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Fry Family Papers, 1837-1987 (bulk 1919-1940)

Manuscript Collection #1197

Descriptive Summary Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Title: Fry Family Papers
Creators: Fry, James Woods, 1862-1931
Fry, Mary Estelle Crawford
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: The largest portion (1919-1940) of this collection (1837-1987) contains correspondence, photographs, publications and ephemera related to the extensive charitable interests of Mary Estelle Crawford Fry, her husband James Woods Fry and son Gilbert Crawford Fry, all of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The charities include the Bethel Mission operating out of Hong Kong at the time of this correspondence (1938) due to war in China, the San Miao Orphanage in Saratsi (Suiyuan Province) of Northern China [later became part of Nei (Inner) Mongolia], the China International Famine Relief Commission, missions dealing with French and Belgian orphans of WWI, and the International Students’ House conducted by the Christian Assoc. of the University of Pennsylvania. Earlier correspondence (1837-1869), unrelated to the above mentioned charities, is mainly written between Mrs. Mary M. Crawford of Boston, MA, Mrs. Addie A. Stien of Norristown, PA, and Sower family members in Boston and Norristown. Also included are family photographs and family history information related to the Chitty, Stroup (Strup, Strupe, Strub), and Ruede families of Forsyth Co., NC.
Extent: 1.85 Cubic feet, 3 archival boxes and 2 oversize folders, consisting of correspondence, photographs, publications, ephemera and certificates

Administrative Information Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Accessions Information

April 2, 2012, (unprocessed) ca. 460 items, 1.75 cubic feet; The largest portion (1919-1940) of this collection (1837-1987) contains correspondence, photographs, publications and ephemera related to the extensive charitable interests of Mary Estelle Crawford Fry, her husband James Woods Fry and son Gilbert Crawford Fry, all of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The bulk of this material concerns the Bethel Mission operating out of Hong Kong at the time of this correspondence (1938) due to war in China, the San Miao Orphanage in Saratsi (Suiyuan Province) of Northern China [later became part of Nei (Inner) Mongolia], the China International Famine Relief Commission, missions dealing with French and Belgian orphans of WWI, the International Students’ House conducted by the Christian Assoc. of the University of Pennsylvania, and correspondence with Dr. William Kelly, a medical missionary in China.

Earlier correspondence (1837-1869), unrelated to the above mentioned charities, is mainly written between Mrs. Mary M. Crawford of Boston, MA, Mrs. Addie A. Stien of Norristown, PA, and Sower family members in Boston and Norristown. Other Crawford family material is a school notebook belonging to Mary Estelle Crawford when she was attending Friends Central School in Philadelphia. Besides arithmetic lessons, songs and an order of exercises, there are also diary entries for September 1, 1882, to July 4, 1883.

Also included in the collection are family photographs, family history information related to the Chitty, Stroup (Strup, Strupe, Strub), and Ruede families of Forsyth Co., NC, papers related to the DAR and the Colonial Dames, certificates and a history of the Women’s Board of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA. Purchased from Ian Brabner with funds from the Elizabeth P. Crockford Missionary and Church Endowment Fund

Access Restrictions

No restrictions

Copyright Notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Preferred Citation

Fry Family Papers (#1197), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA

Acquisition Information

  • Purchase from Ian Brabner, Bookseller.

Biographical / Historical Note Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

James Woods Fry (1862-1931) of Philadelphia was a spinner of worsted yarns according to the 1920 U.S. Census and was possibly affiliated with the firm of Fry and Pancoast of Philadelphia, PA. He and his wife Mary Estelle Crawford Fry (1865-?)and their son Gilbert Crawford Fry (born 1901) were involved in many charities concerning China, WWI orphans in Belguim and France, and the International Students' House at the University of Pennsylvania in the 1910s through the 1940s.

Preliminary Inventory Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Below is material taken from a preliminary inventory and represents content from the collection that is unprocessed.

