History of Taylor County, Iowa: from the earliest historic times to 1910 by  Frank E. Crosson. Chicago, The S.J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910
(transcribed by Linda Kestner: lfkestner3@msn.com)

Page 684


Among the representatives of the business life of Blockton none are more deserving of mention in this volume than J. N. Freeland, who is not only progressive in his business affairs but is ever ready to help in any movement for the progress and advancement of his home city.  Mr. Freeland was born in Paris, Edgar county, Illinois, January 6, 1861, his parents being F. A. and Louisa (Kirby) Freeland, both of whom were born in Indiana.  The father went to Edgar county, Illinois, where for some time he was engaged in farming but in 1864 he removed to Wayne county, Iowa, and purchased a farm, which he operated three years.  He later took up his abode in Corydon, where his death occurred.
J. N. Freeland was a little lad of but three years at the time of the parents' removal from his native state, Illinois, to Wayne county, Iowa, so that he was practically reared in the latter place.  He acquired his education in the schools of Allerton, where he qualified for teaching, in which he engaged four years.  He then clerked in a store in Allerton two years and subsequently went to Fort Dodge, Iowa, where he was similarly engaged two years.  He then went to Sac City, where he managed a store for the Fort Dodge Dry Goods Company.  From the latter city he went to Clearfield and spent four years in the conduct of a similar enterprise, while on the expiration of that period he took up his abode in Mt. Ayr.  In 1896 he came to Blockton and opened up a general merchandise establishment and his business has grown until he now occupies a double store room in the conduct of his enterprise.  He carries a large and well selected line of goods and his courteous treatment of patrons and reasonable prices have enabled him to build up his business until today it ranks among the leading enterprises of this character in this section of Taylor county.  Mr. Freeland formerly engaged in real-estate operations, buying and selling farm lands and in this undertaking he met with success.  He is quick, positive, exacting and comprehensive of every detail of affairs (page 685) that comes within the scope of his action and this has been one of the chief features in his splendid success.
Mr. Freeland was married in Hancock county, Illinois, February 11, 1886, the lady of his choice being Miss Ella M. Peacock, who was there born and reared.  She received liberal educational advantages and for several years prior to her marriage engaged in teaching.  By her marriage she has become the mother of one son, A. V. Freeland, who is a well educated young man, having completed his studies in Simpson College, at Indianola, Iowa, and he is now a partner of his father in business.
Mr. Freeland's study of the political issues of the day has led him to give his support to the republican party and he has served as a member of the town council several years.  As an indication of his high standing in the community and of the high appreciation which his fellowmen have for him, it may here be stated that in 1908 Mr. Freeland received numerous letters from people throughout Taylor county urging him to become a candidate for representative to the legislature, this being one case of the office seeking the man and not the man seeking the office.  Although Mr. Freeland appreciated this high compliment which was paid him, he felt that his business interests would not permit of him entering public life, so he declined to become a candidate.
Both he and his wife are devoted and consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal church and Mr. Freeland has been superintendent of the Sunday school for the past thirteen years, while Mrs. Freeland is also an active worker and a teacher in that organization.  Every change Mr. Freeland has made in his business life shows that he has lived for a purpose.  His aim and endeavor has been to make today find him farther advanced in his desires than yesterday and has looked forward to tomorrow to add to his attainments.  He has been alive to the opportunities as they have presented and his progression has been constant until today he stands prominently among the business men of this section of the county, while his social qualities have also gained him a host of friends.