THE BOROUGH OF FREEMANSBURG.
  
  THE Borough of Freemansburg was incorporated January 24th, 1856, and the 
first borough election was held on the twenty-first of the following March. 
Following are the names of the first officers:

Chief Burgess, George Bachman

Members of Council (sworn into office March 29th, 1856)-

William Gwinner, President
Amos Seip
John Warg
Thomas Doney,
R. O. Lerch.

Henry Schweitzer, Town Clerk

John Warg, Borough Treasurer

John A. Gross, Street Supervisor

Owen Weaver, High Constable

   The salary of the Town Clerk was fixed at ten dollars per annum; that of 
the High Constable was twenty-five dollars per annum, and he was required 
to give bond to the amount of three hundred dollars. The bond of the 
Borough Treasurer was fixed at $1,000.

  At the meeting of the Council, it was voted to adopt the rules of the 
Borough Council of Easton; and, on the thirtieth of August the, first 
borough tax was levied-$455,32.  In the meantime (June l4th, 1356), George 
Hess had been appointed and directed to make a draft of the new borough.


                            EARLY SETTLERS.
   
  Among the very earliest settlers within the present bounds of 
Freemansburg, were the Bachmans, descendants of whom are still living here. 
They are supposed to have settled here at least as early as 1760. At the 
extreme western end of the town there is still standing (owned by the 
Lehigh and Susquehanna Railroad Company), an old stone building, which was 
erected in the ancient time by Peter Bachman, and by him kept as a tavern. 
It is related that while this old house was building, the Indians made 
several attempts, from the opposite side of the river, to shoot the stone 
masons, at their work. There is no doubt that there were one or two log 
houses built there before this one of stone but this, it is probable, was 
the first building which could be considered as of much pretension or importance.

  A year or two later, there came to the place a Bethlehem Moravian, named 
Huber, who erected a saw-mill. At what is now the north end of the borough; 
and thus had been taken two very important steps towards the founding of a 
town-the establishment of a saw-mill, and the opening of a tavern. A 
distillery was also built by Huber, about that time. The mill built by him 
was afterwards successively used as a plaster-mill and a wool-carding mill, 
and probably for other purposes. The mill upon that site at the present 
time is owned by Mr. John E. Geisinger.


  At about the same time that the Bachmans came, Richard Freeman (the 
ancestor of the Freeman family from whom the town derived its name), 
settled on the south side of the river, and lower down, towards Redington. 
He came from England some years before, and first settled near Allentown. 
On removing here, he took up lands on both sides of the river, but chiefly 
on the south side, and none within the present limits of the town. Upon his 
death, however (about 1790), his son, Edward, purchased lands in what is 
now the Borough of Freemansburg; while the other son Isaac settled upon the 
old homestead, in Saucon. Jacob Freeman, who years afterwards was prominent 
in the affairs of the little town, was the grandson of Richard,
In 1790, George Bachman, then living at Hellertown, sold his farm at that 
place, and removed to Freemansburg.


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                          THE FIRST GRIST-MILL.

  At this place was, built in 1811, by George Butz, The millwright he 
employed on the work was John Freed. The mill is still standing, and is in 
good condition.

  In 1814, Henry Jarrett came here from the present territory of Lehigh
county, and, in 1816, he built THE FIRST BRIDGE, across the Lehigh at 
Freemansburg. Previous to this, the travel had crossed the river by Curries 
Ferry, which was located some two or three hundred yards above the site, of 
the bridge, and which is mentioned in the history of Lower Saucon township.

  The bridge was a temporary wooden structure, which lasted until 1825; 
when, being crossed by Daniel Schnable, with a four-horse team and loaded 
wagon, it gave way, and all were precipitated into the river; being rescued 
with considerable difficulty.

  The rebuilding of the bridge was commenced the same year, by Shouse & 
Son, and completed in 1826, This bridge was also constructed of wood. The 
carpenters who worked upon it were all from Luzerne county. Reuben Miller 
was mason tender, and is the only survivor of all who worked upon it during 
its construction.

  In 1817, Dr. Rothrock removed hither from Bucks. He was the first 
physician that settled at this place. 

