Edwin Augustus Fry, 1851-1936 [RG3281.AM]


RG3281.AM:  Edwin Augustus Fry, 1851-1936

Papers:  1878-1938

Niobrara, Knox County, Neb.; South Dakota; Colorado:  Newspaper editor

Size:  3 boxes; 1.5 cu.ft.


Edwin Augustus Fry was born in Norwalk, Connecticut, April 12, 1851, the son of John and Josephine (Preston) Fry. Edwin attended the common schools of Norwalk and in 1866, at the age of fifteen, began a two-year apprenticeship in the jewelers trade. After purchasing a small printing outfit, a “fad” among young men in 1867, he embarked on his initial journalistic project, publishing an amateur newspaper called the “Yankee Pedler” which had over 1,000 subscribers. His real apprenticeship in the printing trade began in the office of the Norwalk Gazette. In 1869 he attended a convention of boy editors and printers at the home of Charles Scribner, from which the Society of “Fossils, Amateur Journalists of the Past” developed.

Fry went to Brooklyn, New York, in 1871 and for several months was employed on a weekly newspaper, The Herald, at Williamsburg, New York. He also worked briefly for the firm of D. Appleton and Company publishers, until the spring of 1873 when he traveled to Yankton, South Dakota, where he worked on the Herald. Soon after he became local editor and printer on the Times at Springfield, until Fall of 1874 when he founded the Niobrara Pioneer at Niobrara, Knox County, Nebraska. He owned and operated the Pioneer until 1905, when he stopped publication, returned to South Dakota and founded the Lake Andes Wave. In the years following 1907, Fry took over newspapers in various towns in South Dakota and Colorado, rehabilitating them physically and financially. At the time of his death he was the publisher of the Herrick News in Herrick, South Dakota.

In addition to his journalistic activities, Fry was postmaster at Niobrara in 1874 and again in 1881. The following year, he became an Indian trader at the Pine Ridge Agency, holding this office until 1885. He also served as a member of the Joint Commission to determine the boundary line for an Island in the Missouri River in 1895. Among his other interests and activities were politics, the building of the first bridge across the Niobrara River in 1884, promotion of plans for bridging the Missouri River at Niobrara, and helping to assure the construction of the Northwestern Railroad into Niobrara.

Edwin A. Fry died in Herrick, South Dakota on October 20, 1936, at the age of 85 years.


This collection consists of manuscript materials arranged in five series: 1) Correspondence, 1878-1936; 2) Manuscripts; 3) Scrapbooks, 1906-1935; 4) Miscellany; and 5) Clippings.

The bulk of this collection dates from 1911 to 1933 and consists of correspondence relating to Edwin Fry’s activities as a newspaper editor in Niobrara, Nebraska; Herrick, Yankton, and Ft. Pierre, South Dakota; and Julesburg and Sedgwick, Colorado. The collection includes information on Fry’s associations with the South Dakota Direct Legislation Organization, the South Dakota Progressive Republican Primary Organization, the Kansas, Nebraska, Dakota Highway Association, and the Missouri River Navigation Association. Of special interest is the correspondence regarding the Council of Defense and their accusations against Fry during the first World War when he was living in Julesburg, Colorado. Fry was also very active in South Dakota political campaigns at the state and national level. Correspondents include Valentine T. McGillicuddy, 1894; Lorenzo Crounse, 1894; Edgar Howard, 1923-1933; Robert M. LaFollette, 1914-1918; Richard O. Richards, 1911-1920; Victor Rosewater, 1901-1906; and Addison E. Sheldon, 1924-1925.

Note:  See the photo component [RG3281.PH] for related images. The NSHS Library contains issues of the Niobrara Pioneer on microfilm. See the Nebraska History index for articles relating to Edwin A. Fry.


