Caroline S. (Gouyd) Glasser Fischer (1851-1940)

Caroline Gouyd Glasser Fischer, circa 1919.

Caroline Gouyd Glasser Fischer, circa 1919.

Caroline S. Gouyd was the daughter of Daniel Smith Gouyd and Harriet Louisa Bangs. She was born December 21, 1851 and died January 15, 1940 in Evans, New York. She married first, on December 25, 1869, Frederick J. Glasser and second, on November 18, 1883, William C. Fischer.

When Caroline was 18, she married Frederick J. Glasser, the son of Wilhelm and Eva Katherine Mary Metz. Frederick was a veteran of the American Civil War (see Frederick Glasser, Patriot). They had two children: Emma, born June 29, 1872, and Elmer, born June 27, 1875. Frederick, who had contracted an illness during his tour of duty with the Union Army, died on March 25, 1882. Caroline was left widowed with two children. Fortunately both were of sufficient age to assist their mother with many of the normal household duties. Although not addressed in any records or in family history, both children probably attended school. Despite her husband’s passing, Caroline was able to retain her household and probably leveraged the assistance of her parents when needed. She made her first claim to the United States government for her dead husband’s pension in May of 1882.[1] While the money was probably not substantial, it would have provided some relief.

Caroline married her second husband on November 18, 1883 in Evans, New York. William C. Fischer, the son of George Fischer and Margaret Ziegler, was employed as a gardener and pump attendant on the Kellogg Estate. This tract of land ran along Lake Erie just south of Buffalo, New York. Spencer Kellogg owned the property. Kellogg made his fortune in linseed oil. How Caroline and William met is unclear.

Over the course of the next ten years, Caroline and William had four children: Elizabeth, born March 7, 1885, Margaret, born April 1, 1887, Bertha, born January 3, 1891, and Edith, born December 12, 1892.

It was around the time of Edith’s birth that Caroline’s daughter Emma met and married Wallace Whitbread. The two of them had three children, George, Mildred, and Marion. Marion was born January 6, 1904. Emma presumably had difficulties with the birth of her third child and died three months later on May 11, 1904. It was a terrible tragedy that changed the family dynamics forever. Wallace abandoned his children to the care of their grandparents. By 1910 he was living in New Jersey with a new wife.[2]

Caroline raised Emma’s children as if they were her own. For years, both Marion and her sister Mildred used the Fischer last name.[3] Fortunately the two girls, and presumably George, acclimated quite nicely with the Fischer family.[4] As Judith (Hinton) Cole writes, “the natural sisters considered Marion and Mildred their sisters.” The same probably applied towards George.

Over time, each of Caroline’s children grew up, married, and moved out of the house. By 1930, however, Caroline again added to her ever-extending family by welcoming her sister Calista into the household. Calista, now 81, had been living in poor conditions and probably reached the point where she could no longer provide for herself. On September 19, 1931, William Fischer suffered a stroke. Over the course of the next seventeen days, his family probably hoped for the best but realized the worst when he developed pneumonia. Two days later, at 11 p.m. on October 7, 1931, William Fischer died. He was buried for days later at the Forrest Avenue Cemetery in Angola, New York.[5]

Caroline suffered from myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle. She had this condition at least five years prior to her death. It must have been difficult. She probably experienced many of the symptoms: abnormal heartbeat, chest pain, leg swelling, and shortness of breath. While frightening, she didn’t let that stop her from what she did best: take care of her family. On January 15, 1940, probably compounded by hardened arteries, Caroline suffered a heart attack and passed away. She was interred two days later next to her second husband William at the Forrest Avenue Cemetery.[6] She was 89 years old.


[1] General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. T288, 544 rolls, Frederick Glasser. Her original claim was made on 22 May 1882. Her subsequent claim was filed on 24 Nov 1884.

[2] 1910 US Census, Year: 1910; Census Place: Oxford, Warren, New Jersey; Roll T624_912; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 137; Image: 68.

[3] Personal correspondence, Judith (Hinton) Cole to Shannon Gouyd, dated 18 Apr 2005

[4] George F. may have been a sailor in later years. In her notes, Judith (Hinton) Cole mentions that she has a photo of George in a sailor uniform. The author has not located that photograph as of writing.

[5] Certificate of Death for William C. Fischer, Town of Evans. Date of issue, 10 Oct 1931

[6] Certificate of Death for Caroline S. Fischer, Town of Evans. Date of issue, 17 Jan 1940



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