The Freeport Historical Society created two books featuring the women of Freeport’s past published in 2018 and 2019. The books, using information from obituaries, newspaper accounts and family stories, were very popular and sold out the original printing, forcing them to order more.
For 2020, they decided on featuring the men from Freeport area’s past.
The Freeport Men’s book is back from the publisher and will be for sale for $12 on this Saturday Dec.5 from noon to 3p.m. at Geiger’s Printing on Freeport’s main street.
Covid19 restrictions; masks, distancing and plastic shields will be observed. The Society has 250 books on hand and can order more.
The time span covers the last couple of generations of Freeport men, with photos for almost all of them, their family history, their wives, their children and where they worked. Colleen Smelker, secretary of the society said.
Using the Barry County Veterans book as a resource, Smelker highlighted every veteran’s military service, which branch they served in and when.
“That part was very important to me,” she said. The stories of the men have photos of when they were in the service, where they worked, and high school graduation and wedding photos if they were available, usually supplied by the family. Smelker also tried to note their addresses.
The first book was stopped at 112 men, and will continue in another book next year with at least that many more Freeport former citizens. In some cases, father and sons are featured, and once in a while, brothers.
“If you’re from the Freeport area, you’ll know these guys,” she said. “It was nostalgic for me. I like seeing them when they were young.”
She’s looking forward to compiling a third book, probably in two years, about the men who founded the Village of Freeport.
“That will be interesting, what those men went through. This is a great history book. Children can look up their grandfathers and great grandfathers…get to know them. And it’s a nice Christmas present, especially with the virus keeping people at home now.”