Not alone to the men of daring initiative in the fields of manufacturing and merchandising does Southern Illinois owe its greatness in the world of commerce, but also to the mechanics whose unsurpassed skill and industry have contributed, in larger measure than we always realize, to our world-wide reputation for all that is best in our manifold lines of product. In the front ranks of these skilled artisans is John Gottfried Fischer, of Waterloo, who for the past six years has been the proprietor of a machine shop at this city, and a man who has been the architect of his own fortune. He is a native of Waterloo, and was born September 28, 1874, a son of Charles and Minnie (Just) Fischer. Charles Fischer, who was born in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, came to the United States in 1854, when he was sixteen years of age, and made his way up the Mississippi from New Orleans to Southern Illinois. His wife was a native of Floraville, St. Clair county, Illinois, and they had children, as follows: Jacob, who is deceased; John Gottfried; Charles, Henry and Mrs. John Krupp, of Waterloo, and Mrs. Minnie Gretting.

John Gottfried Fischer received his education in the public schools, and supplemented this by a five-year course in the International School of Correspondence, of Belleville, Illinois, taking the modern machinist, stationary engineer and ice and refrigerating courses. He spent six years as a thresher before he attained his majority, was for two years engineer at the Waterloo Milling Company, and for five years had charge of the plant of the Fountain Creamery at Waterloo. At the end of this time Mr. Fischer decided he was ready to enter business on his own account, and on March 17, 1906, he opened his own establishment, where he has since done all kinds of repair work. A skilled mechanic, his work has been so satisfactory as to insure him of a large and steadily-increasing trade, and his progressive spirit and industrious labor, combined with the excellence of his workmanship, have been the causes that have contributed to his success in his chosen field. During 1900 and 1901 Mr. Fischer served capably as a school director. He belongs to the Odd fellows, the Modern Woodmen of America and the Mutual Protective League, while his wife is a popular member of the Rebekahs. Both are well and favorably known to the members of the German Evangelical church at Waterloo.

On January 29, 1895, Mr. Fischer was united in marriage with Miss Margaret Plage, of New Hanover, Illinois, and they have had eight children, namely: Oliver G., Walter W., Amanda M., Octavia L. and Hilda, who are attending school; and Alma, Milton and Tone C. T., at home. Mr. Fischer is to be congratulated for what he has achieved, and his career should serve as an example worthy of emulation. He has proven that even though a man be born to humble circumstances, he can through hard and faithful endeavor raise himself to a position among his community's leading citizens. Self educated and self made, Mr. Fischer


may take a pardonable pride in a career that has always found him striving to do his full duty by himself, his family and his community.

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