Lee County Biography


Josiah Fry has since the spring of 1891 been living a retired life in West Dixon. Long years did he follow farming and by close application to his business in that line and in other directions he acquired a handsome competence which now enables him to retire from active life, lie was born on the 1Oth of December, IH48, On his father's farm in Nachusa Township, and is the only son of John and Mary (Klinetop) Fry. His father was a native of Columbia County, Pa., born April 4, 1813, and was of German descent Tn the county of his nativity the days of his boyhood and youth were passed and he learned the trade of a carpenter which he followed for some years. He was a young man, still unmarried, when he came to the West, and located Government land in Nachusa Township, Lee County, Ill. The farm which he there developed continued to be his home until within a few months of his death, when he went to Bremer County. On the 5th of December, 1886, he passed away, leaving a large circle of friends to mourn his loss. In politics he was a Republican and had lived an upright, honorable life, worthy of emulation in many ways. Mrs. Fry, the mother of our subject, was born and reared in Columbia County, Pa., and when a young lady became a resident of Lee County. She died at her home in Nachusa Township, May 20, 1870, in the faith of the Lutheran Church, in which she had been a member for some years. Her parents were of German descent and resided in the Keystone State throughout their lives.

No event of special importance occurred during the childhood of our subject In the usual routine of farm life the days of his boyhood and youth, were passed and for some years after attaining his majority he followed the occupation to which he was reared. At length he determined to engage in other pursuits, and in 1872 came to Dixon where he entered into the coal business, which he carried on for thirteen years,or until 1885. In the meantime he also dealt in ice, continuing his operations in that line of trade for six years. In 1885 he returned to his home in Nachusa Township, and there resided until the spring of 1891, when, as before stated, he came to Dixon, locating permanently in this city. lie still owns his farm, a highly improved tract of land of one hundred and sixty acres, situated on section 24, Nachusa Township, which adds materially to his income. The lady who is now Mrs. Fry bore the maiden name of Mary C. Stetler. On the 12th of October, 1840, she was born in Columbia County, Pa., unto Samuel and Mary K. Stetler, both of whom were natives of the Keystone Stale, where their childhood was passed and their marriage celebrated. Mrs. Stetler died in her native State, while Mr. Stetler came to Illinois and subsequently removed to Cass County, Iowa, where he is yet living. After her mother's death, Mrs. Fry was reared chiefly by strangers. To her husband she has proved a faithful helpmate and their union has been blessed with eight children, seven of whom are yet living. John E., the eldest, wedded Rebecca Boyer and is now operating the old homestead farm; Mary E., is the wife of Ralph Hendricks, a resident farmer of Bremer County, Iowa; Bert, Anna E., Olive M., Ernest O. and Elsie E. are still under the parental roof.

Mr. and Mrs. Fry are people of intelligence and culture who manifest a commendable interest in every thing pertaining to the welfare of the county and the promotion of the best interests of the community, and in Dixon and throughout Lee County have many warm friends who esteem them highly for their sterling worth. Mr. Fry exercises his right of franchise in support of the Republican party, with which he has been affiliated for several years.

Portraits and Biographical Lee County IL 1892

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