Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Jacob Fry 1787-1846

Jacob Fry (Frey) (1787-1846) of the Evangelical Association
who late in life lived and died in
Milton Township (near Wheaton), DuPage County, Illinois

Introduction

This is the life story, as we have pieced it together from nearly 138 sources seen over a 20 year period, of our ancestor Jacob Fry who died October 21, 1846, age 59 years, 1 month, and 10 days, in Milton Township, DuPage County, Illinois. Jacob Fry was buried at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery. His surname appears in records as both Fry and Frey. Also the given name of "Jacob" appears often in the family so we have underlined the name when we think it is "our subject". Authors' comments and sources are in ( ). Sources are listed at the end.
The next three paragraphs were written in 1917, by Rev. A. Stapleton about the early Evangelical Church and our Jacob Fry. It gives an overview of his early life. (25)
"Rev. Jacob Fry was the son of Jacob Fry, Sr., who in 1796 removed with a large family from Berks to Snyder County, Pennsylvania, near the present town of Middleburg. The father (Jacob Fry, Sr. ) was a Reformed Pietist, and as early as 1800 open his house as a preaching place for the evangelists Pfrimmer, Newcomer and others. He died soon after l800, and his son, Abraham Fry (born l768, died 1850), most worthily took his father’s place as a supporter of the evangelists. When Albright made his appearance in the region as an evangelist, Abraham Fry found in him a man after his own heart, and thereafter his house was an Evangelical preaching place, and the home became the center of a great spiritual work. There Albright first met the brother, Jacob Fry, a gifted man, who, upon the establishment of the Evangelical work, evinced a desire to enter the ministry. (25)Jacob Fry's first efforts in the direction of the ministry were under the direction of Rev. George Miller, during his great revival work on the new circuit, in 1806. His (Jacob Fry) further association with the intrepid Walter, who succeeded Miller, led him to decide to enter the active work. We accordingly find him (Jacob Fry) at the first annual conference in l807, where he was accepted as a probationer and assigned to the new circuit with Walter in charge. Later in the year these two brethren exchange charges with the preachers of the old circuit which brought Jacob Fry to the work west of the Susquehanna River where some of the appointments were located. In this region he was so successful that in the Easter Assembly (1808), he was assigned by Albright to form a new charge of the territory which stretched westward through York, Adams, Cumberland and Franklin Counties, Pa., and Western Maryland, where Albright and others had sown thc seed, which was ripe for the harvest. In the midst of his (Jacob Fry) successful labors he became involved in some troubles which necessitated his withdrawal from the field, and he was excluded from the ministry, but was reinstated some years after. (25)
Jacob Fry was one of the Evangelical pioneers of Ohio, and assisted the missionaries in establishing the work there. At the conference held at New Berlin, in 1819, he was ordained deacon and appointed to assist Rev. Jacob Kleinfelter on Canton Circuit, in Ohio. He (Jacob Fry) located at the close of the year on account of family cares. At the conference of 1823 Jacob Fry was instructed "to seek and organize a new circuit." What this meant in the wilds of Ohio the reader may well imagine. We were told by fathers Saylor and Hoffman that when they were laboring in Ohio, in l826, Jacob Fry was a great help to them and did much work as a pioneer. He took charge of appointments established by Saylor in that year. His name (Jacob Fry) appears on the rolls when the Western Conference was organized in 1827 and he received a small share of the salary. His name (Jacob Fry) does not again appear on the records after this and we are unable to trace him to his end, but that he remained in touch with the Church of his youth is evidenced by his sending obituary notices to the Christliche Botschafter." (25)
Now from the beginning.
1785
In 1785, Jacob Albright (founder of the Evangelical Association) married Catherine Cope. Shortly after the marriage Albright bought a 120-acre farm at Hahnstown in eastern Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The farm adjoined one owned by a Fry family. The two farms were separated by a creek on which the Fry Family had a grist mill. (#47, pages 68-69).
In 1785, at the age of twenty-six, Jacob Albright married Catharine Cope, and the young couple established their own home. With his wife, Albright traveled about a day's journey from the old homestead near Pottstown, to the northeastern part of Lancaster County where they purchased a very fertile farm of forty-five acres in Earl Township and eighteen acres in Brecknock Township, located along a small stream, adjoining the property known as Fry's Mill, near Hahnstown. The detailed record of Jacob Albright's property is found in "Miscellaneous Book 1816-22" pages 29,36,50,66, and 79 in the Register of Wills office in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. (#49, page 27).
Jacob Albright's farm is located in the fertile valley of the Muddy Creek, a small tributary that ultimately flows into the Susquehanna River. It lies about two miles southwest of Reamstown, in the vicinity of Hahnstown. Hinkletown is several miles to the west and Terre Hill lies to the south. Just across the creek from the Albright homestead is Fry's Mill, and the farm now (1956) owned by Jacob Fry. For seven generations this property has been in the Fry family. Jacob Fry's grandfather administered the estate for the family at Mrs. Albright's death in 1828. (#49, pages 29 and 87).
During the Revolutionary War, Martin Frey had a grist and saw mill and Rudy Frey had a saw mill on Muddy Creek about 3 miles south of Adamstown, Brecknock Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. (129). There is a Frysville near there today.
