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 James S. Freeman

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


JAMES S. FREEMAN, a hero of two wars, is one of the well-known and respected citizens of Sidney, where he is living in retirement from the active labors of a farm life. He is the son of William and Eliza (BOHER) FREEMAN, and was born in Allegheny County, Pa., March 4, 1824. His father was a native of Maryland, and his mother of Pennsylvania. In 1828 the parents moved from Pennsylvania to Pickaway County, Ohio, where the father was engaged in farming until 1842. That year he removed to Tippecanoe County, Ind., and there lived until the death of Mrs. Freeman, which occurred in 1850. He then moved to Jasper County, Ind., where he died in 1872.

In 1849 our subject was united in marriage with Miss A. E. FRANKINBERGER, daughter of Thomas and Sarah (PHILLIPS) FRANKINBERGER. The union of our subject with Miss Frankinberger has been blest by the birth of seven children—Sarah, William, Charles J., Ida M., and three who died in infancy. Charles J. resides in Sidney; Ida M. married Andrew DEMPSEY, and lives in Terre Haute, Ind.

In 1846 Mr. Freeman enlisted in the first regiment of Mounted Riflemen, the U.S.A., and served honorably in the Mexican War until Jan. 13, 1848. On the 13th of September, 1847, he was wounded at the battle of Chapultepec, and at the close of the war received an honorable discharge at the city of Mexico. In recognition of his services during that campaign, he now draws a pension of $12 per month. After the close of the Mexican War he returned home, and engaged in the peaceful occupation of farming until Sept. 23, 1861. The echoes of the rebel guns had scarcely died away at the dastardly assault made on Maj. Anderson and his little band of heroes at Ft. Sumter, when Mr. Freeman received the commission of First Lieutenant, in the 10th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry. He served eleven months and then being disabled for active service, was obliged to resign at Springfield, Mo., in June, 1863. Once again he returned from military pursuits to his home in this county, where he has since resided, and engaged in agricultural pursuits until his retirement. He owns fourteen valuable town lots in Sidney, and his own elegant residence is supplied with all the modern improvements. He was the first Supervisor-elect and held that position for nine successive years. Since his residence here he has filled at different times most of the minor official positions of the town. He is a member of the G. A. R., and was the first commander of Post 317. His political sympathies were formerly with the Republicans, but he is at present a member of the Greenback party. Although threescore years and more of his life have passed, Mr. Freeman can look back over a spotless record and one sparkling with deeds of heroism for his beloved country.

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