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A Moment in History The life of

George Freeman

When Did George W. Freeman Die?

Quite by chance, while researching the life and death of Elizabeth Snow Appleby, I found rather conflicting information concerning the death of her first husband, George W. Freeman. Mr. Freeman is buried in Union Campground Cemetery. In the 1960’s his tombstone was read by John and LaMerle Cochran and his death date given as May 15, 1882. I supposed the lettering on the stone was very difficult to read, more-or-Iess erased by the forces of nature. During the process of preparing a profile on Elizabeth Appleby, I had gone to the Greene County Archives in order to find more about her life and that of her husband, William A. Appleby. This is where I learned she had first been married to George W. Freeman. In his probate file, #3151, there were numerous papers and from these I learned he had died in 1852-not 1882. Listed here are a few dates and facts:

March 15, 1852: Listing of property sold by George W. Freeman March 20 thru May 12, 1852: Dr. H. M. Parrish had presented a bill to the estate of George W. Freeman for visits and medicines April 1852: John L. McCracken had presented a bill to the estate for making a coffin and case May 20, 1852: David Appleby & Thos. Edmondson were appointed to appraise slaves and other personal estate of George W. Freeman June 12, 1852: A sale bill of the Personal Estate of George W. Freeman, deceased.

I have attached copies of the doctor’s statement and the one for John L. McCracken. The others I did not copy. It is a bit puzzling why John L. McCracken presented a bill to the estate in April when apparently George W. Freeman did not pass away until May 15,


Invoice: Date: April 1852 George W. Freeman .. Due to John S. McCracken, for making one coffin and case $12.00

Invoice: George Freeman, Dec’d to H.M. Parrish 1852 Debit From 3/20 – 4/4 Sixteen visits and Med $40.00 4/7 Pint Bearing & Tonics 1.25 4/11 Visit & Medicine 2.50 4/18 Prescriptions & Moo 1.00 4/20 to 5/12 Twenty-Two Visits & Moo 55.25 Total 100.00

According to “Pioneer Families of the Missouri Ozarks'” A-G (located at the Library Center in Springfield, Missouri), George W. Freeman was born 17 Oct. 1820 and died 15 May 1852. However, in the Union Campground Cemetery booklet, under the name of George W. Freeman, the 1850 Census has his age listed as 27. If you subtract 27 from 1850, his birth date would have been in 1823. We cannot locate Mr. Freeman’s tombstone at this time, although his stone could be one of those that we are unable to read. We have found a footstone near the Freeman plot with the initials “G. W.F.”

By Jean Rayl 2000