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Frye genealogical collection

Identifier: MC036

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of three documents concerning the genealogy of the Frye family. One document is entitled "A Genealogical Account of the Family of Fryes," and was compiled by Joseph Frye, 1783. There is a photocopy of this document that also includes a 20-page supplement to the document. The original of this supplement was presumed to have been in the possession of Donald White but is no longer extant.

The second document is "The Minutes of the Town of Lewiston, 1835," recorded by John Frye, Town Clerk (16 p.).

The third document is a typewritten copy of the 1783 Frye genealogy with two letters dated 1872 from Israel Bradley to William P. Frye.

In addition there is an undated biographical sketch of William R. Frye, and a few other papers related to the Frye family.


  • 1783 - 1872


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

The collection is the physical property of Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library. Bates College holds literary rights only for material created by College personnel working on official behalf of the College, or for material which was given to the College with such rights specifically assigned. For all other material, literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Researchers are responsible for obtaining permission from rights holders for publication or other purposes that exceed fair use.

Historical Note

Dean Frye came to Lewiston from Brunswick in 1819 to help run the Lewiston Falls Manufacturing Company. In 1834 the company became the first one in Lewiston to be granted a charter for manufacturing purposes. His two sons, John M. Frye and William R. Frye, were corporators.

As of 1873 the Frye family owned the land bordered by Frye Street, College Street, Elm Street and Main Street, as well as land on the other side of Frye Street. John M. Frye lived on Main Street and his son, William P. Frye, had a house on the corner of Frye Street and Main Street.

William Robinson Frye served as a Maine State Seminary and Bates College trustee from 1855 until his death in 1865. Along with Dr. Alonzo Garcelon and the Rev. Nahum Brooks, he was very influential in the Board's decision to locate the institution in Lewiston. During his years as a trustee, Mr. Frye was involved with the financial issues of the institution and served as the chairman of the building committee for Hathorn and Parker Halls. He was chairman of a committee that welcomed the first Seminary students with a parade from the railroad station and a supper at the Main Street Free Baptist Church. Along with his responsibilities as a corporator of the Lewiston Manufacturing Company, he served as a postmaster and as Chairman of the Board of Selectmen.

William Pierce Frye had a distinguished political career. He was elected mayor of Lewiston in 1865 and 1866 and served as Maine's Attorney General from 1867-1869. In 1871 he was elected to Congress and then served as a U.S. Senator from 1881-1911. He received an honorary degree from Bates College in 1881. He was also a contributor to the college's library, donating a number of books over the years.


3 document(s)

Language of Materials



Genealogical documents related to the Frye family of Lewiston, Maine, and in particular to John M. Frye, William Robinson Frye, William P. Frye, and Dean Frye.

Organization and Arrangement

The collection is in chronological order.

Acquisition and Custody Information

Gift of John White (Bates 1939), May 4, 1971. Accession No.: xx-019.

Processing Information

Processed by Kurt Kuss, Special Collections Librarian, 2000.

Finding aid updated by Pat Webber, 2023.


Guide to the Frye genealogical collection, 1783-1872
Edited Full Draft
Kurt Kuss
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Description is in: English
Edition statement

Repository Details

Part of the Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library Repository

70 Campus Avenue
Lewiston Maine 04240 United States of America
207-755-5911 (Fax)