Series 1 – Correspondence, 1878-1936

Box 1


    1. 1878

    1. 1880

    1. 1884

    1. 1885

    1. 1886

    1. 1887

    1. 1889

    1. 1890

    1. 1891

    1. 1892

    1. 1893

    1. 1894

    1. 1895

    1. 1901

    1. 1902-1903

    1. 1904

    1. 1906

    1. 1907

    1. 1908

    1. 1909

    1. 1910

    1. 1911

    1. 1911 – R.O. Richards

    1. 1912

    1. 1913

    1. 1913 – Lee Baker

    1. 1913 – R.O. Richards

    1. 1913 – Roy Willy

    1. 1914

    1. 1915

    1. 1914-1915 – R.O. Richards

    1. 1916

    1. 1916 – R.O. Richards

    1. 1916 – John C. Wagner

    1. 1917

    1. 1917 – James R. Noland

    1. 1917 – Courtland Smith

    1. 1917 – John Wagner

    1. 1918

    1. 1918 – Council of Defense Colorado

    1. 1918 – Samuel Lewis

    1. 1918 – James R. Noland

    1. 1918 – John Wagner

    1. 1919

    1. 1919 – F.C. Marshall

    1. 1919 – J.R. Noland

Box 2


    1. 1920 – R.O. Richards

    1. 1920

    1. 1921

    1. 1922

    1. 1923

    1. 1923 – Edgar Howard

    1. 1923 – A.E. Sheldon

    1. 1924

    1. 1924 – Edgar Howard

    1. 1925

    1. 1925 – Edgar Howard

    1. 1926

    1. 1926 – Edgar Howard

    1. 1926 – R.B. Howell

    1. 1927

    1. 1927 – Edgar Howard

    1. 1928

    1. 1929

    1. 1930

    1. 1931

    1. 1931 – Fossils

    1. 1931 – Edgar Howard

    1. 1932

    1. 1933

    1. 1934

    1. 1934 – Marie Weekes

    1. 1935

    1. 1936

    1. Undated Howard, Howell, Farnell, Wagner, Grace

    1. Undated

Series 2 – Manuscripts

Box 3


    1. Manuscripts

Series 3 – Scrapbooks, 1906-1935

    1. 1906-1977

    1. 1907-1935

Series 4 – Miscellany

    1. Biographical data

    1. Libel case

    1. Council of Defense, Liberty Bonds

    1. Council of Defense – Clippings

    1. Miscellany

    1. Certificates, Yankton map, etc. (See OB006)

Series 5 – Clippings

    1. Clippings

    1. Clippings – Bridges



Colorado. State Council of Defense

Fry, Edwin Augustus, 1851-1936

Howard, Edgar, 1858-1951

Journalists — Colorado

Journalists — Nebraska

Journalists — South Dakota

Richards, Richard Olsen, 1866-


JEP/ht   12-01-1972

Revised KFK   10-29-1996

Encoded TMM   04-06-2010

Become a Member!

Our members make history happen.

Join Now

You May Also Enjoy

No Father’s Day for Nebraska in 1915

No Father’s Day for Nebraska in 1915

Sewing the Flag

Sewing the Flag

Buffalo Bill’s Big House

Buffalo Bill’s Big House

About History Nebraska
History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
Explore Nebraska
Discover the real places and people of our past at these History Nebraska sites.

Upcoming Events

View our new and upcoming events to see how you can get involved.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.

History Nebraska Education

Learn more about the educational programs provided at our museums, sites, and online.

History Nebraska Programs

Learn more about the programs associated with History Nebraska.

Latest Hall of Fame Inductee

The Nebraska Hall of Fame was established in 1961 to officially recognize prominent Nebraskans.

Listen to our Podcast

Listen to the articles and authors published in the Nebraska History Magazine with our new Nebraska History Podcast!

Nebraska Collections

History Nebraska's mission is to collect, preserve, and open our shared history to all Nebraskans.

Our YouTube Video Collection

Get a closer look at Nebraska's history through your own eyes, with our extensive video collections.

Additional Research Resources

History Nebraska Research and Reference Services help connect you to the material we collect and preserve.

Support History Nebraska
Make a cash donation to help us acquire, preserve, and interpret Nebraska’s history. Gifts to History Nebraska help leave a legacy and may help your taxes, too! Support the work of History Nebraska by donating to the History Nebraska Foundation today.

Volunteers are the heroes of History Nebraska. So much history, so little time! Your work helps us share access to Nebraska’s stories at our museums and sites, the reference room, and online.