Family Stories

Bio of Edmund Mortimer Fry

Edmund Mortimer Fry, oldest child of Reuben Macon and Brooksie Hutchins, was born 29 Oct 1873 in Lake Village, Chicot county Arkansas. He was named after his father's brother who was killed in the Civil War. This birth date appears on an Arkansas Delayed Birth Certificate, attested by Kate Reynolds Hill, 1012 N 12th, Ft. Smith, AR, a family friend who had known him since birth. The certificate lists his father as Reuben Macon Fry of Lake Village, age 28 at the time of this birth, whose own birthplace was Orange Court House, Virginia, occupation merchant. Mother listed is Eliza Brooks Hutchins of Lake Village, age 30 at time of this birth, whose own birthplace was Glen Aubin Plantation, Mississippi, near Natchez, occupation housewife.

Edmund M Fry married Bernita (Nita) Williams in 1908 in Ardmore, Carter county Oklahoma. He told various childhood stories of life in old Ft. Smith, Arkansas to his sons Phil and Ned, and particularly remembered were tales of the public hangings he used to sneak out and watch which his father, Reuben M Fry, and Hanging Judge Parker witnessed.

Edmund Fry and Nita Williams lived in numerous places in their lifetime, one of which was at 435 NW 20 in Oklahoma City. In 1928 this Fry family is recorded in the membership of St Paul's Episcopl Church of Oklahoma City.

A brief biography of Edmund M Fry is given in "A Standard History of Oklahoma", by Joseph B Thoburn, 1916 (volume 3, page 1051). In regard to his education and vocation:

In the graded and high schools of Fort Smith [Arkansas], to which city he was taken as a lad of seven years, Edmund M Fry received the foundation of his education. Subsequently he took up the study of civil engineering, a subject which he thoroughly mastered, and for ten years, at intervals, was identified with the work of the United States Geological Survey. During this period, when not in the employ of the Government, he rendered services to gold and silver mining companies of the United States and Canada. In 1895 he moved to Muskogee, Oklahoma, where for three years he was connected with the work of the Dawes Commission, and at the time of statehood was appointed deputy warden of the Oklahoma State Penitentiary at McAlester. He has not only given valuable assistance to Warden Robert W Dick in making this the ideal institution of its kind in the United States, but his knowledge of civil engineering has led him into work in which a mastery of this vocation has been necessary. He belongs to the Oklahoma Engineer Society, and also to the National Geographical Society. Mr Fry is a democrat in his political views, and fraternally is affiliated with the local lodge of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.

From the obituary of his son, Ned Fry, in 2005, we learn that Edmund M Fry (sr), "served as Oklahoma City's first City Manager 1927-31." Edmund M Fry died 7 Jan 1945 in McAlester, Oklahoma and Nita Williams Fry died 3 Feb 1945 in Oklahoma City. Both are buried at Rose Hill Cemetery in Oklahoma City.

Notes for Edmund Mortimer Fry; compiled by Pamela Hutchison Garrett, 2013; for Family Stories at