  • Box 2#1197.2
    Correspondence, Genealogical Material, Miscellaneous Items
    • Folder a#1197.2.a
      Correspondence written to Mrs. James W. Fry (Mary Estelle Crawford Fry) from China and India. 2 photographs are attached to the correspondence. 1930-1938. 11 items.
    • Folder b#1197.2.b
      Map representing work done in China (1920-1932) by the China International Famine Relief Commission. 1932. 2 items.
    • Folder c#1197.2.c
      Correspondence to Gilbert C. Fry, wife Mary and their daughter Eleanore mostly from the Steenberghe family in Belgium, but also correspondents in Germany and Holland. Some letters also relate to the International Students' House at the University of Pennsylvania. 4 photographs are attached to correspondence. 1926-1947, 1966. 27 items.
    • Folder d#1197.2.d
      Telegrams, correspondence, invitation and programs re the Memorial Service of Music for Mr. James Woods Fry presented by his International Friends at the International Students House on February 22, 1931. 1931. 12 items.
    • Folder e#1197.2.e
      Diary containing entries (May-June 1938) and genealogy notes relating to the Stroup (Strup, Strupe, Strub), Chitty and Ruede families of Forsyth County, North Carolina. 1938. 1 item.
    • Folder f#1197.2.f
      Correspondence (1921-1923), genealogy notes and a clipping related to Chitty Family history. 1921-1923, undated. 9 items.
    • Folder g#1197.2.g
      Correspondence and documents related to Mary Estelle Crawford Fry's admittance into (based on her ancestor William Darrah) and membership in The Pennsylvania Society of the Colonial Dames of America. 1922-1928. 11 items.
    • Folder h#1197.2.h
      Correspondence and documents related to Mary Estelle Crawford Fry's admittance into and membership in The Daughters of the American Revolution. Genealogy material and correspondence discuss the Crawford, Darrah and Thompson families. 1917, 1936. 20 items.
    • Folder i#1197.2.i
      1987 History of the Women's Board of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA. 1987. 1 item.
    • Folder j#1197.2.j
      Chinese characters painted on construction paper. undated. 49 items.
    • Folder k#1197.2.k
      Care Package Receipts (many of the packages were delivered to Mr. & Mrs. Werner Thiel of Berlin, Germany. 1947-1959. 55 items.
    • Folder l#1197.2.l
      Miscellaneous items include a written expression of appreciation to James Strong and India Fry Strong for the reviewing stand they had outside their home for viewing the 1899 Peace Jubilee celebration of the ending of the Spanish American War; a list of China pieces (1897); 2 cloth bookmarks with Chinese characters embroidered on them; and 2 undated clippings about the arrival of White Russian Baptists in Shanghai and the exodus of UNRRA officials from China . 1897, 1899, undated. 6 items.
    • Folder m#1197.2.m
      School notebook belonging to Mary Estelle Crawford while attending Friends Central School, Philadelphia, PA. Also includes diary entries dated 9/1/1882 to 7/4/1883. 1882-1883. 1 item.
  • Box 3#1197.3
    Photographs & Etchings
    • Folder a#1197.3.a
      Photographs of Chitty family members of Salem, N.C. Also includes 3 tintypes. 1865-1870, 1934, undated. 9 items.
    • Folder b#1197.3.b
      Photographs of Woods family members. . undated. 5 items.
    • Folder c#1197.3.c
      Photographs of Belgium (1916-1917 damage from World War I) and the Steenberghe family of Belgium. 1916-1955. 46 items.
    • Folder d#1197.3.d
      Photographs of the Fry and Blackwell families of Philadelphia, PA. Also includes a photograph of the parsonage for the Church of the Brethren on 6611 Germantown Ave. in Philadelphia. undated. 19 items.
    • Folder e#1197.3.e
      Photographs of the Harper and Stroupe families of Wilmington, N.C. Includes a photograph of the Capt. and Mrs. John W. Harper House at 811 South Front Street in Wilmington. 1896, 1901, undated. 5 items.
    • Folder f#1197.3.f
      Photographs of unidentified family members. undated. 10 items.
    • Folder g#1197.3.g
      Photographs of Chinese correspondents especially Dr. En Shi Tai and family of Canton, Dr. Kuang Hsun Li and family of Soochow, and the artist Yang Ling-Fu (L. F. Yang). . 1927, 1930, 1950, undated. 12 items.
    • Folder h#1197.3.h
      Photographs of orphans from World War I in Belgium and France. undated. 17 items.
    • Folder i#1197.3.i
      Miscellaneous photographs including snapshots of Dr. William Kelly and of unidentified scenes in China, photographs of Werner Thiel of Germany, Moravian Bishop J. Kenneth Pfohl and wife, Philip T. Mager (or Meagher), and photographs of the beach house belonging to John W. Harper (owner of Harper Line of Steamers) and a steamship carrying a lot of people and bearing a banner or flag that says "Wilmington" on it. undated. 17 items.
    • Folder j#1197.3.j
      Photographs of unidentified people. Also includes a tintype of a child taken in 1911 at the Palms--her name is Mary Eleanor M________(the last name has faded away). 1911, undated. 7 items.
    • Folder k#1197.3.k
      2 etchings of Rothenburg, Germany. undated. 2 items.
  • Oversize Folder os1#1197.os1 Icon to indicate that there are digitized materials available
    Oversize Materials
    • Photograph of women dressed in native costumes. undated. 1 item.  (item #1)
    • Photograph of Elizabeth Wong Chow, her husband Chintai Chow, and their 2 children. undated. 1 item.  (item #2)
    • 1924 panoramic shot of the banquet hall of the Filipino Association of Philadelphia Commemoration. 1924. 1 item.  (item #3)
    • 1927 panoramic shot of the banquet hall for the meeting of the Federation de L'Alliance Francaise in New York City. 1927. 1 item.  (item #4)
    • Etching of Rothenburg, Germany. undated. 1 item.  (item #6)
    • Color Japanese ukiyo-e print by Hiroshige Ando. ca. 1930. 1 item.  (item #7)
    • Pen & ink artwork for and printed proof of 1928 Christmas/New Year's holiday greeting card from The Fry Family. 1928. 1 item.  (item #8)
  • Oversize Folder os2#1197.os2
    Oversize Materials
    • 1916 certificate for membership of James Woods Fry in the Pennsylvania Society. 1916. 1 item.  (item #1)
    • 1880 certificate for completion of 2 years at Central High School in Pennsylvania by James W. Fry. 1880. 1 item.  (item #2)
    • 1878 certificate for completion of Jefferson Grammar School and admittance to Central High School by James Fry. 1878. 1 item.  (item #3)
    • 1925 certificate for membership in the Huguenot Society of Pennsylvania. 1925. 1 item.  (item #4)
    • 1931 certificate for membership in the Pennsylvania German Society by Estelle Fry. 1931. 1 item.  (item #5)
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This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Special Collections Division, J.Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University. The materials described here are physically available in our reading room. To see what's been digitized in this collection, please click on the "View Digitized Objects" link, or look for hyperlinks in the preliminary inventory
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