  In 1825, the first store was established by Levi Budder, who was also a 
physician.

  The little hamlet began to assume some distant approach towards the
dignity of a town, when in the year 1830, just after the opening of the
canal, a second tavern, a house of considerable pretensions, was built by
Jacob Freeman, in honor of whom, the settlement gradually took the
name of Freemansburg. This, and thhe house built the same year, and now
occupied by J. Lynn, were the two first houses which were built on the flats.

 In the next year, 1831, the mercantile business was opened by Thomas &
Bellows, who continued in it until 1836, when they became bankrupt.

  About the year 1836-37, there were two other stores located here, one by 
Leeser, and the other by Jacob Ginsinger. The old Bachman firm commenced 
the mercantile business, about 1838.

  The business of boat building was carried on quite extensively at 
Freemansburg, some thirty to forty years ago, and at that time furnished 
employment to a large number of men; but at present, little is done in 
that line.


                             THE FIRST BOAT YARD.

  Was established by G. & A. Bachman, in 1838, Immediately after, a second 
was started by Warg & Luckenbach; these are both now in disuse. A third 
yard was commenced in 1840, by A. Cortright, and is still to some extent, 
in operation. It is now owned and carried on by J. Bougher.


                           THE FIRST SCHOOL HOUSE.

  In Freemansburg, was built in the year 1838. This was changed  into a
dwelling house, about 1856. Before the building of this, however, a school, 
maintained by subscription, had been opened by Isaac Gross, in Peter Warps 
carpenter shop. Reading, spelling, writing, and arithmetic, were taught.


  The opening of the railroads, first the Lehigh Val1ey, on the opposite 
side of the river, and afterwards, the Lehigh and Susquehanna, through the
town, did for Freemansburg, just what they did, in greater or less degree, 
for all the towns in the Lehigh River valley, viz: advanced it very 
materially on the way towards increase and prosperity, and it is now a 
place of considerable life, and enterprise.

  The population of the borough, according to the census of 1870, was then 
six hundred and forty-three. It is now estimated by the citizens, at more 
than 1,000. 

  The present borough officers eleected  February 20th, 1877, are:

Chief Burgess, J. A. Geisinger

Members of Council-

J. B. Geehr
I. H. Laubach
B. F. Ritter
D. Dougherty
A. N. Clewell
Charles Beiler

P. A. Fritchman, Secretary
F. H. Wildrick, Treasurer
B. F. Ritter, Second Burgess,
C. Moser, High Constable
Theodore Robison, Borough Surveyor

  The business men of the place are: P. S. Bachman & Co, successor- of the 
Bachman firm (established in 1838, and their store and warehouse, built by 
Jacob Freeman, in 1840-42)

J. W. King (who is also Postmaster)

B. F. Ritter and Irvin Totter, merchants

Louis Steinbach, boots and shoes

Chester L. Gross, drugs

L. Steckel, saddlery

A. C. King

B. F. Ritter and Bachman & Co., coal

Joseph Lynn, lime

J. M. Frank, bakery

The physicians of the town, are 

Dr. C L. Gross
Dr. E. Freeman
Dr. George W. Freeman


                        MANUFACTURES, MILLS, ETC.

  Northampton Furnace, located at Freemansburg; office, South Bethlehem. 
Built and owned by the Northampton Iron Company-was commenced in the spring 
of 1872, and "blown in," July 18th, 1873-cost about $160,000. Capacity 
about 10,000 tons per annum, now leased to the Bethlehem Iron Company,
John Knecht, President
Robert Lockart, Treasurer
R. M. Gummere, Secretary

  The Lehigh Valley Manufacturing Companys Building, was erected in
1867, by Bachman & Clewell, who still continue in the of family and toilet, 
soaps, candles, etc. Since their commencement, the firm title has been 
changed three times, the present being as above. Five members now compose 
the company, Their business is through Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

  The Machine-Shop of Martin Weaver, was established in 1875.

  A Carriage Manufactory was established in 1850, by G. & A. Bachman. It is 
now owned and carried on, by Isaac H. Laubach; manufactures carriages, 
spring Wagons and sleighs; employs seven hands.

