JEFFERSON COUNTY ILLINOIS
GENEVIEVE ROBERSON FRY BRITMEIER
It was Jan. 1913, that Genevieve had chosen to be married. The
engagement had only been two weeks and didn't leave much time for
preparation. Her father ordered a lace wedding dress from Montgomery
Ward, but couldn't attend the wedding. School at Christopher claimed
his undivided attention. W. O. Fry, oldest son of J. T. Fry of Ina, had
purchased the Mannen Bldg. at Waltonville. It included the Parke Hotel
upstairs over it. After purchasing the merchandise necessary to open
for business, Orrie felt the need for help. He wrote asking Genevieve to
meet him at her Aunt Julia Tippie's in Mt. Vernon, whose husband John
Tippie had a wholesale banana business near the Southern R.R. station.
There he proposed in these words "I need a cook, I wondered if we could
get married in a few days, the merchandise will be in next week and I
need help." On Jan. 19, the groom, along with his sister Ethyl and John
E. Pope of Benton, arrived by train, a cab took the party to the First
Baptist Church on Jordan St., and the ceremony was performed. The new
married couple took the 3 o'clock train to Benton, caught another to
Christopher, and at 5 a.m. arrived at Waltonville on the C.B.& Q. The
bride's lace trimmed hat drooped from the weight of heavy rain, and the
gray kid high button shoes were mud ankle deep. At the store door stood
Willie McAtee, shaking the latch to get in. He lived two doors to the
rear and was always the day's first customer. The couple remained
guests of the hotel as long as the Mannens ran it because the hotel's
reputation for food and service was good. Travelers wished it to
continue, but Genevieve's specialty up to now had been mashed potatoes,
Jello, and Angel food cake, all made in her grandmother's kitchen at
Ewing, Ill. where she had been living while attending Ewing College.
This hardly qualified her as a hotel cook, and travelers soon lost
interest in both food and service. Parke hotel was closed forever.
They built a new home and there, their three children were born; John Ralph
in 1913, Darwin Henry in 1915, and Margaret Imogene in 1920. Business
was almost more than they could handle. They hired as many as 5 clerks.
Every Sunday they drove to Ina to discuss business with Orrie's father
J. T. Fry. One by one the Fry boys were sent to learn the business.
Thomas and his wife moved to Waltonville for a while, Thomas Jr. was
born in Waltonville. Hobart worked summers while going to Dental School
in St. Louis. Mollie Conlee and Mrs. Reed rented a corner and opened a
Millinery Shop. Orrie, wishing to expand, rented the store across the
street for furniture and undertaking, and hired Rev. Phillips to manage
it. They were successful beyond their fondest dreams. At different
times they hired Mrs. Capps, Addie Hirons, and Aline Hirons. A new
young clerk was hired to work at the store, and soon became personally
involved with Orrie, a separation and divorce occurred and Raymond Fry
came to take over the store. Genevieve was moved to Salem, where the
three children came down with measles and pneumonia. The grandmother,
Nettie Fry came to visit and was surprised to learn that Orrie was in
South Dakota as a general salesman for Marshall Fields of Chicago, and
the Illinois Casket Co.
At that time, the cosmetic business was very profitable, and Genevieve
learned the trade from The Burnhams School of Beauty Culture and took a
job on a year's 'Contract for Swartz Brothers Dept. Store in Johnstown,
Pa. Several others in the dept. came from Burnhams School in New York.
The picture accompanying this story of Genevieve and her children,
was taken when she returned home to them from Pa. They stayed at the
John Ralph graduated D.D.S. St. Louis University, practiced dentistry
in Mt. Vernon, married Eleanor Schmitt and had John David, Jim and
Janic. Jim is a commercial artist, Janic majored in music, and John
David is in a research laboratory in a Chicago Hospital.
Darwin Henry, got his degree in Dentistry at Illinois University in
Chicago, and practiced in Springfield, Ill. He married Phyllis Lowery
in Chicago, and has six children: Judy Ann Johnson, D.D.S. Ind.
University; Sandra, Master's degree from University of Ill., lives
Great Fall, Va.; Barbara, R.N. at Omaha, Nebraska; Richard a pharmacist
at Des Moines, Iowa; David Salkman, a Karate teacher at Eastern University;
Mary Margaret, a high school senior.
Gene Margaret worked for Montgomery Ward in Bloomington, Ill. has one
daughter Linda Gene Williamson Futrell, voted humanitarian of the year
at Ball State, Muncie Ind. last year. Genevieve married Paul C. Breitmeier.
- Genevieve Breitmeier
Quoted from above text "The picture accompanying this story
of Genevieve and her children, was taken when she returned home
to them from Pa." end quote
Some ommisions may have occured to protect living individuals.
"Facts and Folks A History of Jefferson County, Illinois"
Jefferson County Historical Society
Printed by Taylor Publishing Company, Dallas, TX Page 99, 100
Submitted by Sandy Whalen Bauer