Frise Biography

  Source - "1892 Portrait & Biographical Album of Genesee, Lapeer & Tuscola Counties, Chapman Bros", in Michigan.

JABES A. FRISE, a young man of more than ordinary talent and business capacity and one of the largest music dealers in Michigan, outside of Detroit,. was born in Mariposa, Clark Township, Ontario, Canada, September 14, 1854. His father, William Frise, was born in Devonshire, England, in the city of Plymouth. Near there his grandfather, John, carried on a large farm and in 1843 brought his family to Ontario, Canada, where his father died. The family is of old English stock.

The father of our subject was a boy of about eighteen when he accompanied his parents to America, and he was married in Ontario. About the year 1860 he located in London Township, that province and there engaged in farming. He was an active member of the Methodist Church, and was accidentally killed while working in a well with a neighbor. His wife, Olivia, daughter of the Rev. Garrance T. Colwell, was born in London, England, and came with her parents to America at the same time and in the same ship with the Frise family. Mr. Colwell was a tailor in England, but took up study for ministry after coming to this country, and was ordained a bible Christian minister in Canada.

Of the twelve children of his father's household our subject has five brothers and one sister surviving. He had limited school advantages, and may well be called a self-made man. At the age of sixteen he was apprenticed to a tinsmith for three years, and after that worked as a journeyman at St. Mary's and Lucan. After this he went to Petrolia, Lambton county, where he took charge of a tin and hardware business, of which he ad the entire management for six years.

While residing in this last-named place Mr. Frise was married, April 30, 1877, to miss Susie McNeil, a native of Port Huron, this State. His family now comprises four bright and interesting children--Willie A., Mabel L., Eva M. and Susie P. From Petrolia Mr. Frise removed to London, and with his uncle, C. f. Colwell, learned the music business, and for three years traveled on the road selling instruments. In 1884 he came to Detroit and entered the employ of Roe Stevens, making with him a six years' contract. Eighteen months later Mr. Stevens sold his business to the Detroit Music company, and Mr. Frise entered their employ, representing them on the road until September 23, 1888. At that time he originated his present business in Flint, whither he had previously removed his family.

Here Mr. Frise has been very successful, as he has built up a trade, both wholesale and retail, in instruments of all kinds, and has three men on the road. The pianos which he handles most extensively are Kranich & Bach, the W. W. Kimball, and the Emerson, while in organs he handles largely the Story & Clark, the W. W. Kimball, and the J. A. Frise, the latter make bearing improvements of his own in the placing of reeds and also in the Vox Humana. In connection with Pianos and organs Mr. Frise caries a full line of band instruments and music of all kinds. He has been ably assisted by his wife, who during his absence has charge of the store, besides acting as book-keeper.

Mr. Frise owns considerable real estate in this city and is prominent in business circles. He is a member of Genesee Lodge, No. 174, F. & A. M., Washington Chapter, No. 15, Flint Council, No. 56, Royal and Select Masters, and Genesee Valley Commandery, No. 15, K. T. the Order of Foresters counts him as one of the best known and most influence members, as he is at present the High chief Ranger of the order of Michigan, the highest office to which he can attain. He is a demitted member of the order of Odd Fellows, and also belongs to the Knights of the Maccabees. In his politics he is a Republican, and is influential in the ranks of his party.


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