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The Frey Hotel is long gone, but the family still remains

By Staff | Feb 15, 2011

The Frey Hotel circa 1900's owned by Edward Shade Frey until his death in 1943. It was located at 104 S. Main St., Muncy.

MUNCY – Betty Ludwig’s family has a very long history in Muncy. They go back to the 1700’s in the Muncy Cemetery, as far back to Daniel Boone ‘s family. Growing up she lived at the Frey Hotel located at 104 S Main St with her mother, Laura (born Oct 1873- died Oct 27, 1970), and her father Edward Shade Frey( born Oct 6, 1878-died March 14, 1943) who owned The Frey Hotel.

To earn money Betty cleaned rooms and later worked in her brother’s store. Her family spent their summers at their cabins, one in Montgomery along the Susquehanna River and the other creek cabin was in Muncy near the bridge. When Clyde and Betty Ludwig got married, they made the river cabin their first home. Betty’s father, Edward purchased properties at auctions, fixed them up for rent or to be sold.

At the time of his death in 1943 Edward Shade Frey owned the well known Frey Hotel plus numerous homes, a building next to the old Luminary Building at 115 S. Main St and an old jail building called the “The Lock-Up” which was on Sherman St.

Interestingly enough, Laura’s inheritance came from her parents Hervey (born Nov 27 1832- died Dec 23, 1906 )and Matilda Mensch (born Sept 7, 1838 – died Mar 24, 1898). Laura allowed her husband to invest in the Muncy properties. Ironically Laura ‘s husband, Edward died at 64 years old with no will. In the 40’s if there was no will, the state of PA allotted a certain percentage of the estate to the wife and a small percentage to the kids and the state kept a large portion.

When the Hotel was sold in 1943, Laura had the building next to the old Luminary torn down and built a 2 story in its place. She lived in an upstairs apartment of the building, with her oldest son David’s family, daughter-in-law, Hester Frey and grandchildren Deloris(Sissy) and Donald (Donny) lived in the downstairs.

Laura Mensch Frey, owner of the Frey Hotel

David passed away, and in her later years, Laura moved into an apartment that Clyde and Betty built for her at their home in Cogan Station. Laura moved to MD with them in 1966 where she lived to be 97, passing in 1970.

Laura ‘s son Robert (Bob) Frey was also a local business man. His wife Martha Culley passed away in 1960 when their only child Roberta was 15 years old. He owned Frey Market that occupied several Main St locations in Muncy. Laura was a very interesting lady that had her three children 7 years apart, Betty the youngest was born when she was 45 years old. She was very young at heart despite being 74 when Betty got married. Laura wrote poetry and loved to work in the flower garden. She was excited to own the first car in Muncy.

Laura was the Patriarch of the family with her time and love going to the Muncy Historical Society where she has donated things from her family’s history, especially the Mensch’s. She also loved getting the Luminary and so does Betty and Sissy to keep up with what is going in Muncy according to Chris Kieffer, Betty Ludwig’s daughter.

The Boone Connection:

Laura’s father was Hervey Mensch, her grandfather was M. Peter Mensch (Born Nov 20, 1791- Died July 17, 1874), and his mother was Mary Boone (Born Aug,13, 1791 and died July 14 1885). Mary Boone’s father was Hezekiah Boone, brother of Daniel Boone who was the famous pioneer frontiersman of Kentucky. Daniel was born in Berks County PA around 1734. They were the sons of Squire Boone and Sarah Morgan Boone, July 23, 1720.

Squire’s father was George Boone who arrived here from England landing in Philadelphia October 10, 1717.

Laura Frey has some interesting old articles and books about Daniel Boone. Thankfully the memorabilia of all of the generations have been preserved and passed down through the family including furniture such as a marble stand with mirrors dated back to the early 1800’s and belonged to Laura’s Grandparents, David & Susanna Eilenberger. Also acquired was an old pump organ from that era and papers, picture frames, marriage licenses, baptisms, old pictures & family bibles. It was in one of those old bibles discovered several years ago that the family name was changed at one time from Fry to Frey. “We brought boxes upon boxes of very old family memorabilia to Georgia that have not been gone through yet, so there will probably be some other amazing information uncovered over time,” said Chris Kieffer.

Clyde and Betty Ludwig celebrated their 65th Anniversary February 15, 2011 with a card shower. He is 93 and she is 92 .