Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The
Big Bend Country, embracing Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties,
State of Washington", published by Western Historical Publishing
WILLIAM O. FREESE lives on a beautiful and productive farm situated on the old Seattle & Lake Shore railroad line three and one half miles south of Davenport. He came to the Big Bend in April, 1882, and filed on his present farm as a homestead, since which time he has purchased railroad land adjoining so that he now owns in all four hundred and forty acres, for the most part choice agricultural land. The country was sparsely settled when Mr. Freese first saw it, and he had many difficulties to overcome in getting a start here, but he has succeeded in making one of the most beautiful and best improved farms in the county. His house is a modern, two-story, seven roomed structure built of brick, of which material his large milk house is also built. His barn is an elegant building fifty by fifty-six feet in dimensions, and all his other out buildings are proportionate. Mr. Freese has a private complete water system by means of which water is piped from a windmill to his house and barn, with a large tank surmounting the milk-house which keeps that department of his farm abundantly supplied with water. Besides the buildings mentioned Mr. Freese has a large granary. On one corner of his farm is also located a public school building.
William O. Freese was born on September 6, 1848, in the province of Flensburg, Germany, the son of Neils and Anna (Schmidt) Freese, both of German birth. The father died in Germany, but the mother died in this country about seven years previous to this writing. They were parents of one son other than the subject of this sketch, and one daughter, Christian and Mrs. Katrina Anderson, the latter of Peach, Washington.
Mr. Freese grew to manhood in the country of his birth, and in the spring of 1871 sailed from Copenhagen, Denmark, and landed at Castle Garden, New York, whence he came to Chicago. In this city he wrought on public works for two years, after which he went to Indiana where he followed railroading for a space, and where he attended school in order to obtain more knowledge concerning the English tongue. After leaving Indiana he divided his time between Davenport, Iowa, and the states of Illinois, Arkansas and Missouri, after which he came to San Francisco in 1874. In California he worked at various occupations and at different points and lastly entered the Indian Hill mines. It was while in that locality that he heard of the Big Bend country and decided to cast his lot here.
On September 9, 1884, William O. Freese was married to Hannah Selde, born September 8, 1864, in Gunnison, Sanpete county, Utah. She was the daughter of Peter and Mary M. (Einorson) Selde, both natives of Denmark, who came to Utah in 1862, and to Lincoln county in 1883. They were parents of five children, besides Mrs. Freese, Mrs. Anna Ramm, Peter, Henry, Nelson, and Edwin, all born in Utah.