Mary Amanda "Mamie" Fry Schroeder
1860 – 1887
Mary Amanda "Mamie" Fry, who is buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in Lamar county, was born to Maria L. Williams and Joseph Talbot Fry in Matagorda county, Texas, in 1860. Mamie's father was a young doctor from Tennessee who lost his parents at an early age and was raised by his paternal aunt, Mary Sarah "Sallie" Fry Davis. This aunt immigrated to Texas in 1846. As a medical student, Fry made his first trip to Texas in 1853 to visit her and his cousins. He then graduated from medical school in Tennessee and set up practice in Matagorda on the Texas coast in 1856. On November 21, 1859, Fry married Maria L. Williams, the eldest daughter of a Matagorda plantation owner, Robert Harris Williams and Mary Lawson White Williams, settlers who came to Texas with Stephen F. Austin.
In August of 1860, Joseph, 25, and Maria, 18, moved into the town of Matagorda as a young couple. They had two children, Mary Amanda, known as "Mamie," born December 21, 1860, and her younger sister, Lillie Bert, born on October 22, 1863 while the civil war was still raging. In 1862, Fry observed first hand one of many yellow fever epidemics in Matagorda during which he formulated his unwavering views on the necessity of quarantine. By July 23rd of 1865, when she was only 23, Maria was dead of "bilious fever." A brief entry in the death records of Christ Church, Matagorda, described her death as inspiring "much lamentation" as she was buried on Caney. On March 17, 1866, little Mamie and Lillie Bert were baptized at Christ Episcopal Church in Matagorda with their father, Dr. Joseph T. Fry, listed as parent and sponsor.
Fry married again on August 30, 1866, a year after Maria's death. His new wife was Emily Rees Talbot, 21, the daughter of Matthew Talbot, Matagorda county Judge, and Harriet M. Gayle Talbot. (The Talbots had taken Fry under their wing and he honored them by taking their last name as part of his own.) By the time of the 1870 Federal Census for Matagorda, Emily and Joseph Fry were the parents of Joseph Talbot, born July 10, 1867 and Buford, about six months old, born in December of 1869. Also living with them were Fry's children from his first marriage, Mamie and Lillie Bert. Joseph Talbot, Jr. died and was buried in the Matagorda Cemetery in August of 1872. No further information is known of what happened to Lillie Bert and Buford; it is presumed that they also died as children.
In 1880, shortly before his death, Mamie's grandfather, Robert H. Williams, made a will. In it, he bequeathed to his granddaughter, Mamie A. Fry, a league and labor of land situated in Blanco county, originally granted to the heirs of Peter Jackson. He also bequeathed a portion of the Battle, Berry, and Williams League in Matagorda county to her. At some time in the 1880s, the Fry family moved to Richmond, Texas, where Henry W. Schroeder, born in Nacogdoches on December 18, 1863, also lived.
In the meantime, Mamie's father, to further advance his medical knowledge, received another diploma from the University of Tennessee in 1882 and attended the polyclinic in New York in 1886. However, all his medical education could not prevent the premature deaths of his loved ones.*
Mamie married Henry W. Schroeder on September 15, 1886 at Grace Episcopal Church in Galveston, with the Rev. Fred. Leigh of Richmond officiating. The newlywed couple were noted in a news article on the same day to have arrived at the Tremont Hotel in Galveston. Henry and Mamie moved to Paris, Texas sometime in 1887.
On October 27, 1887, Mamie gave birth to Alice Schroeder, hers and Henry's only child. Barely a month later, on December 5th, Mamie died. She was 16 days short of her 27th birthday. The news account of her death said that she died "after a long illness." Another news account stated that her father, Dr. J. T. Fry, was by her bedside when she died. Mamie was laid to rest in the Evergreen cemetery in Paris, Texas. Five months later, on March 22, little Alice also died and was buried next to her mother.
Henry Schroeder married again, to Roxie Henderson of Paris, Texas, and died on February 19, 1934.
*In addition to the loss of his first wife, his two daughters by her, his granddaughter, and the loss of other children in early childhood, Dr. Joseph T. Fry's second wife, Emily Talbot Reese Fry, died of puerperal peritonitis following the birth of a stillborn child in October of 1888. In 1896, their daughter, Emily, age 11, was struck and killed almost instantly by a runaway horse in downtown Galveston, while Fry was only a few steps away. Fry went on to marry a third time and final time in 1890.
1. Federal Censuses for Matagorda County accessed through www.ancestry.com
2. The Death and Cemetery Records of Lamar County, Texas - Search
3. The Family of Robert Harris Williams -http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~txmatago/family_williams_roberth.htm
4. Private papers of the Williams/Caldwell/Moore family
5. The Galveston Daily News, Houston, TX for Friday, September 17, 1886
6. The Galveston Daily News for Friday, December 09, 1887
Carolee C. Moore, San Antonio, Texas, Mamie's first cousin, twice removed.
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