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Audubon County


1915 Bios Index


Robert F. Fry, now a well-known and successful farmer of Melville township, this county, who owns a splendid farm of three hundred and twenty acres in this township, was born in Missouri on November 25, 1872, the son of John and Jane Fry, both natives of that state. John Fry was a farmer all his life, who removed from Missouri to Jasper county, Iowa, after his marriage, and after renting a farm in Jasper county, farmed there until 1882, when he moved to Cass county, this state, remaining there until 1885, in which year he came to Audubon county, locating in Melville township, where he rented a farm, which he managed until he retired. He is now living with his son, Robert F., the subject of this sketch. He and his wife were the parents of eight children, five of whom are living in Audubon county.

Robert F. Fry received his education in Audubon county, and after leaving school farmed with his father until he was twenty-one years old. at which time he rented a farm and started out for himself. In 1902 he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land in Melville township and later purchased an additional quarter section, making in all three hundred and twenty acres which he now owns. Mr. Fry raises one hundred and twenty-five acres of corn every year, which yields an average of fifty bushels to the acre. He also raises seventy-five acres of small grain, and feeds out one hundred head of hogs every year. He sells a part of the grain and feeds the balance. Several thousand dollars in improvements have been invested on the three hundred and twenty acres of land which Mr. Fry owns.

In 1898 Robert F. Fry was married to Carrie Owen, daughter of William and Mary Owen, to which union four children have been born, Marie, Harry, Lillie and Owen, the latter of whom is deceased.

Mrs. Fry's father, William Owen, was born on May 1, 1841, in Lincolnshire, England, the son of Richard and Isabelle (Spencer) Owen, who came to America about 1869 and settled in Audubon county, buying a farm in Melville township, being among the pioneers in that locality. Later they moved to Viola township, and still later to Leroy township, locating near Williams. Richard Owen and wife sold their land in 1889, and after a visit to England returned to Exira, this county, and died at the home of their son, William, in August, 1895. William Owen was educated in the English schools and was married in 1866 to Mary Ann Clifton and in October, of that year, set sail for America. On April 7, 1870, they came to Audubon county and purchased land in Leroy township. Mrs. William Owen was born on April 18, 1844, in Lincolnshire, England, the daughter of George and Jane (Spencer) Clifton, who died in their native land. A brother, now deceased, came to America with Mr. and Mrs. Owen. There have been twelve children in the family of Mr. and Mrs. William Owen, Robert J. F., William F., Richard, George Edward (deceased), Charles Clark, Worthy Earl, Carrie C., Lillie, Nancy A., Ethel M., Jane Elizabeth and George Washington, the latter of whom were twins, now deceased.

Mr. and Mrs. Robert F. Fry are members of the Presbyterian church. In politics Mr. Fry is a Democrat. He is one of the enterprising farmers and one of the well-known citizens of Melville township, a worthy son of a good father. Mr. Fry is yet a comparatively young man, and if his future accomplishments are to be measured by his past success he may be expected to be, some day, one of the most extensive landowners in the county.

Transcribed from History of Audubon County, Iowa Its People, Industries and Institutions With Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens and Genealogical Records of Many of the Old Families, by H. F. Andrews, editor, Indianapolis: B. F. Bowen & Company, 1915, pp. 588-589.
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