1787
Jacob Fry, Jr. was born September 13, 1787 in Berks County, Pennsylvania. (#11) Jacob Fry died October 21, 1846 in Milton Township, DuPage County, Illinois aged 59 years, 1 month, and 10 days. This would calculate birth date to be September 11, 1787. (14) Johannes (Jacob) Frey was baptized September 21, 1787 at the Zion (Moselem Union Church) Lutheran Church, Richmond Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania. His parents were Jacob and Catharina Frey. (71)(72) This is wrong, I (Lois Stange) never found Jacob's baptism. A Frey was in the index but did not appear in two sets of Moslem Church records. This was an error in the index because another person was baptized that day, think the last name should have been Krick. So we have no baptism record for Jacob. (112)
1790
The first census of the United States in 1790, Richmond Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania, has the household of Jacob Frey listing 1 male 16 and over (himself; son Abraham born 1769, i.e. age about 21 probably was out of household), 2 males under 16 (probably David and Jacob, son Johannes Frey was born March 5, 1790 perhaps after the census), and 6 females (wife and his daughters). (70)
1796
On a very beautiful Sabbath in the month of October, 1796 a Reformed Church at Shaefferstown, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, was dedicated. Jacob Albright, who had entered upon his calling as an itinerant preacher, came there also. Inasmuch as a great multitude of people had met, so that the Church could not nearly seat them all, Albright went to the market house which stood near the church, in the middle of the main street, and took his stand upon a pile of lumber, and began to preach to the people who gathered around him in great numbers. Many who heard the Word that day were "pricked in the their hearts", and a great commotion ensued. However, some of the sons of Belial cried out: "This man is beside himself" and finally pushed him from the lumber pile, and would, no doubt, have maltreated him, had not a very strong man taken him in his arms like a child, and carried him away. This sermon, and the ill-treatment of Albright, made a deep impression upon the minds of the people, and laid the foundation of the great revival which afterwards took place in that neighborhood. (#46, pages 65-66).
An important family at Middleburg, Pennsylvania (present day Snyder County) were the Frey's. About 1796 Jacob Frey, Sr. emigrated from Berks County, Pennsylvania and settled in the vicinity of Middleburg (present day Snyder County). He was then well along in years and his children were grown up. They all became, so far as known, members of the Evangelical Association in its infancy, and a number become prominent, as follows: Jacob Frey, Jr. entered the itinerancy under Albright in 1807. In 1808 he was sent to organize a new circuit in York County, Pennsylvania but owing to an indiscretion he was obliged to retire from the work. Later he removed to Ohio, where he was again received into the ministry, and rendered several years of service. Abraham Frey (Jacob Fry's older brother) and his wife Margaret lived about three miles from Middleburg (now Snyder County, PA). Their house became a regular preaching place in 1805. Brother Frey was a very devoted and liberal man, and especially noted as a fine singer. He died in 1850, aged eighty-two years. His son Abraham, Jr., entered the active ranks of the Eastern Conference in 1832, traveled a number of years in Pennsylvania, then entered the work in Ohio, where he labored successfully, but broke down in health, and died in 1843, aged thirty-three years. Two daughters of Jacob Frey, Sr. Barbara and Magdalena (Jacob Fry's sisters), married to George Hartman and Daniel Mowry respectively, were converted, as also their husbands. (32).
About 1796 the Jacob Fry, Senior family moved from Berks County to what is today Snyder County, Pennsylvania. Snyder County was created in 1855 from Union County. Union County was created in 1813 from Northumberland County and Northumberland County was created in 1772 from parts of Lancaster, Berks, and Cumberland Counties.
Jacob Fry, Senior, in 1796 removed with a large family from Berks to Snyder County, Pennsylvania, near the present town of Middleburg. He was a Reformed Pietist, and as early as 1800 opened his house as a preaching place for the evangelists Pfrimmer, Newcomer and others. He died soon after l800, and his son, Abraham Fry (born l768, died 1850), most worthily took his father’s place as a supporter of the evangelists. When Albright made his appearance in the region as an evangelist, Abraham Fry found in him a man after his own heart, and thereafter his house was an Evangelical preaching place, and the home became the center of a great spiritual work. There Albright first met the brother, Jacob Fry, a gifted man, who, upon the establishment of the Evangelical work, evinced a desire to enter the ministry. (25)
1800
In the year 1800 the German population of Pennsylvania consisted chiefly of Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Reformed, Mennonites, Old and New School Baptists, Schwenkfelders, etc. (#46, page 62).
From the beginning of his public labors until the year 1800, Albright labored largely in Lancaster, Dauphin and Berks Counties, Pennsylvania. (#46, page 73).
1802
Jacob Fry, Senior (father of our subject Jacob Fry) died intestate prior to September 20, 1802 when his estate was entered into probate in Northumberland County. He left a wife Catharine and children Abraham, Catharine, Hannah, Elizabeth, David, Magdalena, Barbara, Jacob and John. The widow Catharine on September 20, 1802 gave up her of right administration of the estate to her son Abraham Fry. From the inventory of the estate it might be guessed that Jacob Fry, Senior was a shoemaker as well as a farmer. Rents on houses in Sunbury are also mentioned among the assets. Perhaps the family first lived in Sunbury prior to moving to an area near Middleburg. John Herbst was paid for preaching the funeral sermon.
1804
The Orphans Court on August 29, 1804 names all the children of Jacob Fry, Senior and records the appointment of Bernard Everhart as guardian of minors Jacob Fry over 14 and John Fry under 14.
1805
Abraham Frey (Jacob Fry's older brother) and his wife Margaret lived about three miles from Middleburg (now Snyder County, PA). Their house became a regular preaching place in 1805. Brother Frey was a very devoted and liberal man, and especially noted as a fine singer. He died in 1850, aged eighty-two years. His son Abraham, Jr., entered the active ranks of the Eastern Conference in 1832, traveled a number of years in Pennsylvania, then entered the work in Ohio, where he labored successfully, but broke down in health, and died in 1843, aged thirty-three years. (32)
George Hartman and his wife Barbara (nee Frey, sister of Jacob Fry), who was a sister to Abraham Frey, were converted at the house of the latter, through the ministry of Jacob Albright, in 1805, and soon thereafter opened their house as a preaching place, and both became pillars in the society. Many general and three camp-meetings were held on their place prior to 1833. In 1833 they removed to Sandusky County, Ohio, their house also became a preaching place. The first camp-meeting on Sandusky Circuit was held on their place. Brother Hartman died in 1844, aged sixty-three years, and his companion in 1855, aged seventy-three years. (#32, page 62).
Daniel Mowry and his wife Magdalena (nee Frey, sister of Jacob Fry) were also of the first members, and their house was one of the first preaching places. Brother Mowry also removed to Ohio, and settled near his brother-in- law, George Hartman. Brother Mowry's home in Ohio was also one of the preaching places of the old Sandusky Circuit. (32).
