Orpheus H. Fisher was the husband of American contralto Marian Anderson. He was born on July 11, 1900, in Oxford, Chester County, Pennsylvania, to a mixed-race couple, George Albert Fisher and Pauline Conklin Fisher. Orpheus was the last born in a family of five children; the others are Lillie, Pauline, Augustus, and Annie Fisher.
Orpheus H. Fisher was an architect based in Connecticut. He used his skills to construct the buildings in his farmhouse in Danbury. Orpheus used his earnings as an architect to provide for his family’s needs; however, he worked in private practice.
In his personal life, Orpheus H. Fisher met Ida Gould Goldsworthy in the 1920s before getting married in 1924. The couple was blessed with a son, James Gould Fisher, in 1925. Orpheus Fisher then married Marian Anderson in 1943. They had first met in high school, Fisher asked to marry Marian, but she said no as she felt marriage would derail her music career.
Orpheus and his second wife, Marian Anderson, tied the knot at a private ceremony officiated by Rev. Jack Grenfell at Elmwood Chapel. The marriage was met to be held at a parsonage, but it was held at a different location to keep it private. Orpheus’s marriage to Marian is recorded in Dr. Clarine Coffin Grenfell’s book, Women My Husband Married, including Marian Anderson.
His Married Life with Marian Anderson
On marrying Orpheus H. Fisher, Marian became the stepmother of James. They moved to Danbury, Connecticut, where they bought a farmhouse and made it their home. Orpheus made their farmhouse property look good by building several structures, including a studio for his wife, Anderson.
Orpheus Fisher lived with his wife at their ranch for over 40 years until his death in 1986. His wife stayed at the ranch farm until 1992 when she sold it to developers.
Marian Anderson began her singing career in the 1920s, gaining recognition after winning a singing competition organized by New York Philharmonic. After that, she performed a concert in august 1925, which her music critics and audience positively acclaimed. In the 1930s, Orpheus’ wife started going on European singing tours, where she met several artists, including Jean Sibelius and Kosti Vehanen.
Marian also made American tours; while at it, she met impresario Sol Hurok, who became her manager. In America, she performed in several concerts and recorded arias in studios. She was also offered acting roles, but she declined them because of her lack of experience in acting. Orpheus Fisher’s wife also entertained soldiers at their bases during world war II.
Anderson stopped singing in 1965 when she announced retirement, but she continued to make appearances in public music events. Orpheus H. Fisher’s wife died in 1993, aged 96, of congestive heart failure. Her remains were buried at Eden Cemetery, Pennsylvania, USA.
Orpheus H. Fisher died on March 26, 1986, in his Danbury home in Connecticut, aged 85. His body was buried at Wooster Cemetery in Danbury, Connecticut, United States.