Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
JAMES W. FITCH. James W. Fitch was born on the 22d of March, 1865, in St. Clair county, Illinois. His father was John L. Fitch and his mother Mary J. (Owen) Fitch. Mr. Fitch, Sr., was born in Wyoming county, New York in 1831. He was a graduate of Rochester College of Rochester, New York, and began his life as a school teacher, following that profession for about five years. Later he became a farmer, locating in Wisconsin for some years. Afterward he moved to Illinois, where he met and married his wife. Here he was a flour miller for some time, and then returned to his native state of New York in 1870.
The family afterward immigrated to Christian county, Missouri, and so settled near Billings. To this pair were born five children: James W., Clarence E., who lives in Chicago; Henry L., of Joplin, Missouri; Jennie (Davis); and Etta M. (Norman). John L. Fitch, the father, died at Eureka Springs, Arkansas, in 1882. His wife died in Billings in 1909.
James W. Fitch got his schooling in Wyoming county, New York, and there learned and followed the trade of a plasterer for a time. But in 1887 he found employment with the Frisco as a fireman, and began the life that he has followed ever since. His first run was on a freight train between Springfield and Pierce City. That year he moved to Springfield, and has resided here ever since. His present residence being at 508 Nichols street.
In 1892 he became a freight engineer, running from Springfield to Newburg. He stuck to his business and in 1906 was promoted to a regular passenger run, between Springfield and Fort Smith, Arkansas. On this responsible run he is one of the best known and most trusted engineers.
Mr. Fitch married on October 18, 1888, Margaret A. Popp, who was born in Bavaria, Germany, November 9, 1868. She immigrated with her parents to Monee, Will county, Illinois, and afterward came to Billings, Christian county, Missouri. Here Mr. Popp spent the remainder of his life on a farm where his wife still survives him.
Mrs. Fitch passed away on April 19, 1912, leaving one daughter, Edna M., born on August 25, 1891, and who is her father's housekeeper. The mother was a member of the Episcopal church and an active church worker. Politically, Mr. Fitch is a Republican and fraternally, he belongs to the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He is also a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers.
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