HENRY F. FREED, who has been a resident of Gridley Township, since the
spring of 1856, first made his advent into this county on horseback, in which manner he had traveled from the place
of his birth, in Fayette County, Pa. He is the son of Abraham and Elizabeth (Fleming) Freed, natives of Berks and
Fayette Counties, Pa., respectively, in which State they were married and settled in the first-named county, where
they spent the remainder of their lives. Abraham Freed was a farmer by occupation, and the parental household included
eight children, three sons and five daughters, of whom our subject was the seventh. His birth occurred on the 3d
of March, 1827. He was reared to farming pursuits and remained under the home roof until he attained his majority,
in the meantime having received a more than ordinarily good common-school education. He then began teaching school,
which occupation he followed thirteen years in his native county, and for two years after coming to Gridley Township.
Mr. Freed left his native county in the spring of 1856 in the manner we have described, and was twenty-one days making the trip. He brought with him four brood mares, and first purchased eighty acres of land on section 16 in Gridley Township. Upon this he located and commenced its improvement and cultivation, and in due time purchased another eighty acres, so that he now has a fine homestead including a quarter section of land, which is all under a good state of cultivation. He has a shapely and substantial farm dwelling, a good barn, all necessary outhouses and the latest improved farm machinery. Everything is kept in good repair and his stock and crops indicate the supervision of an intelligent and progressive agriculturist.
Mr. Freed was first married, in his native county, to Miss Mary Lobinger, a native of Pennsylvania. They had one child, a daughter, Mary E., who is now the wife of William Bailey, and resides in Kansas. Mrs. F. departed this life in Fayette County, Pa., Feb. 8, 1852. After coming West Mr. Freed was again married, in Gridley Township, Sept. 29, 1857, to Miss Amanda Gilmore, a native of this county. Her parents were James and Mary (Bradley) Gilmore, natives of Ohio. Their ten children included five sons and five daughters, of whom Mrs. F. was the seventh child. She was born Feb. 8, 1841.
Mr. and Mrs. Freed became the parents of nine children, four boys and five girls; James A., Lulu B., Mary E., Jennie N., Orville G., Sarah M., Henry S., Charles E. and Josie A. James A. married Miss Ida Barnes, and resides in Washburn, Ill.; Mary E. is the wife of Arthur Kent, of Livingston County; Henry S. died in infancy; the others are at home with their parents. Mr. F. served as Treasurer of Gridley Township for ten years and also held the offices of Supervisor and School Director. He is Democratic in politics, and belongs to the Congregational Church. Mrs. Freed is a member of the Christian Church.
Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), 744. Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.