ABRAHAM FRY, one of the honored pioneers of Randolph Township, is highly respected as a citizen and thoroughly trusted as a business man. He is now living retired from active labor on a fine homestead which comprises 430 acres of highly cultivated land, and a handsome and commodious residence located on section 4. Mr. Fry came to McLean County in 1854, and purchased a tract of partly improved land which has been his home since that time. He was successful from the beginning in his farming and business operations, and as time passed on, increased his facilities for agriculture and stock-raising, and added to his landed possessions until he now has one of the finest country estates in McLean County.
Mr. Fry was born in Greene County, Pa., Jan. 6, 1816, and in 1827 removed with his mother to Licking County, Ohio, the father having previously died in Pennsylvania. Our subject, the eldest of seven children, four sons and three daughters, was only ten years of age at the time of their removal. The mother spent the remainder of her days in Ohio, and died there at an advanced age.
The childhood and youth of Abraham Fry were quickly passed, and he was early trained to habits of industry, being put to all the labor he could accomplish as he advanced in strength and size. Being the eldest child he early became acquainted with the duties and responsibilities of caring for a family, and was the true and faithful sympathizer and friend of his mother in her widowhood. He remained with her until fully developed into manhood, and until some of the younger members of the family could fill his place, and was then married in Licking County, Ohio, to Miss Sarah Myers, who was there born and reared and remained until her marriage. They located in that county for a number of years, and removed to Illinois in 1854. Mrs. Sarah Fry departed this life in Randolph Township, April 22, 1863. Of this union there were born two children: Perry A., during the late war, enlisted in the 94th Illinois Infantry, and had only been in service about two months, when he was attacked with camp diarrhea, and died at Springfield, Mo.; John B. is yet living: he married Miss Pauline Stewart, and resides in Bloomington, retired from active business.
For his second wife Mr. Fry married Miss Elizabeth Bishop on the 3d of November, 1864. Mrs. Fry was born in Randolph Township, Oct. 1, 1832, and is the daughter of Jacob and Mary A. (Weedman) Bishop, the mother now deceased. They were natives of Perry County, Ohio, where they were reared, educated, and married. Mr. Bishop was a farmer by occupation, and with his family removed to Illinois in 1831, settling in Randolph Township. He was one of the first settlers and became one of its most valued citizens. He is yet living, having arrived at the advanced age of nearly ninety years, making his home in East Heyworth, on the farm which he first occupied with his family.
The household circle included thirteen children, six sons and seven daughters, all of whom are living and married except one, and are established in comfortable homes, most of them being residents of this county, Mrs. Fry was reared under the parental roof, and received a fair education in the public schools. Of her union with our subject there have been born two children: Mary, Sept. 30, 1867, and Laura, in 1873, died when less than a year old.
The Fry family are descended from pure German ancestry, and were among the earliest settlers of the Keystone State. There the grandfather of our subject died, and his son Abraham, the father of our subject, was married to Miss Mary Beckenbaugh. He died when his son Abraham was ten years of age. He and his wife were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Our subject has been a Deacon of the Christian Church for twenty years. Mrs. Fry has held the same office in the church since 1883.
In politics Mr. Fry is a solid Democrat, and has been Assessor of Randolph Township for five years. In all his transactions in life he has nothing to be ashamed of or to conceal, having steadily followed the honorable principles to which he was trained by his excellent and honored mother. The family, wherever they have been known, have been noted their honest dealings with their fellow-men and their observance of the Golden Rule, which has impelled them to do unto others as they would be done by.
Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), 653. Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.