Calvin Frye was born in Frye Village, now part of Andover, Massachusetts. After attending the public school in Andover, Frye was apprenticed as a machinist in Davis & Furber's machine shops in North Andover, where he worked until he joined Eddy. He moved with his family to Lawrence in the early 1860s. When he was 26 years old, Calvin married Ada E. Brush of Lowell, who was visiting in Lawrence, and who attended the same church. She died one year after the marriage, and Frye moved back in with his family.
Calvin and his widowed sister, Lydia Roaf, first became interested in Christian Science through a sister-in-law, Mrs. Oscar Frye. Calvin took a course of instruction under Eddy, after which both he and Lydia practised a little. Calvin joined Eddy in Boston in 1882, shortly after the death of her husband Asa Eddy. Lydia followed Calvin, and for some time did Eddy's housework. Lydia later returned to Lawrence.
Frye lived in Eddy's homes at 569 Columbus Avenue, Boston, and later at Pleasant View, Concord, New Hampshire, and Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. He ran the houses, managed her personal affairs, and dealt with her official correspondence. He was reportedly with her practically every day from August 1882, when he joined her household as her chief aide, until she died in December 1910.
Frye became known locally during his lifetime for taking Eddy for a daily ride in a horse-drawn carriage, with Frye dressed in a uniform and top hat sitting next to the coachman. He is known within Christian Science historiography chiefly for the diary he left behind, which details Eddy's domestic life. Caroline Fraser wrote in 1999 that the diary, and notebooks Frye kept of Eddy's dictation, are "among the most mysterious and coveted documents held by the [Christian Science] church," and that, at the time of writing, no outside scholars had been allowed to see the originals.
Excerpts from the diary appeared in Ernest Sutherland Bates and John V. Dittemore's Mary Baker Eddy: The Truth and the Tradition (1932). Dittemore had been on the board of directors of the Christian Science church, though became estranged from them. Frye had removed parts of the diary that were the most incriminating and had entrusted them to the church; Dittemore copied them, burned the originals, and years later published them.
Frye is buried in the West Parish Garden Cemetery in Andover, Massachusetts (Plot 02-123f).
- Georgine Milmine (1909). The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy. pp. 293–297..
- Gillian Gill, Mary Baker Eddy, De Capo Press, 1998, 396, 400.
- Robert Peel, Mary Baker Eddy: The Years of Trial, Christian Science Publishing Society, 1971, 136, cited in Caroline Fraser, God's Perfect Child, Metropolitan Books, 1999, p. 83; according to Gill, xxxii, 399–400, Frye spent four nights apart from Eddy.
- Gill, 393.
- Fraser, 84.
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