June 12, 1923 – Agnes “Grace” Fisher died at her home in the San Francisco Bay Area from tuberculosis. She had first arrived in Mendocino 15 years earlier, when her husband became the pastor of the Mendocino Presbyterian Church.
Grace was born in Trenton, Illinois in 1878. After spending 10 years teaching grammar school in her hometown, she married her childhood sweetheart, Reverend James Melville Fisher, in 1904. The Fishers moved to Louisville, Kentucky, where he began a five-year term as pastor at that city’s Fourth Presbyterian Church. However, tragedy struck during the final year of their residency in Louisville, when Grace was diagnosed with tuberculosis.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, there was little treatment for tuberculosis, and physicians prescribed rest, healthy eating, and outdoor exercise in fresh, cool air. This advice brought the Fishers to Mendocino in October 1908, where Grace thrived. From her obituary, “In this quiet little village beside the sea was spent among the happiest years of her life. Here [her children] Elizabeth and James were born, and friendships formed which will endure forever. Here, too, she led and trained youth in service and won for herself a place in the affections of the people.”
Originally planning to stay just a year, the Fisher family remained in Mendocino until the summer of 1916. In addition to assisting her husband with his ministerial duties, Grace also led the church’s Ladies Aid Society and helped organize the Mendocino Study Club.
In 1916, Reverend Fisher transferred to Gilroy, then later left the ministry to become a physician in the San Francisco Bay Area. Sadly, a few years after leaving Mendocino, Grace’s tuberculosis aggressively returned, and she was bed-ridden for the last years of her life.
Grace was survived by her husband, her two children Elizabeth and James, and two sisters, Miss Edna Garrigus and Mrs. Harriet Farthing. She was buried at the Alta Mesa Memorial Park in Palo Alto.
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