Lifetime Haines Resident Emma Welch Fisher Was Civic Leader
Emma Bell Welch Fisher, 94, of Haines, passed away Thursday, March 26, 1987 at St. Elizabeth Hosp. Funeral services for Mrs. Fisher were conducted Tuesday, March 31, 1987 at 2:00 pm in the Haines Baptist church. Rev. Keith Spry of the Haines Baptist Church officiated. Interment followed at the Haines cemetery.
Mrs. Fisher was born May, 6, 1892 in Haines to William J. and Clara M. Long Welch. She married Albert Lindsey Fisher in Baker on April 15, 1911. Her maternal grandparents, Alonzo and Julia Long immigrated to this area from the Willamette Valley. The Welch’s were raised in England. Married in Bristol and immigrated to the US immediately following the ceremony. They then moved up into Canada for a while and came to this area from there. Emma had a brother Ray and a nephew, Roy, son of her mother’s older sister. Roy was raised as a member of the Welch family following his mother’s death. Roy was more like a brother than a nephew to Emma and he used the Welch name throughout his life.
Emma met her husband in Haines while he was working as a Ferrier during the 1910 farming season. Since there was not enough horseshoeing work to keep him employed during winter months. Albert returned to Boise to live with his sister and work in the Boise area. He returned at Christmas time to see Emma and at that time they set their wedding date. They were married in the Baker Methodist Church as the Haines Baptist church was without a minister. They then resided in Haines area for the remainder of 1911 and into the fall of 1912. Their son, Kenneth was born in Haines and they moved to the Welch farm northwest of Haines for the following 14 years. Farming was a chancy business even in those days, so they moved to Los Angeles where Albert was employed by the U.S. Forest Service and Emma became a talented machine embroideress. She specialized in projects such as the embroidering of names of ballplayers on the back of uniforms. She enjoyed the variety of life available in the big city and took advantage of many of the adult education night courses offered esp. the making of artificial flowers. Albert was eventually crippled for life in an accident while driving a U. S. government truck. Following almost two years in the hospital for Albert and coincidental with the failing health of her mother, Clara, the decision was made to return to Haines just prior to WWII, where they all spent the remainder of their lives. Both Emma and Albert were active as aircraft spotters during the preradar days of WWII. They were always involved in any community project that came along. The Haines Grange, which became a major part of their lives for many years, and they were instrumental in the establishment of the Eastern Oregon Museum. Emma was the last Queen of the Baker County Pioneer Association before the disbanding. Emma was preceded in death by her husband in 1963 and her son, Kenneth in 1958, and her mother in 1966, also an infant daughter.
Emma became a worldwide traveler, visiting many exotic places as a member of various tour groups. Emma was very active and supported many local organizations including Haines Baptist Church, Eastern Oregon Museum, Elkhorn Grange, Muddy Creek and Rock Creek Clubs, the Garden Club and the Haines Rebekah Lodge No. 172.
Emma is gone now, but she would not want to be remembered in sorrow. Her memory should be one of joy for a long and varied life. She was esp. proud of maintaining her mental faculties right to the very end and would want to be remembered with that in mind. She is survived by her nephew, Jerry Welch of Tacoma, WA. She was a graduate of the Haines High School.
Friends who wish may make contributions in her memory to the Haines Baptist Church. This may be done through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel.
Source: The Record Courier, Baker City, Oregon, April 1987
Contributed by: Belva Ticknor