Biography of John T. Freeman

John T. Freeman. Because of the intelligence and good judgment of many of the large farmers of Champaign County, this section of the state contributes much to the general food supply and scarcely any other industry is so well worth engaging in or so compensating when everything else is considered. One of the wide awake, modern and prosperous farmers of this section of Illinois is found in John T. Freeman, who owns large tracts of cultivated land in Homer and Ogden townships.

John T. Freeman was born in Champaign County, Illinois, July 25, 1854, and is a son of Thomas and Nancy (Redman) Freeman, both of whom were born in Ohio. From that state they came to Illinois and during the first year lived in Vermilion County, moving in 1851 to Champaign County and settling in Homer Township, where Thomas Freeman engaged in farming during the rest of his active life. He was born in 1826 and died in 1908. His wife was born in 1826 and died in 1902. They were estimable people and are kindly remembered by their neighbors. They were the parents of six children, namely: Mary M., who is deceased; Edmund R., who is a resident of Ogden, Illinois; John T.; James J., who also lives in Homer Township; William H., who died at the age of two months; and Martha, who died in infancy.

John T. Freeman grew to manhood on his father’s farm in Homer Township and gained his education in the district schools. His first farming venture on his own account was in the vicinity of Ogden, Illinois, where he remained for three years. He then moved to Homer Township and bought 380 acres lying on the State Road, his present acreage and the location being as follows: 160 acres in section 29, Homer Township; 100 acres in section 32, Homer Township; 120 acres in Ogden Township situated in sections 29 and 30. Mr. Freeman carries on general farming and according to the most approved methods.

Mr. Freeman was married October 23, 1879, to Miss Jennie B. Silkey, who was born in Ohio, and they have had two sons, the younger of whom died in infancy. The older, Roy C., is county judge of Champaign County.

The parents of Mrs. Freeman were John P. and Mary (McMahn) Silkey. The father was born in New Jersey and the mother in Ohio. They came to Champaign County in 1863 and at first Mr. Silkey worked at his trade that of a tinner, but later went into the monument business. They were well known and highly respected people. They had six children, namely: Thomas E., who lives at Danville, Illinois; Joseph B., who is a resident of Royal, Illinois; Fremont, who is deceased; Jennie B., who is the wife of John T. Freeman; Charles M., who lives at Mt. Pulaski, Illinois; and Annie M., who is the wife of James H. Freeman, of Ogden, Illinois.

In politics Mr. Freeman is a Republican and for six years he served as commissioner of highways, ” giving universal satisfaction. He has belonged to the Masonic fraternity for many years past and attends the lodge at Homer.



Stewart, J. R. A Standard History of Champaign County Illinois. The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York. 1918.

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