Family Stories

George Fracker, Biography

from The History of Johnson County, Iowa

GEORGE FRACKER, was born in 1795, in Boston, Massachusetts, died in Iowa City, October 12, 1880. He was reared in the atmosphere of industry, frugality, and intelligence that characterized so many of the New England homes of nearly a hundred years ago. His father was a boat builder living at the “North End.” The father’s occupation brought the sons in contact with a sea-faring life, and George naturally determined to try the sea, at least long enough to enable him to see something of the world. When about twenty-one years old he sailed on board a vessel bound for a South American port. At Buenos Ayres, the vessel having changed her destination, he obtained his release, and shipped as second officer on the English ship Jane, bound for the Brazils. This vessel was wrecked a few weeks later at the mouth of the Rio de la Plata, and all on board except Mr. Fracker perished. He, with a broken leg and many severe bruises and cuts, escaped to a desert shore to suffer for several days pains worse than death. His published account of his experiences and sufferings is one of absorbing interest. He recieved the kindest treatment from a Creole family, who discovered him wounded, naked, and helpless amid the debris of the wreck, ministered to him, protected him from the savages, and enabled him to communicate with Monteveido, whence assistance was sent. The very night after he left the ranch of his faithful friends, the Guachos, who are merciless savages of that section, attacked it, robbed him of everything, and killed the son who had first found him in his distress. After reaching Monteveido he was most kindly cared for by humane people of all nationalities. He reached Boston again in 1818, where he was soon offered a position as teacher in the public schools, which he accepted and held for eleven years. Soon after beginning teaching he was married, but his wife lived but a few years.  By this marriage three children were born, one of them dying in infancy, and one of them in New Orleans at the age of twenty-two; another, Dudley S. Fracker, died in Ohio nine years ago. In 1828 he was married at Roxbury, Massachusetts, to Fanny L. Richardson, whom for years all our citizens have known. By this marriage there were eleven children, nine of whom still live. Mr. Fracker removed from Boston to Zanesville, Ohio, where he continued for a time to teach, and afterwards engaged in banking. He lived in Zanesville for nineteen years, and then removed to Washington in the same State, where he continued in a bank. In 1856 he moved to Iowa City, where, in active life or in the decrepitude of advancing age, he continued to live until his death.

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