Christian H. Frailey, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of Christian H. Frailey

CHRISTIAN H. FRAILEY. Half a century ago the good citizenship of Porter county was increased by the arrival of the Frailey family, the members of which ever since have been identified with the county in useful and honorable capacities, and in providing for their own prosperity have contributed to the general welfare.

Christian H. Frailey, whose career as a farmer is well known among all residents of Porter township, was born in Erie county, New York, November 8, 1847. His parents were Anthony find Margaret (Fess) Frailey, and of their six children, four sons and two daughters, four are now living, as follows; Eliza is the wife of Albert Erdmann, a retired farmer of Elk Falls, Kansas; John, who married Miss Nellie Mapes, is an agriculturist at Elk Falls, Kansas; Christian H. is the third member of the family; Rosa, now a resident of Haskell county, Kansas, is the widow of Jacob Lowmiller, who was a veteran of the Civil war.

Anthony Frailey, the father, was a native of France but was reared in Germany, and during his young manhood left the latter country and on a sailing vessel that was sixty days on the voyage came to America. He landed at New York with very little capital, made his way to Buffalo, and there got his first real start in life and was married there. Farming was the occupation to which he devoted himself, and the farm which he bought in western New York is now the site of the thriving city of Tonawanda. In the fall of 1852 he left the Empire state and came out to Porter county, which was his home during the remainder of his life. In this county he bought eighty acres of agricultural land and ten acres of timber, that tract being now the home of Mr. George Schurr. The land had few improvements, including a little frame house twelve by fourteen, where his family made their home for a time. Father Frailey was one of the strict adherents of the Mennonite faith, and did much whenever his purse and influence could to advance the cause of his church. His wife, who was of the same belief, was born in Germany and at the age of thirteen accompanied her parents to America, their first home being in Canada, where her parents died.

Christian H. Frailey was thus a boy of five years when the family moved out to Porter county, and he has spent practically all his active life in this county. He attended during his boyhood the district schools, but has obtained most of his education as a result of his own training and observation. When he began his practical career it was without so much as a ten-dollar bill in cash capital, and it is recalled that the first hundred dollars which he was able to earn he turned over to his father to enable the latter to settle all debts. But with industry and good management, and a capable wife to aid him, Mr. Frailey even without the advantage of capital at the outset has never failed to advance steadily in the highway to prosperity.

When he was twenty-five on December 5, 1872, he was married to Miss Christina Schurr. Their marriage has been blessed with nine children, three sons and six daughters, eight of whom are living, as follows: Emma is the wife of William Ellis, a farmer and dairyman of Lake county, and they have three children. Anna is the wife of James Williams, a farmer in Porter township, and they are the parents of two daughters. Lilly is the wife of Edgar Kleine, a drayman at Hobart, and they have three children. George, who is a salesman with the Lowenstine department store in Valparaiso, married Miss Eula Bowman, and four children have been born to them. Clarence, who conducts a garage and automobile agency in Hobart, married Miss Bertha Weiler. Mabel is the wife of Fred Shearer, a farmer in Center township, and they are the parents of three children. Eva became the wife of Charles Berrier, a farmer in Morgan township, and they have one child. Florence, the youngest of the family, was educated in the common schools and the high school at Boone Grove, and she resides at home with her parents. Mr. and Mrs. Frailey have given their children good practical educations, and have fitted them by home training and the best advantages they could afford for useful and honorable careers.

Mrs. Frailey claims Porter county as her birthplace, and is a member of one of the well known old families of the county. She was born January 28, 1856, a daughter of Lewis and Anna (Fehrman) Schurr. Her education was in both the German and English languages, and she is a very capable woman and in addition to the care of a large family has co-operated with her husband in gaining their substantial prosperity.

They began their wedded life in Elk Falls, Kansas, where he had a homestead of one hundred and twenty acres, and they lived there and engaged in farming for eight years. At the end of that time they sold out and returned to old Porter county, where they have remained ever since. Here they bought eighty acres situated seven and a half miles southwest of Valparaiso, and began to develop it into a homestead for themselves and children. This is now known as the "Twin Pine Homestead," and since most of the improvements have been made during their residence Mr. and Mrs. Frailey take justifiable pride in the attractive place.

Mr. Frailey is a Republican in politics, and as a citizen gives his support to those movements and policies which best conserve the welfare and prosperity of his community. He is a loyal friend of public education, and during his residence in Kansas he served as a director of his school district. He and his wife are members of the Mennonite church in Valparaiso. As home builders and useful members of the community, they have gained the thorough esteem of all who know them, and they can review with gratitude and satisfaction the useful and honorable part they have taken in life.

Source: Lewis Publishing Company. 1912. History of Porter County, Indiana: A Narrative Account of its Historical Progress, its People and its Principal Interests. Chicago, Illinois: Lewis Publishing Company. 881 p.
Page(s) in Source: 439-441

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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