The 2018-19 historical society presentations got off to a roaring start Oct.1 with Frairy Tales, about the life and times of John Frairy, one of the original 13 settlers who left Dedham in 1649 to found Medfield.
Over 50 people came out to hear Richard DeSorgher, who calls himself “Medfield town historian in exile,” kick off the 2018-19 season with his usual verve and energy. He spoke Monday, Oct. 1, at the old meetinghouse, aka First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church, 26 North St.
Before retiring to Mashpee last year, DeSorgher was a lifelong resident of Medfield, where he taught history and social studies for over 30 years and also served on the historical society board and board of selectmen. He remains the most knowledgeable and enthusiastic advocate for Medfield history.
John Frairy was a shoemaker by trade, as well as a farmer. As if he and the other 12 didn’t already have their hands full with their own families – they also laid out the town’s streets, apportioned land, helped with clearing land and putting up houses and other buildings, and created a municipal government. Frairy lived on the street that now bears his name. He served as a selectman in 1651, 1653, 1654, and 1661.
Frairy’s descendants all spell their name without the “i.” They come from all parts of the country to gather every other year in Deerfield for a Frary Family Association reunion. Those 50+ people gave DeSorgher a standing ovation when he presented “Frairy Tales” there last July. Two Massachusetts Frarys were invited to the Medfield presentation but didn’t attend.
There are many famous and accomplished members of the extended Frary family: the Bush family; Nelson Rockefeller and Levi P. Morton, U.S. vice presidents; Kate Upton, actress and model; George Eastman, Kodak founder; Frederick Upton, founder of Whirlpool.