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    The building interests of Piqua are well represented by Mr. Fry, a leading contractor of the city, evidences of whose handiwork are there seen in many of the fine buildings. His remarkable ability in the line of his chosen vocation and his trustworthiness have secured for him enviable prestige in business circles, and as one of the leading men of his adopted city he well deserves mention in this volume. Born in Montgomery county, Ohio, on the 8th of September, 1860, he is a son of Henry Fry, a native of Germany, who was reared in the fatherland and there learned the cabinetmaker's trade. When a young man he crossed the broad Atlantic to the new world, taking up his residence in Cincinnati, where he followed his trade until about 1854. He then removed to Montgomery county, Ohio, and purchased a farm, upon which he remained for twenty years, when he became identified with the farming interests of Darke county. There he still resides at the ripe old age of eighty- four years, having some time since put aside his business cares. His study of the political issues of the day have caused him to give his support to the Democracy. In early manhood he married Miss Tonsia Freshwood, also a native of Germany. She came to America when about twenty years of age and is still living. By her marriage she became the mother of seven children: Charles H., a farmer of Darke county; Mary, wife of John Bruner, of that county; Ferdinand, an agriculturist of Jay county, Indiana; Airhart M.; Emma, who died at the age of sixteen years; John, who is living on a farm with his parents, and Henry, a carpenter residing in Piqua.

    Mr. Fry remained upon the home farm until twenty-one years of age and obtained his education in the public schools. On arriving at man's estate, he started out upon an independent business career, going to Bloomer, where he began working at the carpenter's trade. In the fall of 1881 he began working at bridge building on the Toledo & Cincinnati Railroad line, being employed in that capacity for eighteen months. At the time he severed his connection with the company he was offered the foremanship, but he refused it and returned to Bloomer, where he followed carpentering for seven years. About that time he was married and took up his abode near North Clayton, where he engaged in contracting and building for about two years. On the 2d of March, 1890, he came to Piqua and has since been intimately associated with the building interests of this city. He has taken contracts for the erection of many of the most important structures here, including the Young Men's Christian Association building, the public library, the National Linseed Oil building, the North street school building, the Piqua National Bank building, the Piqua Electric Light building, the freight depot of the Pan-Handle Railroad, the building of the Piqua Milling company, the M. P. Orr Linseed Oil building, the factory and offices of the Piqua Hosiery Company, the Benkert dry-goods store and the residences of W. P. Orr, John H. Young, John Vallery and J. L. Boyer. He contracted for the Evangelical Lutheran church at Maysville, Ohio, for seventeen thousand dollars. He has also erected many smaller buildings and usually employs from thirty to forty workmen.

    On the 10th of November, 1887, Mr. Fry was united in marriage to Mary A. Rouston, of Bloomer, daughter of Henry and Susan Rouston. She was a consistent member of the Presbyterian church and died in Piqua, August 27, 1899, leaving four children: Alvin V., Margery Irene, Raymond Chester and Nina Elizabeth. Mr. Fry belongs to the Presbyterian church and is a public-spirited and progressive citizens whose interest in the welfare and prosperity of Piqua is shown by the substantial assistance which he gives to the many movements and measures calculated to prove of public good. In America "labor is king," and 'tis the only sovereignty that our liberty-loving people acknowledge. Admiration and respect are always accorded those men who, by their own efforts, have risen to positions of prominence and have achieved success by untiring industry, unfaltering perseverance and honorable dealing. Such an one is Mr. Fry, and well does he deserve public mention among the prominent men of his adopted country.

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