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Fayette County, Iowa  

 History Directory

Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910

Author: G. Blessin


B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana


Vol. I, Biographical Sketches



~Page 1004~


John M. Frey

In placing the name of John M. Frey in the front rank of Fayette County's progressive citizens, simple justice is done to a biographical fact, universally recognized throughout this locality by men at all familiar with his history. A man of judgment, sound discretion and business ability of high order, he has managed with tactful success large landed interests and to impressed his individuality upon the community as to gain recognition among its leading citizens and public-spirited men of affairs. Like many of the enterprising residents of the Hawkeye state, Mr. Frey hails from the great German empire, his birth having occurred in the province of Baden, Germany, September 11, 1858, and he grew to maturity and was educated in his native village. He is the son of Martin and Caroline (Herbold) Frey, both natives of Baden, Germany, father born May 18, 1822, and the mother on October 10th of the same year. The elder Frey was a cabinetmaker by trade, which he followed until he came to America. In March, 1872, the family left Germany and on the 22nd of that month arrived in Highland township, Clayton county, Iowa. A week or two later the father bought a farm of eighty acres in section 11, Illyria township, Fayette county, and remained on the same for a period of five years, then sold out and bought one hundred and twenty-nine acres in section 25, Illyria township, and this splendid place is at present occupied by his son, John M. Politically, the elder Frey was a Democrat, and he was a good and useful man in his community.

In 1848, Martin Frey came to America and located in Painesville, Ohio, where he worked at his trade. He took out his naturalization papers in Warren county. He became affiliated with the Freesoilers, which later became the Republican party, and he was very active in political affairs, being a very strong Abolitionist. His wife and family did not accompany him to America and in 1850 he returned to his home in Germany, returning to America two or three years later and made a trip to Iowa. He was in Iowa City when it contained only three houses. But on account of cholera he returned to Painsville, Ohio. About 1858 he returned to Germany again and remained there until 1872. He remained a Republican until the time of Grant's last administration when he became a Democrat.

~transcribed for the Fayette Co IAGenWeb Project by Tom and Sharon Dorland


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