Fisher and Clara Sayre were of large farming families in Mason County, West Virginia. ‘Fish’ was the youngest of eight and while Clara had 12 siblings – their grandparents also had 22 children! Likely seeking opportunity, Fish and Clara relocated their family of four children, ages 9-14, to the Ceredo in 1907. Just the year before, a large plant to produce telephone and telegraph poles located there. The demand for such as well as train track, ties, and even coffins looked to the hard timber found in the area.
The couple immediately purchased a dry good store and a home at Main and High Streets. A 1921 picture of him in the Sayre Store reveals much about the times. There was one electric light bulb but also a gas overhead light. Setting on the floor were loose onions, seeds, nails, potatoes, and a rack of cakes. On the shelves can be seen Bearskin Hosiery, Flit insect killer, P&G soap, Lux soap powder, Rumford baking powder, shopping baskets and washboards. Advertisements can be seen for Pet Pure Milk, Prince Albert Tobacco, Calumet Baking Powder, and others. There’s a bread case and a tobacco case. There are no seats nor benches; any loafing was encouraged only on the outside covered porch. If not already, you will want to hear the local tale about one of Mr. Sayre’s customers; it is under the “Gallery” tab.
Not only was the store a success, but Fish himself was well received in Ceredo. He opposed the existing mayor in 1925 and won 246 of 460 votes. Early in his one-year term, Mayor Sayre faced a crisis; the Town Hall burned. His administration oversaw acquisition of a new site and building of the current Town Hall. He did not stand for re-election.
Ancestry hails from England, Germany, & France. Fisher’s 6th great grandfather arrived in 1633 in what is currently Boston. Fisher’s father served alongside Union fighters during the Civil War. During their lives Presidents Lincoln and McKinley were assassinated, the Civil War ended, the first airplane few, the Titanic sank, the Great War was fought, Women’s Suffrage began, The Great Depression crashed the economy, the Holocaust started, and the Dust Bowl forced hundreds of thousands out of homes.
Explore the site to see family photos, to visualize ancestry trans-Atlantic crossing, and to link to the expanded genealogical record.
Story-teller James A Rothgeb, Great Grandson