Biography of Rev. George S. Fry
Iowa County, IA Biographies





Rev. George S. Fry has devoted the greater part of his life to the work of the ministry and in this connection his influence has never been of a restricted order, for his labors have not been denied their full harvest nor the aftermath. He is now practically living retired near the city limits of Marengo but his influence still remains an active factor for good in the community in which he lives.

He was born in Cuyahoga county, Ohio, April 22, 1851, his parents being William and Ann (Stoneman) Fry, both of whom were born in England. The father was married three times, his first two wives being sisters. He had nine children, seven of whom were by the mother of George S. Fry. The father was both a minister and farmer, and at one time he and John Reed, Sr., were associated in operating a saw in a shipyard at Euclid, Ohio, for a number of years. In 1868 he became a resident of Marengo, Iowa, where he passed away eighteen years ago. On the occasion of the father's second visit to England he brought back to America the entire Stoneman family, consisting of father, mother and eleven children. They traveled by way of the Erie canal to Buffalo, en route to Cleveland, and on one occasion he rescued one of the daughters from the water. It was this daughter, Ann, who afterward became his wife. She died upon the home farm near Marengo when her son, George S., was sixteen years of age. By her marriage she had become the mother of four sons and four daughters: Serenia, who became the wife of Alvin Teeter and died at the age of fifty four years, leaving six children; Mary, who died at the age of eighteen years; George S., of this review ; John, who died at the age of fifty one; William, a resident farmer of Iowa county, who married Etta Wilson and has eleven children; Margaret Ann, the wife of George Willis, a farmer near Marengo, by whom she has three children; Addie R., of Minneapolis, who became the wife of Orland Jacobs, by whom she had four children, and after his death married Max Lutz; and Charles, who died at the age of three years.

At the time of the mother's death the family was broken up and George S. Fry began earning his living as a farm hand, being employed in that way until twenty two years of age. During his youthful days he attended the home schools and, ambitious to acquire an education, he afterward continued his studies in the State University at Iowa City. His liberal educational advantages and his desire to aid his fellowmen led him to enter the ministry as a preacher of the Wesleyan Methodist church. His first pastoral charge was at Van Horn, Benton county, Iowa, where he remained for six years. He then accepted a call from the church at Charles City, Iowa, where he continued for six years and on the expiration of that period went to Wayne, Henry county, where he continued for four years. The succeeding eight years of his life were spent at Walker, Linn county, as pastor of a church of his denomination, and he was likewise at West Union for two years and at Marengo for two years. He removed to the latter place in order to give his children the benefit of educational advantages offered by the schools of the city. In the meantime he had purchased a farm in Franklin county of one hundred and forty one acres, owned jointly by himself and his son, George Edward. His life has been a most useful and honorable one, fraught with much good for humanity.

Rev. Fry was united in marriage on the 29th of March, 1877, to Miss Ellen M. Smith, a daughter of John and Naomi (Elliott) Smith. The father was born in England and was a railroad contractor. Mrs. Fry is a native of Maine and by her marriage she became the mother of eight children: Anna N., who was born December 31, 1877, and is the wife of Thomas Blank, of Waterloo, a builder, by whom she has one child; George E., born September 28, 1879, who is an agriculturist by occupation and wedded Miss Florence Elliott, by whom he has two children; Earl J., born September 4, 188t, who is a graduate of three colleges and now an instructor in Queen's University of Kingston, Ontario; Guy S., born December 16, 1883, living in New York city and superintendent of the publishing house of the Gregg Shorthand System, who married Miss Bertha Zimmerman of Marengo, by whom he has one son; William R., born May 10, 1886, and manager of the Sherwood Manufacturing Company of Syracuse, New York, who wedded Miss Mabel Lynn, by whom he has one child; Sylvia, who was born November 6, 1888, and is at home, Edna B., whose birth occurred May 25, 1891, and who is a graduate of Ames College, having pursued a course in domestic science; and Ruth, who was born March 20, 1894, and is at home. Rev. and Mrs. Fry also have an adopted son, John, who was born June 3o, 1902, and whom they took at the age of three weeks.

In his political views Rev. Fry is a prohibitionist, standing by the temperance principles which he has so long advocated and which he has taught both by precept and example. His has been a potent force for good along many lines and his influence has gone out in constantly widening circles.

From:
History of Iowa County, Iowa
And its People
By: James C. Dinwiddie
Vol II
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chiago 1915


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