Transcribed from "History of North Washington, an illustrated history
of Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan and Chelan counties", published by Western
Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
IRA FREER, an enterprising and
successful merchant of Mission, Chelan county, although still a young man,
may be classed with the pioneers of Washington. He is the son of
Harvey and Mary (Brothers) Freer, both natives of Ohio, where our subject
was born, in Ashland county, February 2, 1863.
For many generations the Freers have been
influential people in Ohio, engaging in mercantile, banking and professional
pursuits. The father, Harvey Freer, died in 1900; the mother still
resides in Ohio. This state, also, was the home of our subject until
he reached the age of twenty-one years. On September 12, 1884, he
landed in Wenatchee, and lived with his uncles, Frank and David Freer,
pioneer settlers of the Wenatchee valley. Three years from that period
he pre-empted a claim, cut logs at Pine Flat, floated them down the river,
purchased a thousand feet of lumber at forty dollars a thousand, paid twenty-five
cents a pound for nails, and erected a substantial house on his claim.
He raised a little fruit, but the market was uncertain, and it was not
until the railroad invaded the locality that he began to realize a living
from his place. He sold out later, bought another place, and this
he traded for city property in Mission. An attack of appendicitis
laid him up for two years, during which time he accomplished little or
nothing. He served one year as road supervisor, and in July, 1898,
engaged in the general mercantile business, which he still conducts.
He carries about twelve thousand dollars' worth of stock. Mr. Freer
has four brothers and two sisters, Bently, Joseph, James, Alberta, Levina
Oswalt, and Cordelia Middaugh.
To Miss Lydia R. Binehower, a native of Ashland
county, Ohio, Mr. Freer was united in marriage in 1882. Her father
was a native of Pennsylvania, dying in 1901. Her mother, a native
of Wurtemberg, Germany, is still living. She has one brother and
five sisters, Martin L., Sarah A. Smith, Christena A. Craeger, Eliza C.,
Henrietta C., and Mary A. She has one child, Cordelia A., wife of
Philip Bellinger, elsewhere mentioned in this work. Mr. and Mrs.
Freer are members of the Presbyterian church. He is a Republican,