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Below is a family biography included in the book,  Biographical Souvenir of the Counties of Buffalo, Kearney, Phelps, Harlan and Franklin, Nebraska published in 1890 by F. A. Battey & Company.  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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DAVID F. FRY is a native of Pennsylvania and was born September 22, 1836. He is the second of a family of eleven children born to John C. and Sarah (Berkabile) Fry. His parents were also natives of Pennsylvania and were of German and English descent. Mr. Fry was reared in his native state, growing up on his father’s farm and receiving in his youth an ordinary common-school education. He married in Pennsylvania, February 23, 1860, and there settled down to agricultural pursuits. He was so engaged when he was called two years later as a volunteer to defend the Union against the attacks of secession. He entered the Union army in February, 1862, enlisting in Company E, Eleventh Pennsylvania infantry. His regiment served with the Army of the Potomac and took part in fifteen of the hardest fought battles of the late war. Beginning with Manassas, its heaviest engagements were Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Cold Harbor, Spottsylvania, siege of Petersburg and Hatcher’s run. Its service is well shown by its death-roll. Out of a total enlistment of two thousand and fifty-two, it lost, in killed and wounded, eight hundred and sixty-nine men. Its heaviest losses were sustained at Manassas and the Wilderness, in the latter of which engagements Mr. Fry was wounded by a shot-gun through the right leg below the knee, disabling him from duty from May until the following September. With the exception of that time he was actively in the service from the date of his enlistment till the surrender, being mustered out at Ball’s Cross-roads, Virginia, receiving pay and final discharged at Harrisburg, Pa. Resuming farming he resided in Pennsylvania till the fall of 1877, when he moved to Nebraska and located in Phelps county, taking a homestead and timber claim in section 18, township 5, range 19 west, where he settled and has since lived. His claim had no improvements on it when he took it. He has one hundred and sixty acres of it now under cultivation, eleven acres in timber, an orchard and other conveniences. He has been steadily engaged in farming and with the exception of the first three seasons he has always had tolerably good crops. He has met with good success since coming to the state and is regarded as one of the most prosperous farmers of his community.

As stated above, Mr. Fry was married February, 1860. The lady whom he took to wed was Miss Magdelene Nicodemus, a daughter of Herbert Nicodemus, of Pennsylvania. Mr. and Mrs. Fry have had born to them a family of ten children, all but two of whom are now dead, the surviving ones being a son and daughter — George and Susan E. George is married and is living on his own farm one mile away from his father’s home.

Mr. Fry has taken an active interest in the affairs of his township, particularly in matters relating to the educational and agricultural interests of his community. He has been moderator of his school board and is an active member of the Alliance. He is a zealous member of the United Brethren church and a generous supporter of all church work. In politics he is a republican with a strong leaning towards the prohibition cause, being an enthusiastic temperance man.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the book, Biographical Souvenir of the Counties of Buffalo, Kearney, Phelps, Harlan and Franklin, Nebraska published in 1890 by F. A. Battey & Company. 

View additional Phelps County, Nebraska family biographies here: Phelps County, Nebraska Biographies

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