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Below is a family biography included in the book, Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published by Chapman Publishing Company in 1895.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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HON. ROBERT T. FRYER. It is safe to say that no one is more popular in Kingsville than is this distinguished gentleman, who has made his home here for a quarter of a century. He is President of the bank of Kingsville, and in addition to this is engaged in general farming about three miles from town.

James H. Fryer, father of our subject, who was a native of Kentucky, moved to Howard County, Mo., about 1826; a few years later he went to Cooper County, where, until 1849, he worked at his trade of a brickmason, and also carried on a farm. That year, the gold excitement in California being at its height, he made the journey to that state overland, and on the return trip was seized with the cholera, on board an Atlantic steamer, and died, aged forty-two years. He married Margaret McCulloch, a native of Virginia, where she was born in 1812. She is now living, and although eighty-three years old, is still active.

The original of this sketch was the eldest son and second child born to his parents. Christina, widow of R. M. George, lives in Kingsville; Lina is deceased; Mary Ann, the wife of E. W. Lee, makes her home in Texas; Zerelda, the wife of James Douglas, is a resident of this county; and Martha J., the wife of J. F. Howeth, makes her home in Kingsville. Robert T. was born in Cooper County, Mo., April 23, 1835. He was early trained to habits of industry and economy on the home farm, and when ready to begin life on his own account chose agriculture as his vocation. The rudiments of his education were obtained in the common schools, and when only nineteen years of age he was given a certificate to teach.

On the death of his father the responsibilities of the family fell upon the shoulders of our subject, who bravely assumed the care of the household. He continued to manage the home place, finding farming both a congenial and remunerative occupation. May 16, 1861, he was married to Alice Taliaferro, whose birth also occurred in Cooper County, this state, in 1843. Her father, James G. Taliaferro, was a Kentuckian by birth, and was a typical Southern gentleman. Her mother’s maiden name was Lucy A. Woodard.

Mr. Fryer remained on the homestead until 1867, when he purchased a farm three miles from this city, on which he has continued to reside ever since. In 1890 the bank of Kingsville was organized, and of this he is now President and the principal stockholder. In 1874 he was elected a member of the Legislature on the Democratic ticket, and during his term represented his district with credit to himself and satisfaction to his constituents. He is a very careful and conservative business man, and is pointed out as a fine example of the self-made man. In 1883 he was elected Associate Judge of the County Court, serving a term of four years in that important position. On the expiration of that time he was elected Presiding Judge, and during his administration conducted the affairs of his office in a manner satisfactory to all concerned.

Mr. and Mrs. Fryer are the parents of six children, namely: Bertie May, now the wife of T. C. Creel, of Kingsville Township; Lulu; Lina; James, who resides in Lipscomb, Tex.; Margaret; and Alice. Socially our subject is a prominent Mason, having attained the Royal Arch degree after the organization of the Blue Lodge at Kingsville in 1869. He was under dispensation appointed Master, and by re-election has filled the chair much of the time since. Mr. Fryer belongs to the Universalist Church, while his wife is a member of the Christian Church. She is a most worthy lady, always responding to any and all demands upon her that she deems worthy of support, and both she and her husband enjoy the confidence and esteem of the entire neighborhood.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the Johnson County, Missouri portion of the book,  Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published in 1895 by Chapman Publishing Co.  For the complete description, click here: Johnson County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Johnson County, Missouri family biographies here: Johnson County, Missouri Biographies

View a map of 1904 Johnson County, Missouri here: Johnson County, Missouri Map

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