This information is part of the Champaign County ILGenWeb Project. If you have reached this site by means other than The USGenWeb Project, The ILGenWeb Project, or directly, please visit the main Champaign Co, ILGenWeb site for more information regarding Champaign County, IL ancestors. Information contained here was transcribed by Celia G. Snyder. Please do not repost this information without the express written permission of Celia Snyder.

Champaign County, Illinois

Biography of Edmund Freeman-2

SOURCE: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Champaign County, Illinois," Chapman Brothers, Chicago, 1887


EDMUND FREEMAN, a highly respected farmer, and one of the pioneers of Ogden Township, where he now lives, came to Illinois in 1830. His birth took place in Belmont County, Ohio, on the 3d of May, 1828, and his parents were James and Rebecca (OGDEN) FREEMAN, natives respectively of Pennsylvania and Ohio. James Freeman was born Jan. 24, 1801, followed farming the greater part of his life and was essentially a self-made man, who from an humble position in life, made his way upward, secured by his own efforts a good education and had the honor of conducting the first school taught in Champaign County, for the purpose of which he devoted a corner of his own dwelling. He himself had been educated principally by his father, Thomas FREEMAN, who also was a self-made man and who accumulated a fine property, which he left to his family at his death. He was Constable four years in Ogden Township, and with his wife, Rebecca, a member of the Christian Church. James Freeman departed this life in Ogden Township in 1867. The mother of our subject, who was born in 1804, had passed away previous to the death of her husband, her decease occurring in 1854. The household included ten children, who were named as follows: Thomas and Mary (twins), Edmund, Lydia A., Eleazer, Andrew J., Rebecca, who died in infancy, Angeline, Martha, who died in infancy, and James L.

The boyhood days of Mr. Freeman were passed on the farm in Ohio, whence he removed with his parents to Illinois. Soon after reaching his majority he was married in Vermilion County, to Miss Jemima RUSH, their wedding taking place in the spring of 1853. Mrs. F. was born April 20, 1834, and after remaining the companion of her husband for a period of thirty-three years, departed this life at the homestead in Ogden Township in January, 1886. She was the daughter of Samuel and Catherine (WRIGHT) RUSH, who were excellent people and members in good standing of the Baptist Church. They are now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Freeman became the parents of eleven children; Elizabeth was born July 31, 1854; Thomas M., Dec. 23, 1855; Elias, who was born June 22, 1857, married Miss Nancy J. FISHER; Reuben was born Feb. 16, 1859; Levi, born Sept. 27, 1860, married Miss Susan E. HARMISON; Nancy E., born July 5, 1862, died July 12, 1863; James was born April 27,1864; Jessie, born Oct. 1, 1866, died when seven years of age, in 1873; John M. was born March 12, 1868; George W., born July 4, 1875, died the following day; Cora May was born July 31, 1879.

Mr. Freeman made his first purchase of land in about 1850, entering it from the Government. This was unimproved, and the few years afterward were employed in the careful cultivation of the soil and planting the crops it was the most likely to produce. He gained a little better foothold each year, and as his means accumulated added to his real estate so that he is now the possessor of 438 broad acres, part of it devoted to pasturage and the balance producing the richest crops of the Prairie State. In 1877 Mr. Freeman erected the fine frame dwelling now occupied by the family, which is flanked by substantial barns and other necessary farm buildings and is kept in good repair, while the implements of husbandry and the entire machinery of the farm, of first-class description and kept in fine order, give evidence of the enterprising character of the proprietor. He labored with willing hands and cheerful heart during his early manhood and is now reaping the rightful reward of his industry. He delights in noting the march of progress and prosperity in his township, and has been no unimportant factor in establishing its present position among the surrounding communities. Since exercising the rights of an American born citizen he has cast his influence in support of Republican principles.

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