JOHN STUCHELL FISHER was born in South Mahoning Township in Indiana County, Pennsylvania. A graduate of the Pennsylvania State Normal School (i.e., teacher training school), he taught school and served as principal of schools in Plumville and Indiana, Pennsylvania. He also studied law and was admitted to the Bar in 1893, after which he went into private practice. He was a state Senator from 1901 to 1909, a member of the Commission on Constitutional Revision, and State Commissioner of Banking from 1919 until 1922. As governor, Fisher focused on fiscal policy, public works, conservation, and electoral reform to eliminate voting fraud, which ultimately resulted in the use of voting machines. He established a Department of Revenue, whose work helped to ensure sufficient funds to improve schools, construct and improve highways, construct a new hospital for the mentally ill as well as several state office buildings, and build the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Bridge. Also during Fisher’s administration, nearly one-half million acres were added to Pennsylvania’s state forests, and the use of voting machines was adopted. After leaving office, Fisher became a consultant to his son’s law firm. He also served as an officer of several insurance and banking firms and was a member of the boards of Indiana (Pennsylvania) Hospital, the State Normal School, and Pennsylvania State College. Fisher died in Pittsburgh.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 4. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 37. New York: James T. White & Company.
Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
State Archives Holdings: MG-159 John S. Fisher Papers