JOHN A. FREEMAN
The subject of this sketch and one of the early settlers in this county, was born in Grason county, West Virginia, June 3rd, 1803. He was married to Miss Hila Campbell in 1828. To them were born ten children, seven of whom now survive. He came to Roseburg in 1853. He "crossed the plains" twice with an ox team. He has made Douglas county his residence since 1853. Father Freeman, as he is familliarly called, was 80 years old last June. It is quite interesting to listen to his narration of the trying incidents of his early life, particularly while making his two transits of the United States by the slow process with the ox teams during those harrassing times while keeping nightly vigils for the savages prowling around to drive off the stock of the patient, toiling emigrants, murder them when an opportunity offered. Those were times that tried men's souls. But those trials and hardships are incident to the settlement of all new countries the world over. They are the avant couriers that pave the way to the growth and developement of a country.
The labors of the hardy pioneer are absolutely essential to the final prosperity of a county and to them the aftertide of civilization owe much and should ever hold those sturdy, daring and enterprising men and women "who took their lives in their hands" when they launched out upon the wilderness amongst savages to lead the way to a "higher civilization," in great esteem.
Extracted from The Plaindealer of Friday, January 11, 1889.