James F. Freeman was born in Belmont County, Ohio, March 6, 1815, and died at Harrisburg, Franklin Co., Ohio, September 21, 1857. His father, Richard Freeman, with his brother Thomas, and cousin, Richard, emigrated from Ireland to America immediately after the American Revolution, and as early as 1799 settled at Wheeling, W. Va. In 1800, he married Marjory Carter, who died in 1849, of cholera. From Wheeling he emigrated to Belmont County, Ohio, and in 1833 came to Madison County, where he died in November, 1836. James F. received the advantages of the town schools, and obtained a good common school education. At the age of twenty or twenty-one years, he entered the law office of Samuel N. Kerr, of London, and in 1838 was admitted to the bar by the Supreme Court, at a session of that court held in Marysville in that year. He immediately began the practice of his profession in London, and devoted to it the whole of his energies, until shortly before his death, when he removed to Harrisburg. He was appointed Clerk of the Court in 1839 fill the vacancy occasioned by the death of John Moore, and served in that capacity until May, 1841. During the years of 1852 and 1853, he served as Prosecuting Attorney of the county. On July 3, 1838, he married Eleanor Dawson, orphan daughter of Ephraim and Eleanor (Bucking) Dawson, of Virginia, and by her had ten children, of whom seven survive. Shortly before his death, his wife having died, he married Margaret Chafer, of Franklin County, and by her had one child—now deceased. Mr. Freeman was a man of much natural ability, a good lawyer, a keen observer, and a ready speaker. By his witty sallies, for he was a perfect wag, he ingratiated himself into the hearts of a large circle of friends, by whom he was always welcomed ae a genial friend and an entertaining companion.


From HISTORY OF MADISON COUNTY - W. H. Beers [Chicago, 1883]