1806
Jacob Fry's first efforts in the direction of the ministry were under the direction of Rev. George Miller, during his great revival work on the new circuit, in 1806. His (Jacob Fry) further association with the intrepid Walter, who succeeded Miller, led him to decide to enter the active work. We accordingly find him (Jacob Fry) at the first annual conference in l807, where he was accepted as a probationer and assigned to the new circuit with Walter in charge. Later in the year these two brethren exchange charges with the preachers of the old circuit which brought Jacob Fry to the work west of the Susquehanna River where some of the appointments were located. In this region he was so successful that in the Easter Assembly (1808), he was assigned by Albright to form a new charge of the territory which stretched westward through York, Adams, Cumberland and Franklin Counties, Pa., and Western Maryland, where Albright and others had sown thc seed, which was ripe for the harvest. In the midst of his (Jacob Fry) successful labors he became involved in some troubles which necessitated his withdrawal from the field, and he was excluded from the ministry, but was reinstated some years after. (25)
1807
On November 15th and 16th, 1807 the first regular conference of the Society was held in a place called Muehlbach, then belonging to Dauphin, but now in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, in the house of Samuel Becker. It consisted of all the officers of the Society; namely, the traveling and local ministers, the classleaders and exhorters--28 in all. Jacob Albright was elected superintendent (bishop), and George Miller elder, and Jacob Frey and John Dreisbach were received as traveling preachers on trial. The minutes of this conference say nothing of the stationing of the ministers. (#31, pages 35-37). John Dreisbach died in 1871 and was buried in a cemetery adjoining the Ebenezer church a few miles south of Circleville, Ohio, #59, "John Dreisbach, last living colaborer of Jacob Albright dead in Aug, 1871. (Source #135, page 46)
The first conference was held about the middle of November, 1807, in the house of Samuel Becker, at Muehlbach (now), Lebanon County, Pennsylvania. All ministers and class-leaders and exhorters, 28 in number, were present. By this Conference Jacob Albright was elected Bishop, George Miller, Presiding Elder, and John Dreisbach and Jacob Frey were received as ministers on probation. (#46, page 100).
In 1807 five ministers present were Jacob Albright, John Walter, George Miller, John Dreisbach and Jacob Fry. The last two were preachers on trial. Part of Dreisbach's journal are preserved at Naperville, Illinois. Part of Albright's and most of Miller's journal are preserved in George Miller's work "Albright and Miller". (#49, pages 83 and 90).
The 1807 conference was held in the home of Samuel Becker in Kleinfeltersville, Pennsylvania. Jacob Fry (or Frey) was called a "preacher on trial". (#47, pages 81-82).
In 1807 John Dreisbach, of Buffalo Valley, in Union County, Pennsylvania, and Jacob Frey, of Middle Creek Valley, in (now) Snyder County, Pennsylvania, entered the work. (#32, page 20).
1808
In 1808 besides Albright there were five traveling preachers: George Miller elder, John Walter and John Dreisbach in full connection, and Jacob Frey continued on trial. John Erb was newly received on trial. (#48, page 17).
On Easter, in 1808, a general meeting was held in Albany Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania, at John Brobst's, where Mr. Albright changed the preachers for the following year. He stationed John Walter and Jacob Frey on the Lancaster and Schuylkill or old circuit, and George Miller and John Dreisbach on Northumberland circuit. A short time later on May 18, 1808, Jacob Albright died. (#31, pages 38-39). Jacob Albright died in 1808 and was buried in a cemetery adjoining the old Albright Memorial Church, Kleinfeltersville, Pennsylvania. (#59)
John Dreisbach wrote "The last half of my first year I traveled on Northumberland circuit with George Miller, who had charge of the circuit; but on account of sickness, he left me and the circuit December 26th, 1808. I was thus left alone on this extensive circuit, embracing Buffalo, Penn's, Brush, Sugar, Middle Creek and Dry Valleys. Albright now being dead, and Miller disabled, John Walter and his colleague (probably means Jacob Frey), with myself, three in number were the entire itinerant force left; and during the winter Walter's colleague (see below why he seems to avoid saying Jacob Frey) was exchanged for John Erb." (#46, page 284).
In 1808 the labors of the brethren, on the two circuits, were crowned with abundant success. John Erb was associated with John Walter on the old circuit, and Jacob Frey was sent to York County on the other side of the Susquehanna, to explore the country for the purpose of forming a new circuit; but marrying shortly afterward, he resigned the office of an itinerant minister. (#31, pages 43-44).
In 1808, York County, Pennsylvania, Jacob Frey was appointed by Albright to preach at Freysville, Pennsylvania (York County). A new circuit was organized. John Frey (Jacob Frey's younger brother. John Frey was a minor in 1804, as was Jacob Frey himself, so both were very young men in 1808) was the class leader and this stronghold became thecee (sic) of far reaching activities. All the prosperous Evangelical churches in York County, Pennsylvania came out of this early and thriving appointment. (#53, pages 13-14).
1809
In April, 1809, the second regular conference of the Association, was held in the house of Rev. George Miller, in Albany township, Berks County, Pennsylvania, J. F. (no doubt means Jacob Frey) was, for certain offences, expelled from the Association. (#31, page 51).
Very strict personal moral standards were required, so strict that a number of the men who had been accepted were later discharged. Even Jacob Fry was "expelled on account of immoral conduct" two years after he had joined the preachers. It appears that he had engaged in an overly ardent courtship. He married the young lady, and in 1819 he was readmitted to the fellowship. (#47, pages 91-92).
Jacob Fry, Jr. married Elizabeth Oberlin about 1808/09, probably in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania where the Oberlin family resided.. Wife Elizabeth Oberlin was born July 24, 1791 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. She was baptized August 21, 1791 at the St. Lukes Evangelical Lutheran Church in Schaeffertown, Pennsylvania. Her parents were Johann Adam and Mary Margaret (Ensminger) Oberlin. About 1792 the Oberlins moved to Cumberland County, Pennsylvania.
1810
Jacob Fry and Elizabeth (Oberlin) Fry had a son Moses Fry born in 1810 in Stark County, Ohio. (40)(41)(42)(43)
1811
By May 1811 Jacob Fry and Elizabeth (Oberlin) Fry resided in Stark County, Ohio. Jacob Fry and Elizabeth (Oberlin) Fry had ten children all born in Ohio. The first eight born in Stark County, Ohio (1810-1828) and the last two born in Scott Township, Sandusky County, Ohio (1832-1837). All of the sons had biblical names.
