Harvey Farrington Frye (1814-1896)


Jane Emeline Drury (1825-1906)

Harvey Farrington Frye                                                                  Jane Emeline Drury

I am very fortunate to have a great deal of information about this couple and several of their children. One of this couple's sons, Joshua Farrington Frye, kept rather extensive diaries that I have had the honor of reading. Those diaries will be referenced throughout this page.

Harvey Farrington Frye was born July 16, 1814 in Athens, VT. According to his son, Joshua, Harvey "moved to Wilton at age 1 year. Early in his life, he engaged in teaming goods and merchandise from Wilton and vicinity to Boston and points beyond and intervening places. Noted for his good judgement of horses and nice appearance of his teams. Took good care of his horses and their appearance showed the humane and careful treatment they received. After the extension of the railroad, which removed the necessity of moving goods by teams, he engaged in local teaming for several years, gradually taking up farming. After about 1871, he devoted his entire attention to farming. He raised milk in large quantities for D. Whiting & Sons, the Boston milk contractors. He also raised a large quantity of apples. He was a member of the militia, the celebrated company of Wilton Miller Guards, which belonged to the 22nd Regiment. He took great interest in the company. He was devoted to family and home, good townsman and neighbor. He was one of the vice-presidents for the 150th anniversary of Wilton, September 12, 1889."

Harvey married twice. His first wife was Louisa Tupper. They were married November 25, 1847. Louisa died less than a year later on August 30, 1848.

His second bride was Jane Emeline Drury, the daughter of David Drury and Martha Hoven. Jane was born October 23, 1825 in Weybridge, VT. They married on September 20, 1850 in Lowell, MA. She made her own wedding dress. She had purchased the fabric bought long before she was engaged. It was lavender, with a white silk stripe. They were married at a hotel in Lowell, possibly the Essex House. This couple had seven children:

Joshua Farrington Frye, born August 12, 1851, died December 1927

Elson Drury Frye, born June 29, 1853, died March 12, 1907

Lois Louise Frye, born February 5, 1856, died August 22, 1893

Harvey Wellington Frye, born September 4, 1858, died July 28, 1941

Charles Edgar Frye, born June 9, 1861, died March 23, 1951

George Erwin Frye, born April 5, 1864, died about 1939

Martha Jane Frye, born January 17, 1868, died April 24, 1895

Jane was educated in Middlebury, VT. According to her son's diaries, "...when old enough, she travelled to Lowell, MA to work in a cotton mill. She traveled with several other girls from Middlebury by stage coach to some point on the railroad (maybe White River Jct., VT). Then took the railroad to Lowell. She was employed as a spinner and was an expert operative. She probably began work at the Merrimac Corp., although it may have been at Middlesex or Boot Corp. She also worked at weaving and in August 1848 was employed at #6 Weaving Room of the Merrimac Mfg. Co. While she had to work hard, she was able to make good wages for those times and was content. Long days were expected; 12-13 hour days, except on Saturdays. She was able to save money and on 11/4/1846, she paid Charles Linsley of Middlebury, VT $130.00 for a quit-claim to the place in Middlebury where her parents lived. On Sept. 5, 1850, she received a quit-claim deed to the place in Middlebury where her mother lived. When her mother died in December 1852, she sold the property to Peter Donnelly." While employed in Lowell, Joshua thinks a working girl of her acquaintance was taken sick and went to the Lowell City Farm for care and treatment. Jane would, in her kindness, go to see her. The Lowell City Farm, at that time, was under the care and management of John Frye and wife. John was a cousin to Harvey Farrington Frye. It is likely that Harvey Farrington Frye paid a visit to his cousin on one of his teaming trips from Wilton through Lowell and on to Boston. It is likely that this is how Jane and Harvey met.

This was, by all accounts, a very close knit family. Brothers Harvey Wellington and Charles Edgar were in business together and married sisters. Harvey Wellington Frye married Elizabeth Priscilla Osborne in 1909. Sixteen years earlier, in 1893, Charles Edgar Frye had married Elizabeth's sister Bertha May Osborne.

The eldest son, Joshua never married. He worked extensively on his family history and late in his life split his works between Harvey and Charles. Joshua was elected to serve in the New Hampshire Legislature on November 3, 1914. The following spring he recounted his first few months in Concord when he wrote, "My attendance as a member of the legislature resulted in my getting acquainted with men from different parts of the state and a chance to learn many things. It was a winter well spent and I expect to look back with pleasure to this winter spent in Concord. I think this was the first time any of my family line had been elected to serve as a member of the NH legislature and I should be grateful that I was elected as representative from Wilton as it conferred an honor upon my family and myself."

Harvey Farrington Frye died in Wilton, NH on January 12, 1896 at the age of 81. His wife, Jane, would live for another 10 years before passing away on November 4, 1906, also at age 81. Both are buried in the South Yard Cemetery in Wilton.

Their son, Joshua, wrote a stirring series of entries in his diaries about her final days, which are worth sharing:
"Jane E. (Drury) Frye died at her home at Wilton, NH Sunday Nov. 4, 1906 about 10:45 AM aged 81 years and 12 days. The cause of her death was called pneumonia by Dr. Wallace... understand it was a mild form of pneumonia and that it caused an affection (sic) of the heart. On Sunday morning, October 14, 1906 Mother had a bad spell. She was taken faint and fell on the floor in the kitchen near the sink. This was in the morning, perhaps between 6 and 7 AM. I was in my room which adjoined the kitchen and hearing her fall went to her assistance and helped her to her room and bed and notified other members of the family and she was made as comfortable as possible...On Tuesday, October 30, 1906 Mrs. Phillips, a nurse, came from Nashua on the 5 PM train and came to Mother's to care for her.... Sunday, Nov. 4, 1906, a clear warm day for this time of year. Mother passed away at 10:45 AM. The end was peaceful. She was concious to the last. She spoke about 1/2 hour before she passed away. I think her last words were 'do not give me any more of that drink' having reference to a liquid drink which had been given to her at intervals. She was feverish, but did not seem in great pain toward the end, but was more in a quiet or restful condition... Of the many good qualities of mind and heart that Mother possessed, much might be written. But to those who knew her, no writing of words is necessary, as her loving kindness, her cheerful disposition, combined with the qualities which she possessed of Charity, Prudence and Economy made her life a great blessing to all connected with her. A noble life ended when she was called away. May her memory be an inspiration to her children. She has passed on not with fear and trembling, but with hope and confidence. To her children, she has left an honored name and has taught them that by living a good life that they will be reunited in the world beyond forever"
---Joshua Farrington Frye, 1906

Jane Emeline Drury


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