Biography of Ethelbert J. Freeman
Audubon County, IA Biographies


Audubon County

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ETHELBERT J. FREEMAN, of the firm of Freeman & Armstrong, bankers, real estate and loans, Audubon, Iowa, is a native of Pennsylvania, born in Fayette County, September 22, 1840. The father is Mordecai Freeman, a farmer and miller by occupation, a native of Pennsylvania, now residing at West Liberty, Pennsylvania. The mother is Mary Freeman; she had two sons, of whom our subject is the eldest. The brother, Leroy Walter, was killed in the late war in November, 1864, at the battle of South Side Railroad, near Petersburg, Virginia. E. J. Freeman, the subject of this notice, was educated in the common schools of his native county. In 1857 he went to McDonough County, Illinois, and followed farming and carpentry. In 1864, May 24, he enlisted in the Sixteenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Company A; he was assigned to the department of the Army of the Cumberland; he took part in the battles of Blue Mills, Missouri; Island No. 10, and its capture; Tiptonville, Tennessee; Farmington, Mississippi; Stone River, Tennessee, and other smaller engagements; he belonged to the Second Division, Second Brigade, and the Fourteenth Army Corps. He was honorably discharged February 5, 1863, on account of disability. He then returned to McDonough County, Illinois, and engaged in farming. In the fall of 1867 he came to Audubon County, and settled on 160 acres, which he had purchased. In 1878 he was appointed agent for the town of Audubon, and for railroad lands belonging to the Rock Island & Pacific Railroad, a position which be still holds. In 1880 Mr. Freeman was elected treasurer of Audubon County, and was reelected in 1882, serving four years in all. In 1883 he formed a co-partnership with A. F. Armstrong, and continued dealing in real estate and loans; in 1885 the Citizens' Bank was established and Mr. Freeman was made cashier, and still holds this position. Sep_ teniber 13, 1862, Mr. Freeman was married to Miss Nancy Leighty, of McDonough County, Illinois, a native of Ohio, and a daughter of Daniel Leighty, now deceased. Mr. and Mrs Freeman have eight children - Daniel, Eva, Edmond, William, Drew, Ethelbert, John, and a babe unnamed. Mr. Freeman was elected the first mayor of Audubon, receiving every vote that was cast. He has been chief of the fire department since the starting of the town, and now he has been chosen to operate the water-works. He has been a member of the school board since his first residence in the county. He is a member of Veritas Lodge, No. 392, A. F. & A. M.; Amity Chapter, No. 92, R. A. M.; Godfrey Commandery, No. 44, K. T. Mr. Freeman has a fine residence and comfortable surroundings. He is also a member of the Allison Post, No. 34, G. A. R.

Biographical History of Shelby and Audubon Counties Iowa
W. S. Dunbar & Co., Publishers.
Chiago, 1889.