1812
Jacob Fry and Elizabeth (Oberlin) Fry had a son Jacob Fry, Jr. born February 20, 1812 in Stark County.
On April 10, 1812 (recorded in Union County, Pennsylvania, Deed Book A Page 149) the heirs of Jacob Fry, Senior sold his land in Beaver Township (present day Snyder County). No mention is made of the widow Catharine or of her dower right. It seems likely she was dead by the time of the sale. The sellers were Abraham Fry of Center Township, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, and Catharine his wife; David Fry of Beaver Township, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, and Mary his wife; and also as attorney for Peter Folk of Berks County, Pennsylvania, and Catharine his wife; John Fry of York County, Pennsylvania; and as attorney for Jacob Fry of the State of Ohio and Elizabeth his wife; and also as attorney for John Zankle of York County, Pennsylvania, and Hannah his wife; Henry Billman of East Buffalo Township, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, and Elizabeth his wife; George Hartman of Beaver Township, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, and Barbara his wife; and Daniel Maurer of Beaver Township, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, and Magdelena his wife.
This incident was told by Laura (Fry) Dicken. Jacob Fry, Sr. and his wife, Elizabeth entered a farm near Canton, Ohio and built a home there, being well situated before the War of 1812. They had two children, Moses and Jacob, Jr. at the time of the following incident: An old Indian came to their home quite often to get something to eat and to get warm, and sometimes he would stay all night. He would always say that he was a good Indian and would not hurt them but Elizabeth was always afraid of him, because she knew how treacherous some Indians could be. He liked honey very well, but he ate so much of it that Elizabeth decided to tell him that it was all gone. He didn't believe her, and finally after looking around he found the tub under the bed where Elizabeth had hidden the honey. After he had gotten the honey he jumped and hooted with joy. One day this same Indian came and told Elizabeth that some bad Indians were coming to kill she and her family. When Jacob, Sr. came in she told him what the Indian had said. They knew that they must flee for their lives, and their only means of escape was on horseback. Elizabeth had a kettle of beans cooked, but she decided that the Indians shouldn't have them so she threw the kettle and all down the hill. The horses were in the woods, but just at that time they heard the bells on them, and looked to see them running up to the house. Jacob, Sr. soon saddled them; threw a few of their smaller possessions across the saddle; put Elizabeth and the baby on one horse, while he took the other small boy with him on the other. They started to Canton, which was 10 or 12 miles away. While they rode on through the night the Indians burned their home and all of their belongings. They were thankful however, their lives and the lives of their horses were spared. (24)
1813
Jacob Fry and Elizabeth Fry bought a lot in Canton, Stark County, Ohio in April 1813 and then sold it in October 1814. Jacob Fry may have served his country in the War of 1812, a flag was noted next to his grave marker. The Jacob Fry family lived in Stark County, Ohio from approximately 1810/1811 until 1832. (18)
1814
Jacob Fry and Elizabeth (Oberlin) Fry had a daughter Lydia Fry was born May 8, 1814 in Stark County, Ohio.
1816
The first attempt to extend the work to the state of Ohio, was made in 1816, by founding two new circuits. One of the circuits (Scioto) failed. The other, however, Canton, succeeded well by the labors of its missionary, A. Hennig. Although the country was yet new, to a great extent, and the people mostly lived in log-houses, and were but poorly prepared to entertain strangers, yet Brother Hennig very soon found many open doors, and in a very short time formed a circuit of 32 preaching places. (#31, page 85).
A large portion of the new circuit was in Stark County, Ohio, about the town of Canton, for which reason it was called "Canton circuit". This was the beginning of the Society's operations in the state of Ohio. The emigration of members from Pennsylvania had already commenced and increased annually. Among the first families there that received the preachers of the Society were the following: M. Reidinger, P. Strayer, A. Shilling, P. Oberlin (Peter Oberlin/Oberly, brother of Elizabeth (Oberlin) Fry), A. Rausch, C. Dillman, D. Williams, P. Stroh, J. Schwartz, P. Hennig, etc.; some of whom had been members of the Society before they emigrated to Ohio. (#31, page 86).
1817
Jacob Fry and Elizabeth (Oberlin) Fry had a son Adam Fry born 1817 in Tuscarawas Township, Stark County, Ohio.
1818
Jacob Fry purchased land in 1818 (in Range 10, Township 12, section 8, later recorded as the Village of Greenville (now called East Greenville) Stark County, Ohio. Frederick Oberlin, Jacob Fry’s brother-in-law, also had land there purchased in 1812. Jacob Fry earlier had owned land further south a couple of sections near Stanwood, Stark County, Ohio, where other members of the Oberlin Family settled.
1819
The twelfth conference was held June 7-12, 1819, in New Berlin, Pennsylvania. J. Frueh and J. Frey re-entered the itinerancy. A conference committee stationed the preachers as follows: Canton Ohio circuit, Jacob Kleinfelter and J. Frey. The numerical strength of the respective circuits were Lancaster, Pennsylvania, circuit, 277; York Pennsylvania, circuit, 194; Canton Ohio circuit, 139. All the circuits were almost exclusively German. The brethren believed that the Lord had called the Evangelical Association for the express purpose of helping to revive Christianity in the German Churches of the country. (#31, pages 100-101).
Under Jacob Klinefelter and Jacob Frey in 1819, the first camp meeting in Ohio was held on the land of William Wise seven miles north of Canton. The presiding elder John Dreisbach could not attend because of ill health. The only report recorded of the meeting stated that it was richly blest (sic). (#26, pages 19-20).
Jacob Fry was one of the Evangelical pioneers of Ohio, and assisted the missionaries in establishing the work there. At the conference head at New Berlin, in 1819, he was ordained deacon and appointed to assist Rev. Jacob Kleinfelter on Canton Circuit, in Ohio. Jacob Fry located at the close of the year on account of family cares. (25)
1820
In 1820 the conference met again at New Berlin, Pennsylvania. J. Stambach located (located means ceased active service as an itinerant preacher and enrolled as a local preacher) on account of bodily infirmities; and J. Peters, S. Witt, and J. Fry, on account of family Circumstances. (#31, page 103).
