John S. Fisher, an early 20th century state senator and governor of Pennsylvania,
served as a teacher and a lawyer as he began his community service in Indiana County.
Fisher was born in 1867 near Plumville in South Mahoning Township, graduated
from Indiana Normal School in 1886, and started work as a teacher at Ox Hill School. He
became principal of Indiana public schools at age 24 and began studying law in his spare
time with former Congressman Alexander Taylor.
He was admitted to the Indiana County Bar in 1893 and formed the Cunningham
and Fisher law firm, which became one of the largest and most successful in Indiana
Fisher represented the area in Harrisburg as state senator from 1901 to 1907,
served as the state commissioner of banking, then was elected to a single term as
governor of Pennsylvania in 1926. The commonwealth constructed 4,000 miles of roads
and added a half million acres of land to the state forests during his term.
Fisher is regarded as a key founder of Clymer, and was instrumental in making the
town the largest and most prosperous of all mining towns in Indiana County. He was
president of Clymer Brick and Fire Clay Company, Clymer Electric Company and Buck
Creek Railroad, and was vice president of Clearfield Bituminous Coal Corporation.
Fisher was pivotal in assisting New York Central Railroad in the purchase of coal lands
in Indiana and surrounding counties.
In service to the Indiana community, Fisher organized Savings and Trust
Company in Indiana and served as president of Indiana Hospital, vice president of the
Indiana Normal School board of trustees, and chairman of the Indiana County Republican
Committee. He also served as chairman of the board of the National Union Fire Insurance
Company of Pittsburgh.
IUP constructed one of its original performing arts centers on the campus in 1939
and named it Fisher Auditorium in his honor.
John S. Fisher passed away on June 25, 1940, in Pittsburgh