William Freeman, M. D.,
physician of Vevay, is a native of Medina County, Ohio, born in 1841. His parents, James and
Elizabeth (Gull) Freeman, were natives of Lincolnshire, England, and
immigrated to the United States in 1836. They were farmers and reared
eight children, though
only four are now living. Dr. Freeman received an academic education
and subsequently educated
himself for his profession, teaching school during the winter seasons.
He read medicine under
Dr. Larimore, of Auburn, Ind., and Dr. Wiley, of Spencer, Ohio, and
when the war began he
enlisted in the service, joining Company H, Thirtieth Indiana Regiment.
He served three years and participated in all the engagements of the Army
of the Cumberland up to that of Chickamauga, at which he was severely wounded in
the lung and liver, and where he lay on the battle-field till attacked by
another more ghastly and repulsive army of vermin. He also received a wound at the battle of Stone
River, and after being disabled at Chickamauga did no further active service. On his return from the
war Dr. Freeman attended lectures at the Cincinnati College of Medicine and Surgery, and
graduated at the Indiana Medical College of Indianapolis, in 1867. In the following year he located
at Hartford, Ind., where he conducted his practice till 1879, when he removed to Vevay, where he has
since engaged in his profession. In 1877 he was elected representative of Switzerland
County to the State Legislature, and in 1881 was appointed by Gov. Porter trustee of the House of
Refuge, serving two years. The following editorial, taken from the Indianapolis 'Journal' of March
17, 1883, is self explanatory, and will give the reader a fair idea of Dr. Freeman's official record:
'Another iniquitous measure was the House of Refuge bill, which had no other purpose than to
legislate out of office a trustee simply because he was a Republican -Dr. William Freeman. Who Dr.
Freeman is and what he has done are best told by Gov. Porter in his veto message. Says His
Excellency: 'Dr. Freeman was a private soldier in the Thirtieth Regiment of Indiana Voluneers,
in the war of the Rebellion. At the battle of Chickamauga he was shot through the body, the ball
having passed through his lungs. He lay upon the field several days. He was so near to death
from the wound inflicted that his recovery is recorded in 'The Medical and Surgical History of
the War,' published by the surgeon-general of the United States as one of the remarkable
recoveries of gun-shot wounds. He was a member of the Legislature from Switzerland County in
1877, and served with much credit on the house committee on reformatory institutions. On
account of his patriotic service, spotless character and peculiar fitness, I nominated him to the
Senate, during the sessions of 1881, as a trustee of the House of Refuge. The nomination was
confirmed without a dissenting voice. I personally know that he has discharged his duties as a
trustee of that institution with the utmost diligence and fidelity. Why
this patriotic and faithful officer be singled out to be deprived of
office before the term of office for which he was appointed has expired? I
refuse to make myself a party to this proceeding, which I would do by giving my
approval of the bill now returned.'' Dr. Freeman was married in 1866 to Miss Laura C., daughter
of W.H. and Louisa (STRONG) RADLEY, the former a native of Elizabeth, Ky., the latter of
New Jersey. She was born in 1849. Her father was a member of Cassius M. Clay's editorial
staff and a minister in the Protestant Methodist Church. He died of yellow fever at New Orleans.
There were born of this union four children: Alanson W., James A., Grace and William A. Dr.
Freeman is identified with the Switzerland County Medical Society, the State Medical Society, and
served at Vevay as examining surgeon for the United States pension office. He is also a member of
the G.A.R. and, with Mrs. Freeman, of the Methodist Episcopal Church.