Jacob Fry and Elizabeth (Oberlin) Fry had a daughter Mary "Polly" Fry born June 13, 1820 in Tuscarawas Township, Stark County, Ohio. (59)
1822
In Brush Valley, Indiana County, Pennsylvania, our ministers, commenced preaching in 1822, at Nicolas Enders' and George Baumeister's. The Brethren Jacob Baumgartner and Joseph Long (he died in 1869 and was buried in a cemetery near Forreston, Illinois, #59) were the first preachers of the Society in that part of country, and formed a class of seven members in 1822. Subsequently a number of families removed thither from York County, Pennsylvania, named Oberdorf, Miller, and Frey (this is probably John Frey brother of Jacob Frey). (#31, page 279).
June 7, 1822, John Seybert mentions in his journal that he started for his assigned circuit in Ohio. Later he will mention Jacob Fry. (65)
July 3, 1822, John Seybert mentions that he traveled 25 miles to Fundersal's. On the way he stopped at Frey's. after Fundersal's he went 6 miles to Ehrly in Panesville, Ohio. (65)
1823
Jacob Fry and Elizabeth (Oberlin) Fry had a daughter Anna Fry born February 19, 1823 in Tuscarawas Township, Stark County.
April 25, 1823, John Seybert mentions in his journal that he traveled to Oberly's (Oberlin's). (65)
April 26, 1823, John Seybert mentions that he traveled to Shilling's (This is probably Jacob and Catharine (Oberlin) Shilling, she the older sister of Elizabeth (Oberlin) Fry, wife of Jacob Fry) and then on to Fundersal's. (65)
May 12, 1823, John Seybert states they are at Neisly's where Jacob Frey preached from Romans 6:11. (65)
May 13, 1823, John Seybert states "as I come near the Ohio state border .... I have completed my year of service" He then lists the members of the Canton Circuit including Peter Oberly and Susan Oberly. (This would be Peter Oberlin and Susanna (Cramer) Oberlin. Peter the older brother of Elizabeth (Oberlin) Fry, wife of Jacob Fry). (65)
May 14, 1823, John Seybert starts for home (Pennsylvania and the annual conference) with Frey. He states Frey desired to go the annual conference to get a license to preach the gospel. (65)May 14, 1823, they travel 45 miles and Frey stays at Falmer's. (65)May 15, 1823, they travel 37 miles to Pfirsching's. (65)May 16, 1823, they travel 30 miles to Barger's. (65)May 17, 1823, they travel 37 miles to Rickel's. (65)May 18, 1823, Sunday, no travel. (65)May 19, 1823, they travel 37 miles to Gift's. (65)May 20, 1823, they travel 28 miles to Fundersalen's. (65)May 21, 1823, (65)May 22, 1823, they travel 37 miles to Schoppen's. (65)May 23, 1823, We went to Harrisburg (Pennsylvania) where we parted. (65)
June 2, 1823, John Seybert states we began the journey to our annual conference to be held in the church at Strasburg, Pennsylvania. In the evening a service was held in the church where Jacob Frey preached from the words of Jesus, John 5:6-8. (65)
Every year the Ohio missionaries made the long journey to their fields in Ohio and back again to attend the annual conference sessions in Pennsylvania. The average distance to and from the center of the Ohio fields was no less than eight hundred miles. The foundation builders of the Evangelical Church in Ohio made many crossings of the Allegheny Mountains on horseback. Daily entries in the journals of the early preachers portray happy events along the way that gave spice to the long journeys. Using the ministers en route to and from conference was a wise economy for those times. For these early Ohio missionaries the return to Pennsylvania for the conference session meant a visit "back home". On the day John Seybert (he died in 1860 and was buried in a cemetery near Flat Rock, Ohio. #59) finished his year's labor at the home of Jacob Niesley he made this journal entry: "Wednesday, May 14, 1823, I started for home, accompanied by Henry Hassler, Frey, and Pershing." (#26, pages 28-29).
The 1823 Conference met in Strassburg, York County, Pennsylvania on -- ---1823. The following were ordained as deacons: J. Stoll, Fr. Glasser, J. Frey, and W. Sholty. The Conference committee stationed the preachers as follows: Ohio district, A. Kleinfelter, presiding elder. Canton circuit, J. Baumgartner; Jacob Frey, to seek a new circuit. The number of itinerants this year was 19, that of local preachers 59, and of members 1854. (#31, pages 112-113).
Encouraged to make a second attempt to organize a field in Richland County, Ohio, the conference of 1823 delegated Jacob Frey "To seek a new circuit". (#26, page 23).
At the conference of 1823 Jacob Fry was instructed "to seek and organize a new circuit." What this meant in the wilds of Ohio the reader may well imagine. (25)
1824
In 1824, conference held its session again in Strassburg, York County, Pennsylvania from the 7th to the 10th of June. J. Breidenstein located (located means ceased active service as an itinerant preacher and enrolled as a local preacher) on account of bodily infirmities, and J. Frey and J. Baumgartner on account of family circumstances. J. Long was ordained as a deacon and was assigned to the Lancaster, Ohio circuit. (#31, pages 122-123).
1825
Jacob Fry and Elizabeth (Oberlin) Fry had a daughter Elizabeth "Betsy" Fry born September 14, 1825 in Tuscarawas Township, Stark County, Ohio.
1826
According to "The Evangelical Church in Ohio", Jacob Frey organized the Sandusky Ohio Circuit in 1826. It further states that he had two sisters, one being Mary Magdalene Frey, wife of Daniel Mowry, and the other Barbara Frey, wife of George Hartman. (#26)
We were told by fathers Saylor and Hoffman that when they were laboring in Ohio, in l826, Jacob Fry was a great help to them and did much work as a pioneer. He took charge of appointments established by Saylor in that year. (25)
1827
Jacob Fry’s name appears on the rolls when the Western Conference was organized in 1827 and he received a small share of the salary. His name does not again appear on the records after this and we are unable to trace him to his end, but that he remained in touch with the Church of his youth is evidenced by his sending obituary notices to the Christliche Botschafter. (25)
1828
In 1828 the Western Conference met at Uniontown, Stark County, Ohio, May 5th, 1828. J. Long was chairman. J. F. (Jacob Frey ??) was expelled from the Church for immoral conduct. (#31, page 137).
