The Works Progress Administration

Biography of Lee Freer of El Monte California

Inheriting the qualities of character which have made the Freer name respected and esteemed throughout El Monte district and indeed, all Los Angeles County, Lee Freer held rank as one of the representative citizens of El Monte. He was a native son of the State, and a twin of Jackson Freer, whose sketch is included in this work, his birth having occurred in San Jose, April 6, 1870. Five years later he was brought by his parents, William H. and Zerelda (Stucker) Freer, to Southern California, where all of his life was spent.

Reared in Savannah, he received his education in the public schools and St. Vincent’s College, in Los Angeles, after which, he went to Tehachapi, and worked on a farm for one year. Returning to El Monte, he entered the employ of John Barton, with whom he remained until 1889, when he acquired a ranch of forty-six acres, east of El Monte. This was then new land, which he later improved and cultivated. After following farming for some years, he finally set it out to walnuts. The tract was later subdivided into small home sites.

In Savannah, Mr. Freer married Miss Nancy Adams, who was a daughter of Reverend Abram Adams, a native of Lowndes County, Alabama, who came to California in 1869. In that year, Reverend Adams organized Trinity Methodist Church (South) of Los Angeles. Mr. and Mrs. Freer became the parents of the following children: Zerelda (Mrs. Herbert Reed) of El Monte; Ruth, (Mrs. B. Beeson) of Whittier; Wesley, of Lancaster; Haven of El Monte; Dr. Max Freer, of Pico; Allen, residing with his mother at home; Wendell, of El Monte; and Shirley and Margaret, both deceased.

Mr. Freer supported the charities of the Presbyterian Church, of which his wife is a member. Politically, Mr. Freer, was a Democrat. He was associated with the Mountain View Walnut Growers’ Association, and was prominent in all matters of public importance. For a time, Mr. Freer was a member of I.O.O.F. He died in 1934, Mrs. Freer, with her son Allen, now resides at the old home on South Durfee Road.

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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