  Grist-Mill-There are two grist mills-both brick structures-located at the 
extreme north end of the town; one called the Lehigh Mill, standing between 
the river and the canal, is owned by Mrs. A. H. Lynn.

  The other on or very near the site of the old Huber mill, before 
mentioned. This was built in 1871, by J. A. Geisinger. It is a three-story 
structure of brick and stone, contains three run of burrs, 54 inches in 
diameter; and all machinery necessary for flouring.


                                 HOTELS.

  The Freemansburg Hotel, is now owned by Mrs. Field, of Easton. It was built 
its before noticed, by Jacob Freeman, in 1830.

 The Swan House erected by J. Geisinger, about 1850, and is now owned by 
F. Geisinger.


                                BRIDGE.

  The bridge across the Lehigh, at Freemansburg, is the successor of the
old bridge built by Henry Jarret, in 1814. That old structure was a 
foot-bridge only; it was sold at private sale, to Jacob Freeman, in 1827. 
Freemman sold it in 1837, to Benjamin Riegel and Abraham Shimer. In the
flood of 1841 it was washed away, but rebuilt in the same year, by 
Reigel & Shimer. In the great, flood of 1862, it was again carried away, 
but rebuilt during the same summer. The STATION HOUSE of the Lehigh and 
Susquehanna Railroad, at Freemansburg, was erected by the company in 
1870. Previous to this, they had no building for station-house purposes in 
the borough.


                                ORDERS.

  Cradle of Liberty Lodge Council,  No.  124, O. U. A. M. -Was chartered April 
21st, 1851.

Unity Division, No. 99, Sons of Temperance. -Chartered Jan. 15th, 1862.

Hildah Lodge, No. 364, Knights of Pythias. -Chartered June 3d, 1872

The hall of the O. U. A. M., is a three-story brick structure, erected in 
1871, by Knech and Oberly.


                               CHURCHES.

                 THE EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH

  Was formally organized by the adoption of the first constitution and 
election of officers, on the eleventh of November, 1859. Previous to that 
time the residents of the place had erected a building for the purpose of 
holding divine services. A marble tablet, inserted in the front wall, bore, 
this inscription, "The Communion Church of Freemansburg, erected, 1843." 

  In this church the Lutheran, Reformed, and Moravian ministers, were 
permitted to preach. The Moravian ministers of Bethlehem had, previous to 
the erection of this building, been holding services to the village 
school-house near by. After the erection of this building, Rev. Gen. Diehl 
of Easton, and Rev. C. F. Welden of Bethlehem and Rev. John C. Schmidt, 
ministered to the Lutherans, April 1st, 1856, Rev. E. Greenwald, D.D., the 
present President of the Evangelical Lutheran Ministerium of Pennsylvania 
and adjacent States, supplied the people from Easton, untiLtbey regularly 
organized themselves into a congregation by the adoption of a constitution 
and the election of officers, November 11th, 1859, when he became the 
pastor, and continued to serve until his removal from Easton, April 14th, 
1867. The original members who signed the constitution number sixty-one.


228


 The first officers, were elected January 2d, 1860, as follows :

Elders

Leonard Schweitzer
Richard Freeman


Deacons

Levi Freeman
John S. Jones

Treasurer
George Shimer

Secretary
Wm. Gwinner
 
  April 14th, 1867, Rev. J. B. Rath, of Bethlehem, took charge of the 
congregation and served them till October 1st, 1870. January 1st, 1871, 
Rev. C. J. Cooper, of South Bethlehem, was elected pastor, who has 
continued to  serve in that capacity up to the present time.

  In 1875, the Lutheran and Reformed congregations, occupying the first 
building, decided to demolish it and build a new church.

  The corner-stone of this new building was laid on Whit-Sunday, 1875. The 
basement was opened during the fall of the same year, and on Whit-Sunday 
and Monday, 1876, the church was consecrated. The present membership 
numbers about two hundred. The church property is owned jointly by the 
Lutherans and Reformed, and is estimated at about $15,000.


                            REFORMED CONGREGATION.

