Marguerite (Zang) & Peter Fischer
The family immigrated from a southwestern, border area of Germany around the city of Saarbrucken, Saar, which at the time was the object of Prussian expansionism. Carl's great grandparents Peter Fischer (1820-1877) and Margaret/Marguerite/Margaretha “Mary” (Zang) Fischer (1820-1892) departed their town of Schaffhausen just before the Prussians would fight their French adversaries for ownership of the area. Prussian armies enforced conscription of all men of fighting age. The pending conflict would include hundreds of thousands of soldiers, and result in tens of thousands of deaths. (Click on the map for historical reference.)
America, with its many opportunities post-Civil War, was an appealing alternative to a war that almost certainly would have affected their children, who ranged in age from 4 years old to 23 years old at the time:
Nikolaus/Nicholas Fischer, 1847-1870
Michael Ludwig Fischer, 1848-1928
Mary (Fischer) Hoffrichter, 1850-1920; married Joseph Hoffrichter
Elizabeth (Fischer) Bauer, 1852-1926; married C.G. Bauer
Mary Margaret (Fischer) Streicher, 1854-unknown; married John Streicher
John Fischer, 1858-1926
Peter Fischer, Jr., 1860-1935
Michael Fischer, 1866-1872
It's likely that Germans from this area were recruited and sponsored by the coal
mining industry in Kewanee since Peter Fischer was a mine boss in Schaffhausen.
Peter and Margaret arrived at New York aboard the passenger ship Hammonia on 23 June 1870, with their children, and made their way to Kewanee, Illinois, where they joined eldest son Nicholas/Nikolaus Fischer (1847-1870). Nicholas had been sent ahead from Germany to America in 1867, and died shortly after their arrival.
The Zang family emigrated with the Fischer family. Carl claimed the two families were competitive and vied to see which family would find fortune first in their new country.