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Gateway to Yosemite
Exact Center of California
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Madera Biographies: FREELAND

   DAVID FREELAND.  An important factor in the development of the industrial resources of Madera County, David Freeland occupies an honored position among the progressive and skillful farmers of this section of California.  His ranch, pleasantly located near the town of Madera, is a well-appointed and well-kept estate, his stock and machinery being of first-class description, his buildings ample and commodious, everything about the premises indicating to the passer-by the thrift, industry and keen judgment of the owners.  Like many others of our most prosperous and valued citizens, he is of foreign birth and breeding, being a native of Scotland, where he was born March 20, 1862.  His father, William Freeland, a native of Scotland, was a farmer by occupation, and married Jean Sillars, also of Scotch birth and parentage.

   Reared to agricultural pursuits, David Freeland remained with his parents until twenty years of age, working on the home farm as a boy, and afterward learning the trade of stone-cutter, which he followed four years.  Immigrating to Nova Scotia, he spent a year and a half in Halifax, and then migrated to the States, coming to California in search of a favorable location.  Settling first near Selma, Fresno County, he began life in this state as a farmer, purchasing a ranch five miles south of Selma.   Coming to Madera in 1900, Mr. Freeland, with I. L. Borden, purchased the present ranch of six hundred acres, and has since been successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits as manager of the business.  He raises grain and stock, and is also interested in the culture of fruit having an orchard of thirty acres and a vineyard equally as large.  In addition to this he devotes two hundred and fifty acres of this ranch to alfalfa, on the remainder raising grain. As a stock grower and dairyman, he has acquired a good reputation, his dairy of one hundred cows being one of the best in this part of the country.   He uses a separator in his dairy, and on the ranch are four wells, one hundred and twenty feet deep, from which the water is drawn by a twenty-five-horse power engine.

   March 19, 1889, Mr. Freeland was married to Jean Rice, who was born in California, and into their household three children have been born, namely:  Margaret W., Jean S. and David, Jr.  During his residence in California, Mr. Freeland has always enjoyed the respect and confidence of his neighbors and friends, and has well performed his part a faithful citizen.  Politically he is identified with the Republican Party, and fraternally he is a member of the Woodmen of the World.

Guinn, J. M., History of the State of California and Biographical Record of the San Joaquin Valley, California, (Chicago: Chapman Publishing, 1905), page 661.

Transcribed by Harriet Sturk.

Last update: September 10, 2000
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