  The time of the formal organization of the congregation, and the names of
the first officers, are not definitely noted in any record of the church, 
but the Holy Communion was celebrated for the first time on Sunday, 
December 1st,1850, Previous to that time, however, a church edifice 30 x 50 
feet was erected, the corner-stone of which was laid October 11th, 
1846. Still earlier than this, the people of the town, Reformed, Lutheran, 
and Moravians, were accustomed to worship in a school-house. 

  The church, built in 1846, was used by the Reformed and Lutheran 
Congregations until Easter Sunday, March 28th, 1875, on which day the 
Reformed congregation celebrated the Lords Supper. 

  The old church was taken down and on the same site a fine, new brick 
edifice, 42 x 70 feet, was erected during the summer of 1875, the
corner-stone of which was laid with appropriate services on Whit-Sunday,
May 16th, 1875. The consecration of the church took place the following
year on Whit-Sunday, June 4th, 1876. The property is owned in common by the 
Reformed and Lutheran congregations.

  The Reformed Congregation, which, in earlier years, was served by 
different pastors, was vacant for a long period and had almost lost its 
identify, when the Rev W. R. Hoffard, of Allentown, became its pastor about 
the year 1864. From that time the congregation has had a steady growth in 
membership and efficiency, Rev. W. & Hoffard served the congregation for a 
period of eight years, when he was succeeded by the present pastor, Rev. A. 
Z. Snyder. The congregation now number, about one hundred and sixty 
members. The Lords Supper is allowed four times a year.  Annually a class 
of catechumens is instructed. Church festivals are allowed, and the gospel 
is preached every alternate Sunday, and sometimes during the week.

The congregations, in common with the Lutheran Congregation, have a large 
and flourishing Sunday-school with a good Sunday-school literature.


                                 ZION'S CHURCH

  Of the Evangelical Association was organized by the Rev. Daniel Wieand, 
which consisted of four members, viz:

W. H. Bachman
Jacob Best
George Miller
Mrs. George Miller

  Their meetings were then held in the warehouse of Jacob Geisinger; and 
were continued there and in private houses until late in the year 1849, 
when they rented rooms from Margaret Laubach, which were converted into 
one, by folding doors and here preaching was continued until the completion 
of the church building. 

  In the fall of 1851, a meeting presided over by Rev. Henry Buchs, 
resolved that a church be erected the next year, provided sufficient 
encouragement be received to hazard the undertaking; and a building 
committee was appointed to open subscriptions, and if successful, to buy a 
lot and proceed with the erection of a church the next year. 

  The amount thus raised, during the fall and winter, was about $800, which 
was considered sufficient to warrant the undertaking, a lot was bought on 
Monroe street, west of the railroad, on which was erected a brick 
structure, 34 x 44 feet, one-story with basement, in a, plain but 
substantial manner.

  The corner-stone was laid on Whit-Sunday, 1852. The ceremonies were 
conducted by Rev. Frederick Krecker, assisted by Rev. Henry Stetzel and 
others. It was consecrated in the fall of 1852 with appropriate ceremonies.

  From its small beginnings, the membership had increased to thirty-five at 
the completion of the church. Subsequently to this, this community was 
supplied with different preachers, according to the ritual of the church, 
and was connected with different other communities or circuits until the 
year 1869, when the membership had so increased that it was thought 
practicable by the members of the Annual Conference to detach this 
community from Pleasant Valley Circuit and convert it into a 
self-supporting charge, which was done by said Annual Conference, which met 
on the twenty-fourth, day of February, 1869, in Philadelphia, Pa., when 
Rev. J. C. Bliem was stationed here, who remained one year, and was 
succeeded by Rev. S. B. Brown, who was removed after the full term of three 
years had expired Rev. W, A. Leopold followed next, remained two years and 
was succeeded by Rev. L. Snyder, who had charge of this community one year, 
and was followed by Rev. J. K. Fehr, the present pastor. The membership at 
present numbers about one hundred and fifty.

  A Sunday-school was organized in the spring of 1853, consisting of thirty 
members, and superintended by W H. Bachman. At present there are enrolled 
one hundred and fifty-one scholars; twenty-five teachers and officers
The school is in a prosperous condition under the superintendency of 
Bro. C. Bieler.
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