Fry, Benjamin Franklin (1800–1872)

By: Thomas W. Cutrer

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: October 19, 2019

Benjamin Franklin Fry, soldier and Baptist minister nicknamed the "fighting parson," was born in Wilkes County, Georgia, on September 15, 1800, the son of Benjamin and Mary Ann Fry. He married Nancy Carter of Virginia on December 23, 1819. The couple resided in Henry County and in La Grange, Georgia, until 1834, when they moved to Crockett, Texas.

Fry joined the Texas army in October 1835 and took part in the siege of Bexar. He was the second lieutenant of the artillery company garrisoning the Alamo under James C. Niell and served as a private in Capt. William S. Fisher's Company I of Col. Edward Burleson's First Regiment, Texas Volunteers, at the battle of San Jacinto. After the revolution Fry served as a private in Capt. T. Epperson's company of the Second Regiment, Second Brigade, Texas Militia.

In 1840 he owned 640 acres in Houston County. During the Mexican War he served as the first sergeant of Capt. Joseph L. Bennett's Company B of Col. Albert Sidney Johnston's First Texas Foot Riflemen but mustered out at Camargo, Mexico, due to ill health on August 24, 1846. By 1850 he had moved to Walker County with his wife and son, also named Benjamin, and was working as a carpenter. On December 15, 1849, state representative Adolphus Sterne presented a petition for Fry's relief to the Texas House of Representatives. It was referred to the Private Land Claims Committee, and on January 11, 1850, Fry received a one-third league headright in what is now Cherokee County for his service in the Texas Revolution. He died on March 10, 1872, at the Bastrop County community of Jeddo, where he is buried.

Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Founders and Patriots of the Republic of Texas (Austin, 1963-). Sam Houston Dixon and Louis Wiltz Kemp, The Heroes of San Jacinto (Houston: Anson Jones, 1932). Charles D. Spurlin, comp., Texas Veterans in the Mexican War: Muster Rolls of Texas Military Units (Victoria, Texas, 1984). Texas Historical and Biographical Magazine, 1891.

  • Religion
  • Baptist
Time Periods:
  • Texas Revolution

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Thomas W. Cutrer, “Fry, Benjamin Franklin,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 14, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

October 19, 2019