Fry Family History

The next step in my family research was the seemingly infinite Fry family. I will limit my discussion of the Fry family to that of Frederick Washington Fry born in 1858 and his descendents.  The Fry family was from the Muncy and Fairfield Township area of Lycoming County, near the Mall in the area of the White Church (now St. James Lutheran Church) .   Fred was the eldest son of Dewald Fry whose father, John Frederick Fry, came from the Allentown area of Northampton County, Pennsylvania area to eventually settle in Lycoming County.  John Frederick’s father John Jacob Frey was a fifer in the Revolutionary War.  Both fathers and sons were farmers; however, one of the Fry's was rumored to have been the minister at the White Church for some time. 

Our story begins with the marriage of Fred and Victoria in December of 1887. They were somewhat of an unlikely couple, Fred was 30 years old when he married the 15-year old Victoria R. Winder.   Research leads us to believe that Katherine “Lucy” Winder Lutz, elder sister of our 2nd great grandmother, Victoria, lived in close proximity to the Fry family in Fairfield or Muncy Township near the White Church .  Since we know that the girls’ mother, Catherine Holdren was deceased, Lucy was probably anxious to get on with starting her own family, but first she had to find suitable husbands for her sisters, Victoria and Roseanne.  We find that Roseanne was also married off to the Fry family when she became old enough for Fred’s younger brother C. Edward Fry.  All live close by to each other within a 10 minute walk as of 1900.  The farmstead was known to have been located on Bush School Road .

 The marriage certificate states that Victoria will be 16 next May, her mother is deceased but she has the consent of her sister, Lucy Lutz since the whereabouts of her father, Ambrose S. Winder, are unknown.  Victoria and Fred did not have children for several years after they were married, but they eventually brought forth a brood of 11 children, nine of whom lived to adulthood.  Their youngest son, John was remembered as having always lived at home.  The World War I draft registration board also lists another older son, Henry S. Fry as mentally incompetent as well and living permanently at Lysock View, the County Home.  Three other children, Bessie, Frederick and Margaret all died before 1910 and Laura died before 1950.

C. Lysle Frey, the eldest son, married Georgiana and moved to Harrisburg then the Sunbury area in Northumberland County and raised his family there until his death in 1940.  He had 7 children that we know of: Elizabeth, Georgiana, Phyllis, C. Lysle Jr., Frederick, Manford and Audrey.

Marion Gertrude Fry married twice, first to Wood Miller then John Lloyd.  She did not have any children.

My great grandmother, Ethel Viola Fry, the second daugther of Fred's was married to Kenneth “Arthur” Smithgall.  They had four children: Mary, Mabel, Fred and Esther.  Mary married Tom Nichols and had two children: Shirley and Ron.  Mabel married Gene Miele and had a daughter, Marie.  Fred married Janet Hoffman and had three children: Kenneth, Frederick and Patricia.  Esther married Walter Pacacha and had three sons: Bob, Fred and Jerry.

Edna Fry married Charles Ford.  They had three children: Betty, Elmer, John and Lee.

Sarah Fry, married Harry W. Collins.  They had three children: Harry, Elizabeth and Marian. 

By 1920, Fred and Victoria had raised most of their children on the farm and moved into town.  We find Ethel and her Smithgall children living with the Fry’s in 1920 on High Street in Williamsport then later on in 1930, daughter Edna and her family live with Fred and Victoria on Main Street in DuBoistown.  

Frederick W. Fry died in July of 1932 of chronic myocarditis and Victoria in 1936 of complications of diabetes.  Their eldest daughter Marion Fry Wood Lloyd took care of them in their later years in her home on Washington Boulevard, since she never had any children of her own.

 Ethel lived to know her grandchildren and by their accounts she was a loving grandmother.  She later married Frank Jury who was quite a character according to some.  Frank lost his entire leg due to the fact that his religious beliefs disallowed any medical intervention, even for an ingrown toenail!  Ethel died in October 1950 of uterine cancer.  

The Fry family is buried at the White Church, now St. James Lutheran, on Mall Road in the lower sections along the road near the lower intersection.  Fred and Victoria are buried in the middle section near the west end.  


Victoria and her sister Lucy were known to have been mid-wives for the locality.  

My grandmother, Esther Smithgall Pacacha Good, told stories of her Aunt Lucy’s farm where she was taught to ride horses and care for the animals.  Hence her love for all creatures great and small!  She also stated that she spent a lot of time living with her grandparents, Fred and Victoria, as her mother was required to work to support the family.  She remembers having been sent with her brother Fred to the Smithgall & Ging Meat Counter at the Williamsport Market House to pick up charity packages of provisions.   Esther married Walter Pacacha of West Mifflin, PA in about 1936.  They had three sons, Bob, Fred and Jerry.  

Edna and her family lived with her niece, Esther in an upstairs apartment for sometime during the 1950s.  


More on the Fry's....

There are many Fry families spread throughout the Muncy, Fairfield, Hepburn, Lycoming and Wolf Townships.  Most are related and the locals are familiar with the family businesses.  

The extended Fry/Frey family history was researched by Dr. Stan Fry of Texas and Nancy Fry Doutt of New York.  They related that the this Fry family could be traced back to Hecktown, Northampton County, PA where John Jacob Frey was a fifer in the Revolutionary War.   Also, the Dewald Fry's, who whom there are two and closely related in age, one is an uncle of the other were affectionately referred to as "Black Dewald" and "White Dewald", they were unsure of the origin of the nicknames probably hair color and hopefully not personality!

The Fry name was changed back to the "FREY" spelling by some later members of the Dewald Fry family, specifically Henry Franklin Frey adopted this spelling, possibly to distinguish himself from the other 2-3 Fry families in Lycoming County.  Henry Franklin Frey's son, was Milo Frey of Milo's Barbeque Restaurant fame,  many of us remember Milo's on Market Street in Williamsport.

Additions and corrections are always welcome!