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McLean County, Illinois
History and Genealogy



REV. JAMES D. FRY, of Bloomington, a fine representative of the culture and education of the city, is a native of Chester County, Pa., where he was born May 16, 1834. His parents, George and Anna (Sonder) Fry, removed from Pennsylvania to Richland County, Ohio, when their son, our subject, was a lad of eight years of age. From there, five years later, they removed to Lorain County, where James D. grew to manhood and completed a good English education.

Later he attended Oberlin College, where he took a classical course through the Sophomore year and later became a member of the Ohio Conference [ed., West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church] during its session at Gallipolis. He preached for four years following, in the meantime having been ordained Deacon and Elder.

Desiring to still further perfect himself in his ministerial studies, he entered upon a course in the Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, Ohio, whence he graduated in 1865, and entered upon the career in which he afterward became distinguished as an eminent and devoted laborer in the Master's service.

James D. Fry was united in marriage with Miss Margaret Susanna, the daughter of James Davidson, on the 21st of June, 1868, in Lawrence County, Ohio. In 1872 he became Financial Agent for the Ohio Wesleyan University. He spent the year 1873-74 traveling through Europe, accompanied by his wife.

He remained some months at Halle University [ed., Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg], Germany, studying the German language and attending theological lectures. In 1874, returning to the United States Mr. Fry resumed his labors in the ministry, and in the fall of the year following was elected to the chair of Moral Philosophy and German in the Illinois Wesleyan University [ed., Illinois Wesleyan University]. Two years later he resigned this position and resumed his work in the ministry.

Mrs. Fry, wife of our subject, is finely educated. She was elected to the Chair of Belles Lettres in the Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, Ill., in 1875, which position she still holds. At the age of eighteen years she graduated with honors from Oxford Seminary, at Oxford, Ohio. She received the degree of A. M. from the Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, Ohio, in 1878, and the degree of Ph. D. by examination in 1881, from Syracuse University, Syracuse, N. Y. She possesses literary ability of a high order, and has been an occasional contributor to the first-class periodicals.

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), 390. Transcribed and annotated by Judy Rosella Edwards.


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