Obituary of Emil Fischer, transcribed from the Montezuma Journal, September 30, 1898
On his arrival from Silverton yesterday evening, Judge Russell informed a Democrat reporter that Emil Fischer, the noted mapmaker and artist, had fallen dead at Silverton just a little while before time for the Durango bound train.
Mr. Fischer had been in the First National bank in that city and had just stepped upon the sidewalk when without a word he fell dead.
A short time ago Mr. Fischer told B. W. Rittler that he was suffering greatly and would have to go to a lower attitude. Mr. Ritter encouraged him to do this and said he would assist him if required. Poor Fischer waited to long; he clung to the mountain heights sketching, to earn money to go on, but alas, this very good and useful man will not be with us to serve the San Juan longer.
Judge Richard McCloud has a letter from Fischer, written on the 17th. It is very pathetic. He said he was then a physical wreck; there had been no sale for his excellent maps recently issued and he expressed the regret that there was so little to do in his line to earn money. He told a sorrowful story of his condition of health.
Fischer had just arrived in Silverton from one of his mountain sketching tours, and probably had little idea of how soon he was to die.
George Freund of the Colorado Armory, knew Prof. Fischer well during the time he lived in San Juan, dating from the early part of 1881. They were quite close friends and the Prof. often discussed his early life with Mr. Freund, who thinks Fischer was born in Saxony, Germany, as his father was for a long time a government survyor for the state of Saxony. In 1872 or '73, Fischer came to America, coming direct from New York to Omaha, where he was employed for two or three years by Keuntz Brothers in mercantile and banking pursuits. Prior to locating in Durango, Fischer visited California and later resided in Denver. When the building of the Rio Grande railway to the San Juan attracted widespread attention, Fischer came to Durango. Since his residence here he has, in his labors to earn a compentency by map making and sketching, rendered the country many valuable services which haved been very poorly paid.
Prof. Fischer was unfortunately one of the great class whom God had richly endowed with talents, but to serve the public for a miserable existence, a pittance now and then and some crumbs.
Fischer was a genius who could have shone in comparison with the world of genius. He was unfortunate not to have a found a niche in his life career which would better have enabled him to his last hours to enjoy life a little longer--Durango Democat.