseph Fish, of Hicksville; with many other relatives and friends who mourn his removal.

Funeral services were held at the U. B. church Sunday afternoon at 2 o'clock, conducted by Rev. J. F. Miller.  The spacious building was crowded and many were unable to get in.  The employees of the Fish-Miller factory attended the services in a body as did also the Masonic order and the K. of P. lodge, the former holding a service at the church, and both orders observing their ritual at the vault where the mortal remains were deposited."

www.findagrave.com  - Forest Home Cemetery, Hicksville, Ohio

The three daughters who survived their father were Orpha, Alda, and Anna.  Alda was in Colorado with her husband, Ulysses Grant Meek, at the time of her father's death.  His wife, Martha, lived twenty more years and is buried beside him.

Source: Obituaries: Pioneers of Northwest Ohio, Volume 1.  Carma Rowe Estate (Johnson Memorial Library).  No date.  p. 207.
 Copies available at Defiance Public Library and Hicksville and Sherwood branch libraries.

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