Buena Vista County, IA
USGenWeb Project

Extracted from:  Wegerslev, C. H. and Thomas Walpole. 
 Past and Present of Buena Vista County, Iowa
Chicago:  S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1909, p. 401-02.

Transcribed by Paul Nagy

Biography of  George Herbert Fracker, D. D.

Prominently identified with educational interests of Storm Lake, being now vice president of the Buena Vista College and dean of that institution, Dr. George Herbert Fracker was born in Zanesville, Ohio, in 1853.  His father, Dudley S. Fracker, was a native of Boston, Massachusetts, and was a son of George Fracker, a sailor.  For a time Dudley S. Fracker was a resident of Brockport, New York, and then removed to Zanesville, Ohio, while later he became a resident of Berea, Ohio, there spending his last days.   He married Margaret A. Skinner, who was born in Washington, Guernsey county, Ohio, and died when her son George was only a year old.  Her father, William Skinner, removed to Guernsey county, Ohio, from the vicinity of Culpeper, Virginia, in 1818.  He worked at his trade of a saddler and was actively associated with the business interests and public life of the community in an early day, at one time serving as associate judge on the county bench.  His daughter, Mrs. Fracker, was a member of the Presbyterian church.  As stated, she passed away in 1854, while her husband survived until 1870 and died when about fifty years of age.


George Herbert Fracker was an only child.  He was a student in the common schools of Washington, Ohio, and received more advanced intellectual training in the University of Wooster, from which he was graduated in 1878.  He afterward engaged in teaching in a private academy at Dellroy, Ohio, where he remained for one year and then entered the Western Theological Seminary at Allegheny, Pennsylvania.  The succeeding winter was spent in South Kentucky College, at Hopkinsville, Kentucky, as professor of natural science, and the following year was passed in the Union Theological Seminary of New York in further preparation for the ministry.  In 1885 he was graduated from the Princeton Theological Seminary, and going to the Indian Territory he taught the Choctaw Indians at Nelson Academy for one year.  In 1886 Mr. Fracker arrived in Iowa, was ordained as an evangelist and accepted the pastorate of the two churches of Ashton and Inwood, continuing in that charge for five years.  He was afterward pastor for one year of the church at Vail, Iowa, and while thus engaged was called to take charge of Greek and Latin in Buena Vista College in 1891. He has since been connected with the institution in various capacities and is now professor of German and French.  He has acted as vice president of the college since its organization and is now dean of that institution.  His contagious enthusiasm in behalf of the school has been one of the elements of its success.  He is also known as a capable instructor, as well as a man of broad scholarly attainments, and he received recognition of the excellent work which he has done in educational circles when Wooster University, his alma mater, conferred upon him the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity in 1903.


In September, 1885, Dr. Fracker was married to Miss Jeannette Black, who was born in Cannonsburg [sic], Pennsylvania, in 1853, and is of Scotch-Irish ancestry.  They became the parents of three children:  Julius Herbert, who died in childhood; Stanley Black, who is a junior in Buena Vista College and is acting as local editor of the Storm Lake Vidette; and Annie Margaret, who is a sophomore in Buena Vista College.  In his political views Dr. Fracker is a republican and is a close student of the great political, sociological and economic questions of the day, at all times keeping pace with the best thinking men.  The position which he occupies today in educational and church circles represents the utilization of the talents which are his.  When he completed his common-school course he learned telegraphy and went into the oil regions of Pennsylvania, where he served for eighteen months as operator on one of the pipe lines and six months as engineer.  He embraced every opportunity that offered in order to promote his own education through college training and provided entirely for the expenses of his course.  It would be superfluous in this connection to enter into any series of statements as showing him to be a man of broad mind and scholarly acquirements, for this has been shadowed forth between the lines of this review.  He is earnest and energetic, and in all of his work for intellectual and moral development he manifests an abiding sympathy for those who come under his teaching that is evidenced by a most helpful and encouraging spirit.