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Champaign County, Illinois

Biography of Elias Freeman

SOURCE: "A Standard History of Champaign County, Illinois," J. R. Stewart, Supervising Editor, The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York, Vols. I & II, 1918


ELIAS FREEMAN. For sixty years a resident of Champaign County, Elias Freeman is one of the citizens whose name and a brief record of whose career should be permanently recorded. He represents a family which had its start in the early development of the county, and his own life of substantial industry brought a generous reward in material circumstances and civic honor, and he is now properly enjoying the fruits of well directed toil in a comfortable home at the village of Ogden.

Mr. Freeman was born in what is now Ogden Township of Champaign County, June 22, 1857, a son of Edmond and Jemimah (RUSH) FREEMAN. His parents, natives of Ohio, came to Illinois at an early day. James FREEMAN, the grandfather of Elias, came to this state when Edmond was two years of age. At that time there was not a house between Salt Fork and Burr Oak. It was all one stretch of raw prairie. The Freeman family settled at Salt Fork and some of the good land in that section was developed through their energies and purposeful activities. Edmond Freeman had a family of eleven children, Elias being the third in age.

The latter attended the local district schools with his brothers and sisters, grew up as a farmer on the home farm, and at the age of twenty-five in 1883, married Miss Jennie FISHER. Mrs. Freeman was born in Randolph County, Indiana, daughter of Edward and Elizabeth FISHER, being the second in order of age among their seven children. When she was a small girl her parents removed to Vermilion County, Illinois, and she was educated in the district schools there.

After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Freeman located on 150 acres belonging to his father four miles northwest of the town of Ogden. He capably managed this place for seven years, and while there he laid the foundation of his permanent prosperity. On leaving his father's land he moved to a farm of Mrs. Freeman's father south of Ogden, and here he continued his agricultural operations for ten years. At the end of that time he bought a farm of his own of 165 acres south of the village of Ogden and that he made his permanent home. The land had few improvements when he bought it, but it is now a splendid farm, with good buildings, with plenty of fruit and shade trees, and its value as a farm and a residence is greatly enhanced by its position on the interurban railway.

Mr. and Mrs. Freeman had two children, one son and one daughter, E. E. Freeman and Ella May. The son is proprietor of a large business as a hardware and furniture merchant at Fithian, Illinois. He married Hattie YEOMAN and has a son, Carl Richard. The daughter, Ella May Freeman, is the wife of Frank FENDERS, and they live next door to her parents in Ogden. Mr. Fenders is a grain buyer for the Zorn Grain Company. They also have one child, Ralph Freeman FENDERS. Mr. and Mrs. Freeman take a great deal of price and joy in their bright little grandson.

In 1910 Mr. and Mrs. Freeman left their farm and removing to Ogden bought a pleasant and attractive home, which in subsequent years they have done much to improve by remodeling and other changes.

Politically Mr. Freeman is an active Republican. He has served his community and his fellow citizens as road commissioner, school director, school trustee, and member of the highway commission. He and his good wife have found all that reasonable ambition could desire, sufficient of this world's goods for all their needs, the esteem and kindness of friends and neighbors, and have themselves lived so as to deserve all that their industry and good character have won.

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