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Re: Rissers in Paris, IL
Posted by: Joseph Stephen Harper Date: September 03, 2001 at 10:04:28
In Reply to: Rissers in Paris, IL by Lew Morris of 49

Yes, I have information. Unfortunately, I have just packed it away in a storage unit, but I will dig it out and reply to you.

Recent Rissers include my grandmother was Helen Risser married to Alfred Wentz Moyer in 1920. Her parents were George Risser and Maria Reist Nissley of Mount Joy, PA. Her brother was George Howard Risser married to Anna Rich of Marietta, PA.

George Risser bought farmland in Paris, IL. But when he went to live there, Maria's parents forbid her to join him there. They had a son, Hiram, (b 1880), 14 years prior to Helen's birth in 1894. Howard was born in 1896.

She lived apart from him for some years. We believe now that the parents intervened because they did not approve of George's buying the farm with borrowed money. These were Mennonites.

George was injured and died when my grandmother was 2 years old (1896) as I recall. His wife, her mother, died about 6 months later "died of a broken heart" people said. The resulting orphans were raised by Nissley relatives near Donegal Springs, between Mount Joy and Marietta, PA. They later moved to a house in the town of Rorherstown, Lancaster County.

I have the names of other Risser relatives in Paris, IL, plus a geneology from the first Risser on N. American soil.

We wer just in Lancaster County in July this year and we were at Donegal Springs Church (Presbyterian) for the memorial service for my aunt and uncle of Marietta who were killed in July. We passed the Risser and Redsecker and Nissley farms, and the old stories rushed through my head.

It may interest you to know that the Risser clock stands in our foyer today, keeping perfect time and in excellent condition. It was made by Jacob Eby of Manheim, PA, between 1805 and 1810. It has a tall cherry case. Such Eby clocks have been documented in the Annals of the Lancaster, PA, Historical Society.

The clock was brought back to Pennsylvania when our great Aunt Jennie Risser (the last?) died in Paris in the 1940's. The clock had not been been run for decades, but my grandparents Moyer had it cared for and it has run ever since. It joined my household in the 1970's. We care for it with the love of all the Risser generations.

There is a Risser Homestead in that area of Pennsyvania. Cemeteries in the area contain headstones of many Rissers. It was a prolific bunch overall, as Risser is a name found everywhere thereabouts.

Sorry, I just don't have all the dates and names of personnel memorized, but I do have them on paper. I'll write to you, if you are interested, in a few days. I also have other contacts to whom you may wish to speak. Do you have photographs? Deeds?

Steve Harper


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