About Me


I am the Chair of the History Department at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Illinois, in the southwestern suburbs of Chicago. I live a block south of the city of Chicago in Blue Island, Illinois, with my wife Paula and our four children, Deborah, Stephen, Benjamin, and Daniel. I previously wrote a book about farmers in the Midwest and what they were reading at the turn of the twentieth century, The Farm Press, Reform, and Rural Change, 1895-1920 (New York: Routledge, 2005).

I was born in Pittsburgh and spent most of my childhood on a farm in Western Pennsylvania. I attended Geneva College, a small Christian liberal arts school in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania and graduated with a degree in history in 1991. I then received a Masters in Library Science from the University of Pittsburgh and worked as a public services librarian for four years, first at Troy State University in Troy, Alabama, then at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. I subsequently pursued graduate work in history, first receiving an M. A. from Duquesne University in 1997 and a Ph. D. from the University of Iowa in 2002. I have taught history at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. I have taught at Trinity since 2003 and chaired the department of history since 2005.

My primary field of interest is the American West and rural history. Other interests include Western women writers, especially Laura Ingalls Wilder. I have also made presentations and published book reviews on a variety of topics, including Abraham Lincoln, Henry A. Wallace, and the 1950s. I regularly teach courses on American history, Western civilization, American colonial and revolutionary History, twentieth century America, and historical methods.

Email me: john.fry@trnty.edu.



  1. Jessica Gillespie

    Can’t wait to read the book John! Website was informative and easy to read….So excited for you and PROUD to call you my brother in law!!! – Jessica

  2. Charlotte Wheatcraft

    Congratulations John (If I may call you that). Just looked on Amazon and I see that the book has a FIVE STAR rating !!! How wonderful !! I knew Earl and Bertel as Bertel was my father -in-law. Earl was a character right up to the end. Thanks so much for “discovering” this work. Hope to meet you someday.

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