The Henry Fralick Family
One of my favorite pictures of my ancestors is that of my maternal great-grandmother, Mary Ellen (Fralick) Hope (1852 – 1935). She married Leander Gordon on the Fourth of July in 1868 and had one daughter before he died. She then married Michael William Hope (1840 – 1919) on September 30, 1874. Michael had immigrated from England as a 6-year old boy. Of their four children, the youngest and only son, Monroe, is my grandfather.
Mary Ellen was born in Grant County, Wisconsin and, except for a time that she lived with her daughter, Olive, in Kenosha, WI when she was in her latter years,* she spent her life time in Grant County. Her father, Henry Fralick (1811 -1896), was born on this day in 1811 in Canajoharie, Montgomery County, New York and was christened March 15, 1812, 13 months after his birth, at the Reformed Dutch Church in Fort Plain, Minden Township, Montgomery, New York. As a young man he left New York and settled in Grant County, Wisconsin to farm. On Dec 4, 1844, he married Martha Scott (1819 – 1880) who had moved to the county from Ohio with her family.
Grant County in is southwest WI, with the Mississippi River as its western boundary. The 1895 plat book shows the river and where the Fralicks farmed.
Farming 120 acres was an impressive feat in the 1800s. They were among the larger farmers in the county with that much acreage. As they expanded their farm, they also expanded the amount of help needed to run it. The 1860 U. S. Census had Henry and Martha living there with their six children, Charles, Martha, Mary Ellen, David, Edward, and Frank (ages from 13 to 3). Ten years later, according to the 1870 U. S. Census, the value of their real estate had more than doubled to $3000 from its worth of $1400 in 1860. Their personal estate had tripled from $300 in 1860 to $900 in 1870. Additionally, in 1870, when Henry was in his late 50s he had more help on the farm. His oldest son, Charles, was 24 and living on the farm, presumably to help with the work. They also had two male farm hands living with them, ages 19 and 21, as well as a 12-year old white, female domestic servant. The two older daughters had married by 1870 and moved out, but Henry and Martha still had several school-aged children living at home. There were also four pre-school aged children, two with the last name of Ward and two with the last name of Haggard living in the household. At this point, their daughter Martha Jane had just married John Reynolds (and they spent most of their adult lives in Soldier, Jackson County, Kansas) and Mary Ellen was married to Leander Gordon. A mystery yet unsolved: why were these four young children living with them?
Henry died on Christmas Day, 1896; Martha preceded him in death on July 2, 1880.
According to research on Archives.com, in conjunction with Family Search International, Henry’s father was Abraham Fralick (Fralic), born in New York in about 1781. Henry’s mother was Maria Ann Keller, whose ancestry can be traced back to about 1515 in the town of Wildberg, Zurich, Switzerland. That will be detailed in an upcoming post.
*1930 U.S. Census