George
W.
Fry


 

GEORGE E. FRY



Camden Courier-Post * June 19, 1933

Retired Teacher and Wife Are Now Married 64 Years 
Mr. and Mrs. George E. Fry, of Collingswood, Still Keep 
House Despite Age- Well Known Former Pupils Remembered

Married for 64 years- and stili keeping house! That is the record established by Mr. and Mrs. George E. Fry, of 610 Stokes Avenue, Collingswood. Fry is well known here abouts as a result of his years of teaching in Camden and South 
Jersey. 

The original ceremony which joined these two in matrimony was performed in Philadelphia by the Rev. Jacob Todd, on June 17, 1869, back in the days when stagecoaches ran to and from Philadelphia, and tall masted ships plied the Delaware. 

"It's been a long time, these 64 years,''' Fry said. "There is no use kidding ourselves, we are getting older much faster than we used to seem to. But then, we've done our work and are ready for a little rest before we are done. I'm almost 87 now, and my wife has a whole year on me. We admit we're pretty old, and we're very happy." 

Taught Many Years 

Fry's teaching career reads like a section torn from a history of the modern system of education. His first teaching job in Camden was in the old Center Avenue school in 1873, and his last was in the Audubon grammar school in 1906, at which time he retired on a teacher's pension fund that he started years before. 
Among the more famous pupils who were taught by Fry is Mayor J. Hampton Moore, of Philadelphia, who came to Fry's classroom in the Center Avenue School. 

"I recall the mayor perfectly as he sat before me as a boy of 12 years," the retired teacher said. "He was an exceptionally fine scholar and a boy of excellent principal. I always remember him as one of the best in the Eighth ward."

Fry also taught Lindley Garrison, who served in Wilson's cabinet during the war. Although the boy Garrison was not long under Fry in the Stevens School, his teacher recalls him as a fine boy of good people. The late Judge William French, 
of Camden, was also a pupil of Fry. The retired educator also remembers John Courter, father of the Courier-Post reminiscent writer, Ben Courter.

Fry, like most grammar school teachers of his day, was required to teach every subject in the curriculum to his students, but he always took pride in mathematics and preferred to teach them. Until the last year or so the elderly man had been accustomed to aid those teachers of the younger generation who were not so agile with figures.

Help Start High School

Fry was one of the six men who started the Camden Manual Training and High School on Federal Street between Front and Second. The others, and Fry, were district principals in Camden and volunteered to take over the teaching of the new 
school between them, as funds for a teaching corps were not available.

"We each managed to spare an hour from our day's work to teach at the High School, and so managed to make ends meet. We each gave certain hours of the day, without Pay. Perhaps a system like that would help the city today, to get out of its financial mudhole." 

The other men were Horatio Draper, Geofrey Buckwater, Charles K. Middleton; S. E. Maness and William F. Powell. All are dead but Fry. 

Before the couple were married they lived in Emilie, about four miles above Bristol. Fry tells of traveling to Bristol in a stagecoach and from there to Philadelphia in the old Twilight excursion boat, on their wedding trip. Following their marriage they lived in Emilie about a year before coming to Philadelphia 
and then to Camden. 

Frey bashfully tells the story of how, in his courtship of the girl who was then Mary Roney, he would keep Mary's younger sister, Ella, in after school until dark, so that he would have to take her home. He then had an excuse to stop in and 
say a little more than hello to his friend Mary. 

Still Active 

Fry and his wife both are amazingly active despite their age. The former can even proudly say that he still climbs cherry trees, with the help of a ladder, of course, to pick the fruit. 

There are two daughters of the couple living; Mrs. Jackson Prestwich, 610 Stokes avenue, Collingswood, and Mrs. Walter F. Atkinson, of Washington. There are five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. The celebration of the wedding will be held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. George Fry Prestwich, 104 Strawbridge Avenue, Westmont. The younger Prestwich is a grandson. 

The elder Mrs. Fry's sister, Mrs. Joseph T. Mathis, will celebrate her fiftieth wedding anniversary on June 28. She and her husband still keep house at their home, 600 Stokes Avenue.


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