The Works Progress Administration

Biography of Jackson Freer of El Monte California

Jackson Freer, son of William H. Freer, who is represented elsewhere in this work, was born April 6, 1870, in San Jose, Santa Clara County, California. He was a twin brother of Lee Freer, a review of whom is to be found elsewhere in this volume.

In 1875 he was brought to Southern California by his parents and was reared to young manhood on the parental ranch, receiving his preliminary education in the public schools and completing it in St. Vincent’s College. He remained at home with his father until he was twenty-three years old, assisting in the cultivation of the ranch, when in 1893; he located on a forty-six acre tract, east of El Monte, which he purchased upon attaining his majority. This he improved and set to walnuts, making it one of the finest groves in this district, a part of the grove still bears at the age of over forty years. Mr. Freer managed his farm and was active in his work up to the day of his untimely death which occurred in 1933.

In El Monte, Mr. Freer married Miss Eliza Jane Schmidt, a native of El Monte, whose father Henry Schmidt, was born in Lorraine, France, October 15, 1842. In 1866, Mr. Schmidt came to California via the Nicaragua route, and from San Francisco went to San Jose. Following later residences in various parts of the west, he, in 1869, came to El Monte and established a blacksmith shop. He was married in El Monte to Eliza Slack, a native of Cole Creek, Utah, and a daughter of William Slack, mentioned elsewhere in this volume.

Mr. and Mrs. Freer had four children, only tow surviving, Delmer H., of El Monte and Fluvia M. (Mrs. S. Hannon) of El Monte. Mr. Freer was a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, while politically he was a Democrat. Late in life he became a member of the Catholic Church. He was a charter member of the Mountain View Walnut Growers’ Association.

Source: C. D. Mayon, F. Brow, L. Stoddard, and C. Mudd; El Monte from the Pioneer Days. WPA Project No. N-5740, 1936. In record 19-187072. (California Historical Landmark No. 765: El Monte). On file at the SCCIC, CSU Fullerton.

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