Jacob Fry and Elizabeth (Oberlin) Fry had a son Solomon Fry born December 16, 1828 in Tuscarawas Township, Stark County, Ohio.
1829
Jacob Fry laid out and recorded the village of Greenville (which is now known as East Greenville, Stark County, Ohio). East Greenville is 7 miles west of Massillon, Ohio, and about 3 miles north of Stanwood, Ohio, where many of the Oberlin family settled. Jacob Fry laid out and recorded the village of Greenville (now called East Greenville) in 1829. This was in Range 10, Township 12, section 8. Jacob Fry purchased this land in 1818.
"The first regular preacher was Rev. Jacob Frey (also spelled Fry). The deed book contains the plot as recorded June 16, 1829, attested by George Dunbar, Justice of Peace. It is unique among Stark County villages in having been recorded by an ordained minister. The records of the beginning of the East Greenville Church have been lost, but it seems likely that Rev. Frey already had a charge at this place before he laid out and recorded the village in 1829. The church came under the Dalton Methodist circuit as early as 1830 and for many years the East Greenville Church was served by the Dalton Methodist Church." (#18)
Jacob Fry and his wife Elizabeth sold land as per these records of Stark County, Ohio.July 16, 1830 Book I page 174Feb 4, 1831 Book I page 304June 29, 1832 Book J page 492Aug 17, 1832 Book J page 491June 29, 1832 Book J page 594Sept 18, 1832 Book L page 347. This I have a copy of and it says "of the county of Stark".
In 1829 the Western Conference held its annual session in Tuscarawas Township, Stark County, Ohio. J. Long was Chairman. (#31, page 142).
1830
In 1830 the Western Conference held its annual session in Plain Township, Stark County, Ohio. J. Long was chairman. (#31, page 146).
At the 1830 conference it ordained that the itinerant ministry in general confine their labors to the German portion of the population and that no more preachers be received into that body, who had not, at least, some knowledge of the German language. This resolution vexed and discouraged the English brethren a great deal. Thus many parts of the county were and remained closed against the Association, as by far the most states of the Union were almost exclusively English. (#31, page 153).
Jacob Fry was in the 1830 Census of Sandusky County, Ohio.
1831
The 1831 session of the Eastern Conference was held at Lebanon, Pennsylvania. T. Buck was chairman, J. F. (Jacob Frey ??, probably not our subject) and G. L., local preachers, and R. Hunter, itinerant were deposed from the ministry, on account of immoral conduct. (#31, page 154).
1832
It appears that the Jacob Fry moved to Sandusky County, Ohio, after September 18, 1832 when he sold land in Stark County, Ohio, and before December 12, 1832, when their son Josiah Fry was born in Sandusky County, Ohio. (112)
The 1832 session of the Western Conference again took place in Green Township, Stark County, Ohio. J. Long was president. (#31, page 158).
Jacob Fry and Elizabeth (Oberlin) Fry had a son Josiah Fry born December 12, 1832 in Scott Township, Sandusky County, Ohio. (44)
1833
The Western Conference held its meeting at Fairfield County, Ohio, May 6, 1833. Samuel Frey was reported to have died. (This could have been a son of one of Jacob's brothers). (#32, page 245).
In 1833 Jacob Fry, his son Moses and George Hartman (Jacob Fry's brother-in-law) became original land owners in Scott Township, Sandusky County, Ohio. Jacob Fry's son Jacob and Daniel Mowry (Jacob Fry's brother-in-law) settled in Jackson Township, Sandusky County, Ohio.
George Hartman and his wife Barbara (nee Frey, sister of Jacob Fry) in 1833 moved to Sandusky County, Ohio, and their house again became a preaching place. The first camp-meeting on Sandusky Circuit was held on their place. Brother Hartman died in 1844, aged sixty-three years, and his companion in 1855, aged seventy-three years. (#32, page 62).
Daniel Mowry and his wife Magdalena (nee Frey, sister of Jacob Fry) also moved to Ohio. Brother Mowry moved to Ohio, and settled near his brother-in- law, George Hartman. Brother Mowry's home in Ohio was also one of the preaching places of the old Sandusky Circuit. (#32, page 62).
1834
In 1834 the Western Conference held its annual session in Lake Township, Stark County, Ohio. H. Niebel (Henry Niebel died 1877, age 93 and was buried in a small cemetery not far from Sycamore, Ohio, #59) was chairman. Peter Wist, Samuel Van Gundy, and Jacob Frey (probably not our Jacob Fry), were admitted on trial. (#31, page 168).
In the 1834 Eastern Conference A. Frey (probably Abraham Frey, Jacob Fry's brother or Abraham's son) was appointed to the Cumberland circuit in Pennsylvania. (#31, page 168).
1835
Samuel Baumgartner in October 1835 conducted meetings at the homes of Mrs. Hartman's brother Rev. Jacob Frey and sister Mrs. Daniel Mowery. (#26, page 627).
The 1835 conference resolved to publish the "Christliche Botschafter". The Western Conference held its annual sessions in Greentown, Stark County, Ohio. H. Niebel was presiding elder and the preacher for Canton circuit was Jacob Frey. In Pennsylvania, A. Frey was assigned the Somerset circuit. (#31, pages 170-171).
1836
After 1836 the names of ministers as they were received, deposed, expelled, ordained, appointed or located (located means ceased active service as an itinerant preacher and enrolled as a local preacher) appeared in the "Christliche Botschafter" and were omitted from this source. (#31, page 172).
The last round of Samuel Baumgartner, this energetic pioneer preacher, was in February, 1836, when he held a two days' meeting at elder Jacob Frey's home on Mud Creek with six or seven converts. (#26, page 627).
