“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Palestine in Anderson County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

William Freeman

William Freeman Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By QuesterMark
1. William Freeman Marker

William Freeman was born a slave in Anderson County on August 1, 1863, to Charlotte Freeman. His mother was a slave and the maid at the Jacob Hunter Plantation near Mound Prairie. After the slaves were freed in 1865, they moved to Palestine. William received his early education from the First Ward Colored School in Old Town Community and attended Prairie View State Normal School for two years in the early 1880s, focusing on a teaching certification and brick masonry studies. In 1885, William married Mary Frances Carter and they had three sons: Wesley, Samuel and Byron. Mary died in 1899 and William married Bobbie McMeans. They had four children: Elizabeth, Polly, Eugene and Lionel.

As a rural school educator in Anderson County, William Freeman joined other visionary African Americans to change the name of the colored school in Palestine to Frederick Douglass Elementary School in 1898. The next year, he earned his teacher’s re-certification and, in 1901, became the principal of Douglass Elementary until 1909. In addition to his leadership abilities, Freeman was also a master brick mason. He made bricks for many of Palestine’s
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buildings before brick factories existed. He owned a brick yard and made bricks that were used to build the first Anderson County Jailhouse in 1879. Some notable works by Freeman are rock houses where red iron ore rocks were used to cover the homes’ exteriors. The son and grandson of William Freeman followed in his footsteps as principals of the Douglass school for 46 years. Freeman’s legacy as an educator, brick maker, brick mason and carpenter shaped Palestine’s history. He died on August 28, 1931, and is buried in Memorial Cemetery.

Marker is property of the State of Texas
Erected 2013 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 17554.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansEducation.
Location. 31° 46.248′ N, 95° 36.907′ W. Marker is in Palestine, Texas, in Anderson County. Marker can be reached from Moody Street east of Birch Street, on the right when traveling east. This post-mounted subject marker stands in the back part of Memorial Cemetery in Palestine on Moody St. near Loop 256. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1210 Moody Street, Palestine TX 75801, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Antioch Missionary Baptist Church (approx. 0.6 miles away); Hodges - Darsey House (approx.
William Freeman Marker in Memorial Cemetery image. Click for full size.
Photographed By QuesterMark, September 4, 2021
2. William Freeman Marker in Memorial Cemetery
0.7 miles away); Micham Main (approx. ¾ mile away); Timothy Stephen Smith (approx. ¾ mile away); Purvey Lee (P. L.) Chism (approx. ¾ mile away); Governor Thomas Mitchell Campbell (approx. ¾ mile away); Anderson County Courthouse (approx. 0.8 miles away); Palestine Salt Works C.S.A. (approx. 0.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Palestine.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 17, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 17, 2021, by QuesterMark of Fort Worth, Texas. This page has been viewed 245 times since then and 52 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 17, 2021, by QuesterMark of Fort Worth, Texas. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 5, 2023