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John and Catherine Eberhardt Fry Family

First generation

John and Catherine Eberhardt Fry were early pioneers in Ashland County, OH, purchasing 80+ acres from George and Nancy Botdorf in what was then in Mohican Township, Wayne County in January, 1837. Catherine was born in Morrisons Cove, Huntingdon County, PA and John was born in New York state, according to his death certificate.

Catherine was one of 11 children of George Eberhardt (1767-1843), who was apparently born in the U.S. to a father who had emigrated from Germany. His father's name is unknown, but we know from a will for his mother from September, 1822 that her name was Mary Anne Eberhardt.

George had 11 children with Catherine's mother, whose name is uncertain, then remarry in Stark County, Ohio to Elizabeth Hull and have two more children.

John and Catherine were married in Stark County in 1831, her name being registered as "Everhart" in the county records (the family name would also be spelled differently, as "Frye" in their first property purchase). They would have nine children: Josiah (1832-1869); George Washington (1834-1892); John (1837-1862); Benjamin (1838-?); Mary Ann (1840-1847); Catharine (1843-1869); William (1847-?); Harvey (1848-1868); and Franklin Pierce (1852-1894).

Three of the sons would go to California in the Gold Rush, living in various mining camps. Josiah would die there in January, 1869. John Fry, Jr. would perish in 1862 aboard the SS Golden Gate while returning to Ohio via the Panama Canal route. George Washington Fry would remain in California, eventually being one of the first settlers of what is now Lassen County, near Susanville, CA and living until 1892.

Two sons, Benjamin and William, would eventually inherit the homestead. While John and Catherine were both members of the Trinity Lutheran Church in Jeromesville, OH, these two sons would become elders when the Mohican Reformed Church (Lutheran), formed in 1845 in Mohicanville.

Photos and Images

* Catherine Eberhardt (1811-1884) and John Fry (1809-1872) portrait photos
* Purchase agreement from January 1837 for John Frye "of Stark County" (where he and Catherine were married) to acquire 160 acres from George and Nancy Botdorf in Mohican Township. At the time, the township was in Wayne County.
* John Fry's purchase agreement with Henry and Elizabeth Beaird to acquire another 80 acres, dated April 14, 1851. This purchase was made five years after the formation of Ashland County.
* McDonnell's 1861 atlas for Mohican Township
* Probate Court "Notice of Appraisement" for John Fry's estate
* Currier & Ives' color print of the burning of the S.S. Golden Gate, where John Fry, Jr. would perish in 1862. For more information on the sinking of the S.S. Golden Gate see this account written by Andrew Czernek.
* George Washington Fry (1834-1892), who would remain in California, married Louisa Mary Dewitt (1840-1926), who already had four children when they married in 1870. The couple were pioneers in Lassen County, CA and would have three additional children of their own.
Louisa with Cora Belle Fry and Harvey Jay Fry around 1900.

G.W. Fry purchased his 640-acre ranch with Dewitt Chandler in the Honey Valley of Lassen County, CA in 1858.
The Frys are mentioned in Merrill Fairfield's "Pioneer History of Lassen County, California" published in 1936 (pages 445-450). George and Louisa lived about 8 miles from the Thomas Pearson family and Samuel C. Cooper on the east side of Honey Lake at the time that the three family members and Mr. Cooper were killed by Indians in April, 1868. The Frys would bury the four afterwards. The Fairfield history notes that these were the last killings by Indians in Honey Lake Valley, east of Susanville, CA. George Fry is a signator of several letters to the territorial governor afterwards, asking cavalry patrols for the safety of settlers.
A short biography of George and Louisa is in Illustrated History of Plumas, Lassen Counties on page 405.
* Benjamin Fry's biography, from the "History of Ashland County, Ohio" also contains references to the rest of the family. Benjamin would go west in 1869, returning to Ohio. Again he would try the west after the Civil War, getting as far as Idaho before returning again to Ohio.
* Cemetery markers in the Mohicanville Cemetery. The cemetery is full of Fry and Offineer relatives, as this list compiled by John Bush indicates.
  -- site of Fry family gravestones.
  -- John Fry, "Died Dec. 31, 1872, Aged 63 years, 5 months 11 days"
  -- Catharine, "Wife of John Fry, Died April 27, 1884"
  -- Catharine (Fry), "Wife of John L. Metcalf, Died Dec. 16, 1869, Aged 26 years, 8 months, 1 day". Catharine's cause of death was listed as "lung congestion".
  -- Harvey, "Son of J. & C. Fry, Died Dec. 22, 1868, Aged 20 years 7 months, 23 days". Harvey was killed by machinery while operating a sawmill.
  -- Mary A., ""Daughter of J. & C. Fry, Died Jan. 11, 1847, Aged 6 years, 9 months, 22 days"

 

 

 

 

Revision: 11/26/2014

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