James J. Fribley

JAMES J. FRIBLEY, for many years one of the most active and successful business men of Baxter Springs, is at the present time living a retired life. He was born in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, December 2, 1842, and is a son of Daniel and Leah (Edmunds) Fribley.

Jacob Fribley, great-grandfather of our subject, came from Germany and located in Pennsylvania in the latter part of the 18th century. He had a son Jacob, born in Pennsylvania, who followed the occupation of a farmer and in 1816 located in Tuscarawas County, Ohio. The latter married Elizabeth Woods, by whom he had the following children: John, Margaret, Daniel, James, Thompson, David, Mary, Enoch, Elsie, Jacob and Elizabeth.

Daniel Fribley, the father of our subject, was born in Milton, Pennsylvania, August 12, 18l2, removed to Ohio with his parents at the age of four years, and received his education in the district schools there. After leaving school, he purchased a piece of timber land which he cleared and improved and followed farming and stock-raising, raising horses and sheep on an extensive scale. The land remained in his possession until 1903, at which time he deeded it to his children. He married Leah Edmunds, a daughter of Edward and Susan (Rhodes) Edmunds, who originally came from Vermont and Pennsylvania, respectively, and they had the following issue: Edward, a retired farmer of Assumption, Illinois; Wesley, who died in 1862 of measles at an army hospital in Memphis, Tennessee; James J.; Cornelia, who resides on the old family homestead in Ohio; Ellen L., wife of Lyman Hardman, a hardware merchant of New Philadelphia, Ohio; Susan N., wife of Dr. J. W. Toland, a Methodist Episcopal clergyman of Coshocton, Ohio; Lambert E., a stock dealer of New Philadelphia, Ohio; Milton D., who is traveling through Texas, Indian Territory and Arkansas for the Tuscarawas Advertising Company of Coshocton, Ohio; and Charles J., who is in the hotel business in Springfield, Illinois. Mrs. Fribley died in 1883, and Mr. Fribley died at New Philadelphia, September 6, 1904, at the advanced age of 92 years.

James J. Fribley received his educational training in the public schools of New Philadelphia, Ohio, which he attended until his 18th year. At the outbreak of the war, in answer to Lincoln's first call, he enlisted in Company F, 16th Reg., Ohio Vol. Inf., and was discharged four months later. He reenlisted August 12, 1862, in Company K, 98th Reg., Ohio Vol. Inf., and in the battle of Perryville, Kentucky, on October 8th, was shot through the right shoulder, and was sent to the hospital. He was unable to join his regiment for a year and served in the hospital service until January, 1864, when he rejoined his regiment and served through the Atlantic campaign as a member of the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 14th Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland. He was mustered out in July, 1865, and returned home. After spending the following winter in school, he engaged in the grocery business in Uhrichsville, Ohio, for two years, then clerked in the grocery and hardware store of M. R. Haskins & Son for two years, and after the store was bought by Wesley Crale managed it for 15 months. He next engaged in that line of business on his own account, and added to it a line of dry goods. He continued until January 1, 1882, then sold out, removed to Baxter Springs, Cherokee County, Kansas, and for four years raised cattle and sheep in the Indian Territory. He next purchased the L. C. Fuller hardware store, which he conducted until the spring of 1903, adding thereto a full line of farm implements. He sold out in 1903 to G. E. Rucker, but still owns the buildings.

On January 1, 1868, Mr. Fribley was joined in marriage with Mary Alma Johnson, a daughter of Elias and Matilda (Campbell) Johnson, of Harrison County, Ohio. Three children were born to them, of whom two sons are living. The older son, Charles J., who is in the implement business at Miami, Indian Territory, married Lelia Sands, a daughter of Robert Sands of Baxter Springs, and four children were born to them as follows: Wood S., James K., Robert C. and Lelia. Edward J., the second son, is cashier of the Arnold Carnival Company. Religiously, Mrs. Fribley is a consistent member of the Christian Church. In politics. our subject is a stanch supporter of Republican principles, held a number of local offices in his native county, and has been a member of the City Council of Baxter Springs two terms, and mayor, one term. He is president of the School Board and formerly was president of the Inter-State Reunion Association, of which he is now treasurer. He is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America; Ancient Order of United Workmen; Baxter Chapter, No. 78, Royal Arch Masons; Galena Commandery, Knights Templar; and the Grand Army of the Republic. He is a man who stands very high in the esteem of his fellow men, and has always been found among the most public spirited citizens of Baxter Springs.


History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by Lacey Myers, student from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas,02/20/97.


[TOC] [Biog. Index] [1904 Index] [Cherokee Co.] [Archives]
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