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John and Catherine Eberhardt Fry Family
First generationJohn 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.