FISKE, JOSEPH EMERY, son of Emery and Eunice (Morse) Fiske, was born in Needham (now Wellesley), Norfolk county, October 23, 1839.
He attended the common schools of his native town, and afterwards the Lawrence Academy, at Falmouth, fitting for college in the English and classical school at West Newton. He entered Harvard in 1857, and was graduated with the class of 1861.
In 1862 he enlisted in company C, 43d M. V., serving as private and orderly sergeant ; afterwards promoted to 2d lieutenant, 1st lieutenant and captain in 2d Massachusetts heavy artillery, serving on the staff of Major-General F. P. Blair, commanding the 17th army corps. He was a prisoner for ten months at Andersonville and Savannah, Ga., Charleston and Columbia, S. C., finally escaping and joining the army of General Sherman.
After his return from the war he studied theology at Andover Theological Seminary, from which he was graduated in 1867. In 1868 the death of his father necessitated his assuming the responsibility of the homestead, and he is at present largely engaged in real estate transactions.
June 1, 1869, Mr. Fiske married Ellen M., daughter of Dexter and Mary (Smith) Ware, who died January 17, 1871. On the 5th of June, 1872, Mr. Fiske married Abbie Sawyer, daughter of Rufus and Isabella (Howe) Hastings. His living children are: Ellen Ware and Isabella Howe Fiske, the latter being one of twin sisters.
Mr. Fiske has held a variety of local offices in benevolent, religious and literary organizations. He is a Mason and Odd Fellow, and a member of Charles Ward Post 62, G. A. R., and also of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion. He was one of the selectmen of Needham from 1873 to ’77 ; was chief marshal of the town at the centennial celebration
of Concord and Lexington, in 1875, and represented Needham in the lower branch of the Legislature in 1874. In 1876 he was a member of the state Senate, and received the honor of a re-election the following year, serving as chairman of the military committee. He was a member of the Needham school board from 1876 to ’81, and has been the chairman of the school committee of Wellesley since its incorporation. He is usually the moderator of the Wellesley town meetings, and continues actively identified with all that tends to the welfare and permanent prosperity of the town.
Mr. Fiske traces a direct lineage to the family of Robert and Sybil (Gold) Fiske, who lived in Framingham, Suffolk county, England. …
On his mother’s side Mr. Fiske was descended from Samuel Morse, who came from England in 1635, and after a short stay in Watertown, settled in Dedham. He counts among his maternal ancestors, Lieut. John Bacon, who was killed in the battle of Lexington, and whose son, also honored with a commission, served in the revolutionary war.
Source: One of a Thousand: A Series of Biographical Sketches in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1888-’89, by John Clark Rand, First National Publishing Co., Boston, 1890, pages 217-8