CHRONICLE. CENTENNIAL ISSUE, July 12, 1956. FRYAR FAMILY ON OBED RIVER. Article by Blanche Rymer Zielasko. James Horace Fryar of Knox County, Tennessee, and Buncombe County, North Carolina, purchased 1,000 acres of land on Obed River in Cumberland County, Tennessee, with $1,000 Confederate dollars, three weeks before the money was made invalid by the United States Government. At the close of the Civil War he told his children and other relatives if they wanted to go carve a new home from the wilderness he would deed them one hundred acres of land.
One son, John Newton Fryar, with his wife, Almeda Anora Scherertz Fryar, and children came and settled near the Grymes (Grimes, Graham) Ford on Obed River, January 15, 1866. They were accompanied by a young Baptist minister, Hiram Proctor, native of Buncombe County, North Carolina. Rev. Proctor married a sister of John Fryar (Martha Ellen), September 12th 1852. Other related families who came along with the Frayars were Adams, Burnett, Scherertz (Sherrod), Monday, and Barnwell.
The Fryars and their kin-folk were talented musicians, especially John, who taught Hiriam Proctor to sing by shaped notes. Rev. Proctor organized the Fredonia Baptist Church soon after he came to the Mountain. He also taught the first singing school ever held in the county in Haley's Grove Church near Crab Orchard.
John Fryar was by trade a cabinet maker. He brought a turning lathe to the mountain with him to make chairs, rolling pins, etc. He brought patterns originally used by his fore-parents in North Carolina, that are still used in the county. He moved from Obed River to Big Lick where his descendants are active in the Presbyterian Church. Form the minutes of the Presbyterian Church of the United States of America we learn that James Horace and Elizabeth Fryar were charter members of the Presbyterian Church of Crossville which was organized Sunday, Aug. 7, 1870, in the Courthouse at Crossville.
John and Almeda Fryar were parents of seven daughters and one son: Margaret, m. James M. Hassler; M. Elizabeth (Mollie), m. Tom Croft; Martha (Mattie) m. Riley Adams; Jane, m. Dr. Jesse Hutsell; James Horace Frayr, m. 1. Mary Sherrill, 2. Lucinda Sherrill, 3. Florence Shetley; Sillie m. 1. Rev. Charles Croft 2. C. C. Croft; Florence, m. Wesley Rhea; Temple, m. Dock Croft. James Horace was named after his grandfather and was a good cabinet maker. His widow, Mrs. Florence Frayar, lives in Crab Orchard. Mrs. Lillie Croft lives in Sepulneda, California. The elder James Horace Fryar and wife, Elizabeth Hill Frayar, are buried in the Keyes or Creston Cemetery, in Cumberland County.