WILLIAM A. FREEMAN
††††††††††† The pioneers of a country, the founders of a business, or the originators of any undertaking that will promote the material welfare, or advance the educational status and moral influence of a community, deserves the gratitude of humanity.† Mr. Freeman is numbered among the early settlers of California, and is now a representative citizen and a trustee of Auburn.
††††††††††† He was born in Meadville, Pennsylvania, on the 9th of October, 1837.† His father, Abel Freeman, was born in Vermont and married Sarah Campbell, and became the father of eight children.† In 1841 he removed with his family to Ohio, William A. being four years of age.† Not long after the father went to Illinois to seek a location in what was then new country, and was there taken sick and died.† The means of communication were then so primitive that he had been dead for several months before the sad news reached his family.† They were left comparatively poor in a new country and the support of the children devolved upon the widowed mother.
††††††††††† Mr. Freeman, of this review, remained with his mother until his seventh year, when he went to live with a family in Delaware, Ohio, continuing a member of that household for seven years.† He then made his way to the neighborhood in which his mother was living, near Columbus, Ohio, and continued to serve as a farm hand in that locality until his twentieth year.
††††††††††† In the meantime gold had been discovered in California and toward this Mecca the pilgrims of the east turned their faces.† Mr. Freeman was among the number who sought a home on the Pacific coast.† He sailed on the Golden Age and after crossing the Isthmus he took passage on the Moses Taylor.† This was his first experience on the salt water and he was very seasick.† Two of the passengers on board were buried in the ocean ere they reached San Francisco.† When our subject landed at the Golden Gate he went directly up the river to Sacramento and thence to Forest Hill, working in the mines by the day.† Later he engaged in lumbering and teaming, which work continued to occupy his time for seven years.† With the capital he had then acquired through his own efforts, he purchased an interest in the Paragon mine at Bath, and during his three-year ownership of a part of its stock the mine declared dividends to the sum of thirty-one thousand dollars.† On the expiration of that period Mr. Freeman sold his interest for twenty-five thousand dollars, realizing a handsome profit, for it had only cost him eleven thousand, five hundred dollars.† Subsequently he removed to Oakland and engaged in the produce business for three years, when he returned to Forest Hill and purchased the Young America mine, which he operated for three and one-half years, then selling the property to a French company.† He made money out of this investment also.† A million dollars were afterward taken from the mine.
††††††††††† Removing to Auburn Mr. Freeman purchased the Freeman Hotel for ten thousand dollars, and for seventeen years conducted this house with eminent success, selling the property for twenty-eight thousand and five hundred dollars.† He also retired with realty to the value of eight thousand dollars, which he had purchased with the profits of his hotel.† He is now the owner of Black Hawk mine at Forest Hill, which adjoins the Mayflower and is considered a valuable property.† Two and one-half miles from Auburn is located a quartz mine which he owns and which is now bonded to a San Francisco company for thirty thousand dollars.† He is also the owner of a farm of one hundred and eighty acres, on which he is growing stock and fruit, and both departments of work annually contribute to the augmenting of his capital.
††††††††††† A life-long Republican he is unswerving in his support of the principles of that party, and he has had the honor of serving as a trustee of Auburn since the incorporation of the city, with the exception of two years.† He has ever exercised his official prerogatives in support of those measures calculated to advance the material progress and substantial upbuilding of the city, and for his progressive, energetic methods he deserves much credit, as they have contributed in no small degree to the advancement of Auburn.† In November, 1900, he was elected county supervisor, with the largest majority ever given a candidate in his district.
††††††††††† For more than thirty years he has been a faithful member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows; he also belongs to the Improved Order of Red Men and to the Knights of Pythias.† He was married in January, 1870, to Miss Elizabeth Laycock, a native of Illinois, returning to that state for his bride.† They have three children:† Charles H., now a practicing physician at Angelís Camp, Calaveras County; Rose and Edgar, who are with their parents.
††††††††††† Mr. Freeman is a strong, active, well preserved man, full of life and vigor, and ready for any emergency.† Deprived of his fatherís care in early life, in his early youth he was thrown upon his own resources and from his seventh year he has practically earned his own living.† As the architect of his own fortunes he has builded wisely and well.† Indolence and idleness have never found a place in his character, and he has mastered all difficulties through determination and perseverance.† In business affairs he is energetic, prompt and notably reliable, and justice has ever been maintained in his relations with his fellow men.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
© 2010† Gerald Iaquinta.