1837
In 1837 a preacher of our Association visited for the first time the state of Illinois (Rev. Jacob Boas); although a number of our members from Pennsylvania had emigrated thither some time before. The first had gone to Chicago and vicinity, in the fall of 1836, and these were followed by some more, in the ensuing spring. Those that had settled near Chicago and vicinity were from Warren, Pennsylvania. Upon their arrival in Illinois, the families separated into three companies; the first, which was the most numerous, settled along the DesPlaines river, near Wheeling, Cook County; the second, in and near Naperville of the same county (now DuPage County) (this was called First Church of the Evangelical Association and later Zion Evangelical Church and today (1992) Community United Methodist Church, #59); and the third in Henry County, Illinois. The class at Naperville consisted of 15 members, named: Esher, Wirth, Grass, Strubler, Knopf, etc. (#31, pages 213-214). (A larger list of early members can be found in #59)
In 1836 and 1837 bands of Evangelical Association members from Warren, Pennsylvania, moved to DesPlaines, Naperville, and Moline, Illinois, and formed classes in each place. (#47, page 134).
Nicolas Miller presented to the society an acre of ground for a church and a graveyard. This was the first church of the Evangelical Association, west of the state of Ohio, directly one mile and a half east of Wheeling, Cook County, Illinois. The new circuit then consisted of 4 regular preaching places. The other was in one instance 130 miles. As the preacher was German and the population for the most part English, he could take up no new preaching places. The northern half of the state of Illinois was in those days, for the most part, an almost impossible wilderness and very thinly settled. The distance between dwelling houses, even along the main roads, was often from 15 to 30 miles; and even these few inhabitants were but poorly prepared to accommodate strangers. (#31, page 254).
Jacob Fry and Elizabeth (Oberlin) Fry had a son Samuel Fry born August 16, 1837 in Scott Township, Sandusky County, Ohio.
1838
In 1838 preacher Benjamin Ettinger died. When called to depart, he resided in Scott Township, Sandusky County, Ohio, and was 45 years old. (#31, page 257).
1839
The Western Conference in 1839 created the new presiding elder district, which was called Sandusky, Ohio, district. (#31, page 266).
Before they set out from Pennsylvania they had been organized into a regular class and had elected a class- leader according to the Discipline of the Church, so that they arrived as a regular class in Illinois. Soon after their arrival in their new home, they introduced the order and discipline of our Church, sustaining them till they received the regular services of our ministers. Thus not only individual members, but whole classes of our Church emigrated to the far West, as Illinois was then called. In the beginning of December, 1839, Brother John Lutz was appointed to take the place of Brother Einsel, as he was still sick. John Lutz arrived at Wheeling, Illinois, and soon after set out for Naperville, accompanied by Brother J.J. Esher, who was then a layman yet. The distance between the two places being 30 miles, and the way over trackless prairies, a guide was absolutely necessary for strangers, in order to find the place. (#31, page 281).
1840
The Ohio Conference was held in the house of Solomon Mayer, in Walnut Township, Pickaway County, Ohio, beginning May 13, 1840. Deacon Jacob Frey (probably not our subject). Jacob Frey was appointed to Bristol circuit, Tabor District. (#32, page 261).
1841
In the spring of 1841 S. Keil was received by the Ohio Conference on trial into the itinerancy, and appointed colleague of Jacob Fry (probably not our subject) on Pickaway circuit. (#31, page 345). The 1841 Ohio Conference appointed Jacob Frey (probably not our subject) to the Ohio District, Pickaway circuit. (#32, page 263).
In Naperville, Illinois, Captain Joseph Naper in 1841, donated to the Evangelical Association the lot on north side of West Van Buren avenue (half-way between Eagle and Webster streets) on which the Evangelical Association built a small church. By 1845 the membership had greatly increased and a larger meeting-house was erected. In 1858-59 a new lot was secured and the parish built the famous "brick church" (later called Zion Evangelical and First Evangelical), on Center and Franklin. Naperville became the citadel of the Evangelical Association. (87)(134) Joe Naper had a claim against the estate of subject Jacob Fry. See 1846 entry.
1842
The 1842 Ohio Conference was held May 11, 1842, in Walnut Township, Pickaway County, Ohio. Jacob Frey was ordained an elder. Appointments were being made to Illinois circuits from this conference. J. Frey (this might be our subject, the location is right) was appointed to the Sandusky District, Marion circuit. (#32, pages 265-266).
In 1842 the Association lost four of its ministers by death, all of whom had been useful men, some eminently so. The deceased were: Thomas Buck, Adam Stroh, John Shaefer, and Abraham Frey. (This would be Abraham Frey Jr. son of Abraham Frey, Sr. who was the brother of Jacob Frey) All of these brethren were, with the sole exception of Brother Buck, in the prime of life. (#31, page 355). A. Frey, a resident of Richland County, Ohio, died of fever, January 29, 1843, in the 33rd year of his age. He was brought up in Union County, Pennsylvania, and was converted there about 1830. In 1832 he was received by the Eastern Conference into the itinerancy on trial, and appointed the colleague of E. Stoever on Indiana circuit; the next year he become the colleague of D. Brickley on Somerset circuit; the third year that of C. Hesser on Cumberland circuit; and the fourth year he traveled with J. Lutz and G. Seger again on Somerset circuit. Subsequently he traveled yet two years in the Western Conference, and served the remainder of his life in the capacity of a local preacher. He was not a very gifted orator, yet labored with success. He died leaving a widow and two children. (#31, page 363).
1843
In 1843 the Eighth General Conference was held. This was the first General Conference consisting of regularly elected delegates. It convened at Greensburg, Summit County, Ohio, from October 23rd to November 2. The number of delegates was 32. Jacob Frey was a delegate from the Ohio Conference. (#31, pages 364-365).
Jacob Frey was a delegate to the general conference held at Greensburg, Ohio, October 23, 1843 for 11 days. (#32, pages 269-270).
The 1843 Ohio Conference appointed Jacob Frey as presiding elder of Sandusky District. (#32, page 268).
In 1843 our second church was built in the state of Illinois, viz. at Naperville, DuPage County. (#31, page 386).
