Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
OMER E. RISSER. Among the well known and popular railroad men of Springfield is Omer E. Risser, passenger conductor, who has been connected with the Frisco for over a quarter of a century, and his long retention by the system would indicate that he is a man of ability and worth of the trust reposed in him. He is of German descent on his father's side and has inherited many of the commendable qualities of those people, and his success in life has been due entirely to his own efforts.
Mr. Risser was born in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, July 26, 1864. He is a son of Daniel and Martha (Townsend) Risser. The father was born in Germany in 1830, and there he grew to manhood and had the advantages of a good education, and he served three years in the army, as is the custom in that country of every able bodied man when he becomes of certain age. He was a shoemaker by trade, which he followed for a livelihood, and became quite an expert workman. He emigrated to the United States when a young man and spent several years in Indiana, where he was married; later lived in Iowa during a protracted period, but finally removed to Springfield, Missouri, where his death occurred in 1898. The mother of the subject of this sketch was born in 1832, in New England, of Quaker parents, and was reared in their faith. She is now living on East Walnut street, Springfield, Missouri. To Daniel Risser and wife eleven children were born, five of whom are living at this writing, namely: Mrs. J. E. Hansell, of Springfield (a complete sketch of Mr. Hansell and family appears on another page of this work); Dr. C. H. Risser lives in North Manchester, Indiana; Omer E. Risser, of this sketch; Mamie Risser is living with her mother in Springfield; Mrs. A. T. Moore, who lives on West Walnut street, Springfield.
Omer E. Risser received his education in the public and high schools of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, and when but a boy he took up railroading as a career, first working, however, for the American Express Company, in the office at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. In 1883 he went to work for the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company, with which he remained until 1886, in January of which year he came to Springfield, Missouri, and went to work for the Frisco system as brakeman, his run being between Springfield and Newburg, Missouri. In 1888 Superintendent W. A. Thomas requested our subject to go to the southwestern division, at Talihina, Indian Territory (now Oklahoma), and after working there a short time he was promoted to freight conductor. Mr. Risser worked between Talihina and Paris, Texas, until 1893; then returned to Springfield and went to work on the Kansas City, Ft. Scott & Memphis railroad as brakeman behind twenty-six extra conductors. In 1897 he was promoted to the regular crew again as conductor of a freight, and in 1903 he was promoted to extra passenger conductor, and for many years his run has been between Springfield and Thayer, this state. He has been very successful as a conductor and is one of the best known and most popular men of his division.
Mr. Risser was married June 19, 1889, in Springfield, to Rose Conlin, who was born in St. Louis, December 11, 1864. She is a daughter of Thomas and Ann (Mooney) Conlin, both born in Ireland, from which country they came to America in early life and were married in Auburn, New York.
Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Risser, namely: Ralph D., born March 23, 1892, is at present employed in the city engineer's office, Springfield; Kathryn, born January 8, 1896, and Marjorie, born December 28, 1899.
Politically, Mr. Risser is a Democrat. 1890 he joined Division 30, Order of Railroad Conductors, and when on the old Gulf road was transferred to Division 321. He joined the Masonic order in 1907, is a Knight Templar and became a member of the Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine in 1908. In 1910 he was elected councilman from the fifth ward and served two years with much credit. Since 1907 he has been secretary of the local Order of Railway Conductors, and was a delegate to the annual meetings of the order at Jacksonville, Boston and Detroit. He has long been an active and influential worker in the same.
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