1865 - 1938

Fisher and Clara (Lieving) Sayre {1865 & 1874 – 1938}

Fisher Lee Sayre, circa 1925

Clara Bell Sayre

Clara Bell (Lieving) Sayre

Last Updated: September 19, 2023

Fisher Lee and Clara (Lieving) Sayre

were of large farming families in Mason County, West Virginia.  ‘Fish’ was the youngest of nine, while Clara had twelve siblings; their grandmothers had twenty-two 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 was located there. The demand for poles, train tracks, ties, and even coffins looked to the hard timber found in the area.

Fisher Lee Sayre, circa 1925

Fisher Lee Sayre, circa 1925

Sayre General Store

The couple immediately purchased a dry goods store and a home on 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. On the floor were loose onions, seeds, nails, potatoes, and a rack of cakes. Bearskin Hosiery, Flit insect killer, P&G soap, Lux soap powder, Rumford baking powder, shopping baskets, and washboards can be on the shelves. Advertisements for Pet Pure Milk, Prince Albert Tobacco, Calumet Baking Powder, and others can be seen. There’s a bread case and a tobacco case. There were no seats nor benches; loafing was encouraged only on the outside covered porch.  Explore the “Hear Highlights” tab; you will want to listen to the local tale about one of Mr. Sayre’s customers.

Mayor of Ceredo

The store was a success, and 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 the acquisition of a new site and the building of the current Town Hall. He did not stand for re-election.

Defining moments…

Fisher’s 6th great grandfather arrived in 1633 in what Boston is now; his great-grandfather’s ancestry hails from England, Germany, & France. 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.

James A. Rothgeb, Great Grandson image
James A. Rothgeb, Great Grandson

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Crescent Hill Cemetery family plot, Ceredo, West Virginia

Check out the SAYRE Family​​ genealogical record.

Crescent Hill Cemetery records are found here.

Sayre Family Plot burial details

Crescent Hill Cemetery family plot, Ceredo, West Virginia

Oldest Known Ancestors

Fisher Lee Sayre


  1. Nancy Laura Sayre
    1. Maternal Line

      Durham, Middlesex, Connecticut / 1747

    2. Paternal Line

      Squires, Kent, England / 1410

  2. Robert Fawcett Sayre
    1. Maternal Line

      New Castle, Delaware / 1679

    2. Paternal Line

      Squires, Kent, England / 1410

Defining events …

continued from the Story tab:

During Fisher and Clara’s lives, several momentous events shaped the course of history. Some of the most notable events are:

  • 1865: The end of the American Civil War and the abolition of slavery.
  • 1876: The invention of the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell.
  • 1914: The start of World War I.
  • 1917: The Russian Revolution, leading to the establishment of the Soviet Union.
  • 1918: The end of World War I.
  • 1929: The stock market crash of 1929 marked the start of the Great Depression.
  • 1933: Hitler and the Nazi party come to power in Germany.
  • 1938: The Munich Agreement, leading to the occupation of Czechoslovakia by Nazi Germany.
  • January 1, 1863: Abraham Lincoln issues the final Emancipation Proclamation, which declares that all enslaved people within the rebellious states “are, and henceforward shall be free.”
  • 1865: Pivotal year in American history. The War Between the States, as the Civil War is also known, ended in the Confederate surrender.  With the end of the Civil War, Lincoln’s assassination, and the beginning of Reconstruction, politics were forever changed. Lives were changed too.
  • 1866: The Minneapolis Milling Company, the predecessor of General Mills, builds its mills, and Alfred Nobel invents dynamite in Germany.
  • 1870: The 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution, guaranteeing African American males the right to vote, is ratified.
  • 1872: In defiance of the law, American suffragist Susan B. Anthony votes for the first time.
  • 1876: Thomas Edison receives a patent for his mimeograph.
  • 1879: In Utica, New York, Frank Woolworth opens the first of many five and 10-cent Woolworth stores; milk is sold in glass bottles for the first time.
  • From 1870 to 1900: Technological innovation, economic growth, development of large-scale agriculture, and the expansion of the federal government characterized the era, as did the social tensions brought about by immigration, financial turmoil, national indigenous American policy, and increasing demands for rights by workers, women, and minorities.  The Panic of 1873 triggered the first ‘Great Depression‘ in the United States and abroad. In 1880 Steel frame construction of “skyscrapers” happened for the first time.  1882 Thomas Edison starts the U.S.’s first commercial electrical power plant, lighting one square mile of lower Manhattan.
  • Wilbur and Orville Wright spent four years researching and developing the first successful powered airplane, the 1903 Wright Flyer. It first flew at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on December 17, 1903, with Orville at the controls.
  • More than any other single event, the sinking of the unarmed British ocean liner, the Lusitania, by a German submarine on May 7, 1915 (killing, among others, 128 Americans), prompts the U.S. to join the war on the side of the Allies.
  • 1930: the first football World Cup takes place, Mickey Mouse makes his first appearance in comic form, and Pluto is officially discovered and named as a planet.
  • 1935: Amelia Earhart flies solo across the Pacific, and the first technicolor Mickey Mouse short film is released.
  • 1936: The Rural Electrification Act becomes law, bringing electricity to the more remote parts of the country.
  • 1938: Superman first appears, and nuclear fission is discovered. Hitler marched into Austria; Germany and Austria’s political and geographical union was proclaimed. Munich Pact—Britain, France, and Italy agree to let Germany partition Czechoslovakia. Nazis destroyed Jewish shops, homes, and synagogues in the Kristallnacht riots; 20,000-30,000 were sent to concentration camps.
  • September 1, 1939: Hitler invades Poland from the west; two days later, France and Britain declared war on Germany, beginning World War II. On September 17, Soviet troops invaded Poland from the east.

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