Francis M. Fishburn, one of the respected citizens of LaSalle county, Illinois, for nearly half a century, was born April 9, 1836, the son of Jacob Fishburn and grandson of Deterich Fishburn, the latter a soldier in the war of 1812. Jacob Fishburn was a native of Middletown, Pennsylvania. He married Miss Catherine Murray, daughter of Francis Murray, who was of Scotch descent, and in 1840 Mr. and Mrs. Fishburn came west, making the journey, as was the custom in those days, by team. In 1840 Mr. Fishburn settled in LaSalle county, and here passed the rest of his life and died, his age at death being seventy years. By trade he was a cooper. His good wife lived to the ripe age of seventy-five years. Both were members of the Lutheran church. Of their seven children we record that four are now living, namely: Francis M., whose name forms the heading of this sketch; America, wife of G. W. Klive; Margaret, wife of James Smith; and Benjamin, a resident of South Ottawa. Of those deceased one died in infancy, and the other two, James and William, died at the ages of four and two years, respectively.
Francis M. Fishburn, the direct subject of this review, was a child of four years when brought west by his parents from Pennsylvania. His youthful days were passed in assisting his father on the farm and in attending during the winter months the public school. On reaching manhood he engaged in farming on his own account and has devoted his energies to agricultural pursuits ever since. He has a fine farm of two hundred and forty acres, well stocked and improved with first-class buildings, the residence surrounded with shade trees. Everything about the premises, buildings, fences, etc., and well-cultivated fields, all go to stamp the owner as a man of thrift and enterprise, up-to-date in his farming ideas.
Mr. Fishburn was married in 1861 to Miss Caroline Hogaboom, daughter of John and Abigail Hogaboom, early settlers of this country. She died in 1873, leaving four children, namely: George H., a resident of Prairie Center township, LaSalle county; Catherine, wife of P. Woods, of Prairie Center township; Francis M., and Harry S., both of Prairie Center township. By this marriage there were two other children, deceased: James B. and William, who died at the ages of thirteen and eight years respectively. In 1882 Mr. Fishburn married for his second wife Miss Sarah E. Kain, daughter of William and Catherine (Snyder) Kain. Mr. and Mrs. Kain were natives of Pennsylvania. Mr. Kain died in Pulaski county, Illinois, at the age of seventy-two years, and Mrs. Kain is still living, her home being in Ottawa, Illinois, and her age, at this writing, eighty-eight years. In the Kain family were twelve children, six sons and six daughters, nine of whom are now living, viz.: George, of this county; Jacob, who was a soldier in the civil war, a member of the Twenty-sixth Illinois Infantry Volunteers; Catherine, wife of Wallace Herdon, of Ottawa; Sarah, wife of F. M. Fishburn; America, wife of J. A. Townsend, of Ottawa; Joseph, a veteran of the civil war, and now a resident of Jefferson, Arkansas; Simon, a resident of Ottawa; Florence, wife of George Lewis, of Ottawa; and Martin, also of Ottawa. The deceased members were Mary, wife of Andrew Bach, of Ottawa; Eliza, wife of Frank Frost; and William, a soldier in the One Hundred and Fourth Illinois Volunteer Infantry in the civil war, who was killed in the battle of Missionary Ridge.
Mr. Fishburn is politically a Democrat, and fraternity a Mason. A genial, cordial man, he has many friends throughout the county.
Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 299-300.