Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri

Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens


WILLIAM A. FRY. To hear the average city man unburden himself, often in none too graceful language, about high prices and the cost of living, one would imagine that he alone is affected and that the farmer is rolling in the fat of the land. As a matter of fact, the farmer is feeling the high cost of living the same as everyone else. He is paying more for his labor (when he can get it at all); more for his land; more for his implements, and more for everything that enters into his daily life, while the prices he receives for his products have not given him a fair return for his time and his labor. But notwithstanding these facts, many of the farmers of Greene county have accumulated competencies and are making a comfortable living, among whom may he mentioned William A. Fry, owner of "Shady Oak Farm," in Wilson township.

Mr. Fry was born in the above named township and county, August 5, 1870. He is a son of Marion S. and Sarah Jane (Payne) Fry. The father removed from Kentucky in an early day to northern Missouri. The mother was born and reared in Greene county, this state, and here received a common school education. Marion S. Fry was a boy when he came to Missouri, and here he grew to manhood and attended the public schools, after which he devoted his attention to general farming. He came to Greene county when about twenty-four years of age, settling on a farm of two hundred acres, and a year later he and Sarah Jane Payne were married, and to this union four children were born, namely: William A., of this review; Oscar E. lives in Oregon; Walter F. resides in Wilson township, this county; and the youngest child died in infancy, unnamed. The parents of these children spent the rest of their lives on the farm here, the father dying October 3, 1898, and the death of the mother occurred in September, 1903.

William A. Fry grew to manhood on the home farm and there assisted with the general work when a boy. He received his early education in the district schools of Wilson township; he remained under his parental roof- tree until he was twenty-five years of age, when he married and established a home of his own, the date of his wedding being July 28, 1895, and he selected for his life companion Pearl Ward, a daughter of Arch W. and Allie (Edwards) Ward, who were residents of Greene county for many years, and the mother still resides on the old homestead in Wilson township, the death of Arch W. Ward having occurred in September, 1912.

Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Fry, namely: Clorline is the eldest; the second child died in infancy unnamed; and Marie, who is the youngest.

Mr. Fry has devoted his active life to general farming and stock raising. He is at present operating one hundred and seventy-five acres, which is a part of the old homestead, and which he has named very appropriately "Shady Oak Farm." He recently built an attractive new home, surrounded by a fine grove of oaks in a splendid location. The place is productive and well kept in every respect. Until recently Mr. Fry dealt quite extensively in live stock, raising, buying and selling, but in later years he has devoted his attention to general farming.

Politically Mr. Fry has always been a Democrat. In September, 1901 he was called upon to mourn the loss of his faithful helpmeet, and he has never remarried.

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