1844
Jacob Fry and Elizabeth Fry settled in the northwest corner of Milton Township, DuPage County, Illinois in 1844. Jacob Fry exercised four land patents from the United States of America in DuPage County, Illinois January 5 and 6, 1844 and December 6, 1844 (other records have June 1, 1845 and February 10, 1846). They also made deed purchases of land. Click here for the seven parcels of DuPage County land Jacob Fry bought. On or very near parcel #1 owned by Jacob Fry in Winfield Township, DuPage County, Illinois, an early map shows a "Wheatland P.O." (85) Records indicate a Wheatland post office was established there June 19, 1844 and discounted April 24, 1850.
Jacob Fry and Elizabeth Fry came to DuPage County, Illinois with their minor children Elizabeth, Solomon, Josiah and Samuel. Also coming to Illinois with their families were their married daughters Mary Borough and Anna Sprout. Son Jacob Fry Jr., may have preceded them in coming to DuPage County, Illinois, as he had a son born in Illinois on August 1, 1843. Another son, Adam, was married in Ohio in 1843. Adam's first child was born in Ohio in 1845 but their second child was born in Illinois in 1847. For a time Adam Fry was in DuPage County but moved to LaSalle County, Illinois in the Fall of 1852.
1846
On May 13, 1846 the Ohio Conference was held. The records of the conference note that located (located means ceased active service as an itinerant preacher and enrolled as a local preacher) Kleinfelter, Mayer, Jacob Frey, and Kern. (#32, page 278).
Jacob Fry died October 21, 1846 in Milton Township, DuPage County, Illinois aged 59 years, 1 month, and 10 days. Jacob Fry was buried in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery near his farm. The cemetery is no longer in use. His tombstone is still there although only the words Jacob Fry can be read. A DAR census of the cemetery on August 18, 1950 shows "Jacob Fry, died Oct 21, 1846, aged (states illegible)". The DAR census notes a "flag" next to the marker.
Jacob Fry's wife Elizabeth (Oberlin) Fry and son Jacob Fry Jr. were named administrators of the estate (this per Box 246, Docket a 143, Office of the Clerk of the Eighteenth Circuit Court of DuPage County). Information on various debts against the estate are in the file. One such note was in favor of Joe Naper for $1.76 for nails. Joe Naper was the founder of Naperville, Illinois. (See the 1841 entries for more on Joseph Naper and the EA church) The personal property of Jacob Fry was inventoried by among others W. L. Wheaton, one of the brothers after which Wheaton, Illinois, was named. (17)
1847
Per the "Weekly Democrat", March 16, 1847, page 24. "Application will be made to the Circuit Court of DuPage County, to sell real estate to pay claims against the estate of Jacob Fry, deceased. Elizabeth Fry, Admx, Jacob Fry, Adm'r." (96)(97) Click here to see the newspaper article and more on his estate.
1851
Land records of Sandusky County, Ohio, had land sales in 1851 and 1852. (39)(112) The sales appear to be by Jacob Fry's heirs; the sale dates were different but the record date is the same. Those recorded are:Adam Fry of Kane County, Illinois, 17 July 1851Fernandes & Sarah Long, 11 Dec 1852 (heirs of John and Lydia Long?)Alexander & Elizabeth Stevens of DuPage County, Illinois, 3 September 1852Alexander & Anna Sprout of DuPage County, Illinois, 3 September 1852Mary (her mark) Borough of DuPage County, Illinois, 3 September 1852Jacob and Hetty Fry of DuPage County, Illinois, 28 September 1852
My notes do not mention the younger children of Jacob Fry. Josiah Fry, age about 20, and Samuel Fry, age about 15, would not have been of legal age. (112) Jacob Fry Jr. and widow Elizabeth Fry may have had power of attorney. I think son Solomon Fry should have had an interest in the land. Could he have had different land (i.e. Hancock County, Illinois)? Wonder if Jacob Fry's estate divided assets. Noticed son Adam Fry in 1851 said to have land entry in Batavia, Kane County, Illinois. (112)
1852
There apparently was not enough ready cash to pay off the claims against the estate so a public sale was held. This ad was in the August 19, 1852, issue of the DUPAGE COUNTY OBSERVER: "Administrators' Sale. By virtue of an order of the county court of DuPage county, made at the June term of said court, A.D. 1852, we shall, on the 4th day of September next, upon the premises, between the hours of ten o'clock A.M. and 5 o'clock P.M. of said day, sell at public sale, the following described premises, for the payment of debts due from the estate of Jacob Fry, sen., deceased, to wit:" (more legal descriptions) signed Jacob Fry Jr. Administrator and Elizabeth Fry Administratorix.
After the death of Jacob Fry, his wife Elizabeth remained on the farm in DuPage County with her two youngest sons until about 1852 when they moved to the town of Ottawa, LaSalle County, Illinois (probably to be near her son Adam Fry). After a few years there she sold again and moved back to Ohio (probably to be near her other children).
1870
Elizabeth Fry (Widow of Jacob Fry), age 78, is in the household of her son Adam Fry, in the 1870 Census of Allen Township, LaSalle County, Illinois. (124)
1872
Elizabeth (Oberlin) Fry, widow of Jacob Fry, died May 24, 1872. She was buried next to her husband Jacob Fry in the old Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Milton Township, DuPage County, Illinois.
Other notes:
You can see that all the male children had Biblical names testifying to the strong religious belief of the parents. Jacob Fry, Junior became interested in the Evangelical Association started by Jacob Albright and attended the first annual conference in 1807. He was an early itinerant minister of the Evangelical Association in Pennsylvania. I have been told that Jacob Fry lived in Crawford County, Pennsylvania; had children born in Stark and Sandusky Counties, Ohio. Jacob Fry moved to DuPage County, Illinois, about 1844 at he same time as his son Adam Fry. Jacob Fry was a shoemaker by trade and also a successful German Evangelical (Albright) preacher and "held many wonderful revival meetings". (98)
Fry Sources

Prepared by:
Todd Bolen
5950 Pelican Bay Blvd. #133
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ToddBolen@aol.com

Lois (Bolen) Stange
570 Rohm Drive
Napoleon, Ohio 43545
July 1, 2000

NOTICE: This material may be freely used by non-commercial entities for educational and/or research purposes as long as this message remains on all copied material. These electronic pages cannot be reproduced in any format for profit or other presentation without the permission of either Todd Bolen or Lois (Bolen) Stange. © 2000

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