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Col. Thomas David Fister


Col.Fister,Gov.Harmon & C.D. Herman

Born 10/25/1838

Died 4/21/1915

Burial Date 4/26/1915

Col. Thomas David Fister

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Compliments of Hope Cemetery, Kutztown, Pa.


READING EAGLE-APRIL 26, 1915 Persons From Distant Points attend Obsequies of Former Confederate Officer. Kutztown April 26 (Special) The Funeral of Colonel Thomas D. Fister one of the few Confederate officers from the north and well known for his political activities as well as for his good qualities as a citizen, was held this afternoon at 2 o’clock. It was one of the largest ever held in this community. The services in St. John’s Reformed Church were conducted by Rev. George B. Smith, the Pastor. People were present from western points, Philadelphia, Easton, Allentown, Pottstown, Reading, from the south and from local towns. Interment was made in Hope Cemetery. Hundreds of people viewed the remains of the man who was, until his departure for the West three years ago, Kutztown’s oldest male citizen. The remains arrived here from St. Paul, Minn. where the deceased passed away at the home of his daughter, Mary, wife of Rev. James F. Beates, on the 8 a. m. train today. Undertaker J. H. Stump took charge of the body, placing the coffin in St John’s Church, where the remains were viewed. The body was dressed in his own black suit and reposed in a black cloth-covered casket. Members of the Huguenot Lodge, No. 377 F. and A. M. attended in a body and conducted their rites at the grave. the fallowing members of the Lodge served as bearers: Charles D. Herman, Ulrich J. Miller, George A. Schlenker, Milton S. Kuhns, Llewellyn Angstadt and Francis E. Sharadin.
Col. Navy, CSA

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Thomas Fister was born in Kutztown and graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy in 1859. While serving aboard a coastal patrol boat in the Gulf of Mexico, Lt. Fister learned of the outbreak of war. Since he had married a woman from Talladega, Alabama long before the war, he resigned his commission in the U.S. Navy and ultimately obtained a commission in the fledgling Confederate Navy. He lost his ship, the C.S.A. McCrea, in the Mississippi River at the naval battle of New Orleans when the Union Navy decimated the Confederate Navy. In order to escape capture he and a deck hand managed to get into civilian cloths and cross Union Lines back to ( for them ) friendly forces. The story goes that the deck hand could only speak Portuguese and that confused the union sentries who let him pass. Col. Fister, relying on his Pennsylvania German made believe he couldn’t speak English either and subsequently wound up in Richmond, VA. as a marine training officer. After the war, Fister stayed in Alabama serving in the Alabama Legislature. He returned to Kutztown in 1871, and became a prominent business man, a Democratic Representative to the National Convention and President of the Stockholders of the Keystone Normal School. Along with John Fogel he chartered the Kutztown National Bank. He entertained politicians and other influential people among them the PA Governor, Horace Greeley and former Kutztonian Sen. Alexander Ramsey.

This photograph is Left to right, Col. Thomas Fister, Pa.Gov. Harmon and C. D. Herman at the Kutztown Fair, 1911.
Served in the Navy
During the Civil War:Confederate

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