From this page:
From the Racine Walking Tour Guide published 1994.
THE FISH BROTHERS
“Fish Brothers Wagon Company makes the best wagon on wheels,” boasted the company trademark, a paper fish used as its logo. On workdays one hundred years ago, it was a common sight to see “strings of freshly painted wagons being hauled through the streets on their way to steamboat docks or railroad freight yards, headed for Mexico, South America, and Australia, to be used a livery, milk, lumber, and police wagons…as well as phaetons, trotting buggies, road and spring wagons of every description.”
The wagons were turned out at a rate of one every half hour, or five hundred per month. There was the “No. 180,” a one-and-a-half-axle phaeton with a red body and blue wheels, often used to illustrate Fish Brothers ads. Buggies costing $210 and surreys costing $375 were handmade by workers who earned $1.25 to $1.75 an hour for shaping bar iron into tires, and making cushions, tops, and covered dashboards. Located on the south side of State Street (the present site of Merchant’s Delivery), the Fish Wagon Works encompassed ten acres. Sheds for drying, curing, and storing the hardwood lumber which arrived at the company’s wharf and docks sat alongside offices and shops.
Titus G. (1833-1899, Abner C. (1835-1899), and Edwin B. (1840-1924) Fish were nephews of industrialist J. I. Case. They grew up in Janesville (Wisconsin). At the age of 21, Abner walked to Racine to attend Racine High School. He became a teacher, then a lawyer in Boston. In 1864 he returned to Racine to join his brothers. Together, they bought out Daniel Bull’s interest in Fish and Bull and, in 1866, changed the name to Fish Brothers.
Industries such as the Fish Brothers Wagon Company and the Mitchell Wagon Works were just two of many local concerns in need of skilled trades and crafts people. That need prompted the immigration of countless Danes and Germans and other skilled artisans to this area.
Submitted by Deborah Crowell
Where was the Fish Brothers Wagon Company?
According to this book:
the factory was at State and Marquette Streets.
But according to this map, the Fish Brothers Factory was number 31, way out on Holborn Street:
10 thoughts on “Fish Brothers Wagon Company”
I have been working on a family history for my daughter-in-law. In doing I discovered that it is possible one of her grandfathers from PA may have come to work in Racine. He is listed in the 1920 Federal Census. Would you have any ideas as to how I could get more info? Just want to make sure I am chasing down the correct lead!
I always start with Google, with the person’s name in quotes — “Jim Smith” and add in the word Racine. If you’re lucky, you’ll come up with some information right away. If you want to give me the grandfather’s name, I’ll search in my books for you.
I have been working on family genealogy and found relationship to the Fish brothers. Would be happy to share info. Are you in Wisconsin?
In the Portrait and Biographical Album of Racine and Kenosha Counties 1892 under William R Stetson, on page 305 and 306, his daughter Almira married Sheldon Fish was he a relation of yours?
I was just looking up articles on Fox Head Brewing was known as Milwaukee Waukesha Brewing Company and found this about Fish Wagon MFG
Oct 20, 1899
Dear Sir – Mr. J.J. White a customer of ours and an agent for the Fish Wagon Mfg Company Racine sprained his ankle a few days ago. He was informed by somebody that you sell a kind of oil (Mystic oil) would cure same. Would you kindly send him 2 bottles of the same at once. The amount we will send you by money order. Hopefully you will lets us hear from you and obliged.
Milwaukee-Waukesha Brewing Company later Fox Head Brewing
kind of a cool thing to do for a brewery looking out for a friend. thought you might enjoy
FRANK FISCHMAN Waggon Maker.
I am a genealogist from Poland. Many of my family members emigrated to America . In my family research I found Frank Fischman b1847 in Prussia(Germany). This person was related to the Kozlowski family. In the nineteenth century, part of Poland was occupied by Prussia and then by Germany. At that time, 30% of Germans lived in the territory of former Poland.
I found a note on the Familysearch.org website,
Census 1870, 1880 and 1890 Frank is the Waggon Maker
I’m not sure but Frank may have been the founder of this company
Fish Brothers Wagon Company.
BIRTH 6 Aug 1847
Burlington, Racine County, Wisconsin, USA (He was born in Germany but lived in this city in the first years after 1860)
Death or Burial Place (Original) Lake Geneva, Walworth, Wisconsin, United States of America
Cemetery Saint Francis de Sales Cemetery
Death Date 27 Sep 1905
Birth Date 06 Aug 1847
Event Type Census
Name Frank Fishman
Event Date 1880
Event Place Wheatland, Kenosha, Wisconsin, United States
Event Place (Original) Wheatland, E. D. 85, Kenosha, WI, United States
Birth Year (Estimated) 1847
Birthplace Wisconsin, United States
Marital Status Married
Occupation Waggon Maker
Relationship to Head of Household Self
Father’s Birthplace Germany
Mother’s Birthplace Germany
Household Identifier 6562521
Person Number 0
Sheet Letter C
Sheet Number 148
Sheet Number and Letter 148C
Affiliate Film Number 1431
Affiliate Line Number 00006
Affiliate Publication Number T9
Affiliate Name The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
is it possible that Frank was the founder of this company and the owners were several families?
Seems possible to me.
I have an antique traveling desk that has the Fish Brothers fish shaped logo on the back. Did they make desks, too?
I have recently purchased a wagon that I believe to be a Fish freight wagon. It was called a “Sooner” wagon in the auction description, but the running gear looks like some Fish types that I have seen. My question is, how can I tell who the manufacturer is? Where would I find a name, or label that would suggest who built it?