Biography of Hon. Charles Joseph Fisk of Grand Forks, North Dakota

Hon. Charles Joseph Fisk, a respected jurist, was born in Illinois in 1862. After a diligent education and a successful career in law, he was elected as a district judge and later elevated to the Supreme Court of North Dakota in 1906. Fisk’s integrity, legal expertise, and genial disposition earned him wide admiration, enabling him to excel in his high office. He married Miss Ida M. Myers, and they have two daughters, Helen Marion and Doris May, who bring much joy to their lives.

Hon. Charles J. Fisk
Hon. Charles J. Fisk

Hon. Charles Joseph Fisk, associate justice of the supreme court of North Dakota, was born in Whiteside County, Illinois, March 11, 1862. His father, Clark Fisk, was a native of Pennsylvania. He became a resident of Illinois in early life, taking up government land in Whiteside County, and was engaged in farming nearly all his life. In 1857 he was married to Miss Adelia E. Reynolds, who was a native of Vermont. A family of four sons and four daughters were born to them, five of whom, two boys and three girls, are now living. The boyhood days of Judge Fisk were spent upon the Illinois farm and his early education was obtained in the public schools of Whiteside County. Later he attended the Northern Illinois College at Fulton, Illinois. After leaving college he taught school for five years, devoting his spare time to the study of his chosen profession, the law. He then read law for two years with Woodruff & Andrews at Morrison, Illinois. He came to North Dakota in 1886, locating at Larimore, where he” was admitted to the bar and entered at once into the activities of the practice of law. He was associated with the late W. H. Fellows, a prominent lawyer of Larimore, until 1889, when he removed to Grand Forks. After locating here, he was associated at different times with the lamented Judge J. M. Cochrane, Tracy K. Bangs and George A. Bangs. During his professional career he was actively engaged in many important cases and acquired a reputation as one of the foremost members of the North Dakota bar. While a resident of Larimore he served the public as city attorney in 1887-88. He was city attorney of Grand Forks in 1895-96, and while serving in this capacity he was elected, in November 1896, to the office of district judge of the first judicial district of North Dakota. He was re-elected to succeed himself in 1900 without opposition, and again in 1904 was re-elected over his Republican opponent, the late J. H. Bosard, by a decisive majority. From the district judgeship he was called to the supreme court of the state in 1906, being elected to fill the vacancy occasioned by the resignation of Justice N. C. Young. His elevation to this high office was a tribute of the people to his integrity and distinguished ability as a jurist as demonstrated during his long career on the district bench. He was nominated by the Democratic party, and in the face of a normally large Republican majority was elected over John Knauff, his Republican opponent, by a majority of over 8,000 votes. The manner in which he has filled the office to which he was chosen by so complimentary a vote has more than fulfilled the expectations of his many friends and admirers. With a discerning and well-balanced judgment, thoroughly equipped by careful and exhaustive legal research, a genial disposition, a sympathetic nature and a broad-gauged view, he is by temperament and otherwise eminently fitted for the responsible position he now holds.

In the fall of 1886, he was united in marriage to Miss Ida M. Myers, of Sterling, Illinois, and of the issue of such marriage now living are two charming daughters, Miss Helen Marion and Doris May, both of whom are just budding into womanhood and who are a source of much joy and pride to their parents.


C.F. Cooper & Company, History of the Red River Valley, Past And Present: Including an Account of the Counties, Cities, Towns And Villages of the Valley From the Time of Their First Settlement And Formation, volumes 1-2; Grand Forks: Herald printing company, 1909.

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