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of Freeland, Pa.
Munsell on Freeland, 1880
The site of Freeland is a part of the old Lindsay tract, purchased by Tench Coxe, who sold to Joseph Birkbeck, and he to Mrs. Margaretha Donop, wife of A. Donop, Esq. in 1872. They came from New York city and were the first settlers at Freeland. Their house, on the estate of Mrs. Donop, Front and Centre streets, was the first built here. She also owns and controls forty of the buildings and lots surrounding it. Immediately after the purchase Mr. and Mrs. Donop caused the land to be surveyed into a town plat, which they called Freehold, and September 11th, 1876, the town was chartered as Freeland borough.
The miners' co-operative store on Walnut street, the first in this place, was opened in 1874, under the management of Joseph Lindsay.
The town hall, on Ridge street between Front and Walnut, was built by Mrs. Donop in 1875.
Henry Coons opened the second store in 1877, on the corner of Walnut and Centre streets, where he still remains in trade.
Welch & Furey were the next to engage in the mercantile business, locating on the corner of Washington and Walnut streets.
The first tavern was on Walnut street, built by A. Donop, and kept by John Jones, who is the present landlord.
The first blacksmith in this place was Peter Cunningham, who located on the corner of Washington and Front streets, where he is still engaged in the business.
The first shoemaker was Ernest Stein, and the first physician Dr. Lloyd; and the first meat market was opened by Rudolph Ludwig. The present resident physician is Dr. King.
There are two churches, Lutheran and Presbyterian. The first was built in 1876, by the united contributions of Presbyterians and Lutherans, and the other in 1880, by the Presbyterians. The present school-house was built in 1878, and John McDonald has thus far been the teacher.
The works by which the twon is supplied with water were constructed in 1880, by A. Donop and J. Birkbeck.
There are in the borough eight stores, a bakery, eight taverns, two undertakers, two blacksmith shops, a town hall, and a boot and shoe store. There are three building and loan associations.
The justices of the peace are A. Donop, elected December 14th, 1876, and Isaac Goodman, elected in February, 1880. The first burgess of the borough, Rudolph Lubrecht, was elected in 1876, and the present burgess, Dennis McCarthy, in February, 1879. Luther Dodson has been the only postmaster. The population of the borough is 624.
The cemetery between Freeland and South Heberton is owned by the Freeland Cemetery Association. The first interment in these grounds was that of William Birkbeck, in 1846. Mrs. Birkbeck has three other children buried in this cemetery, viz.: Agnes, John and Ann Victoria.
-- From Munsell, William Watkins. History of Luzerne, Lackawanna and Wyoming Counties, Pa.: With Illustrations, and Biographical Sketches of Some of Their Prominent Men and Pioneers. New York: W. W. Munsell & Co., 1880.
- Back to Early accounts of Freeland page -Site contructed by C. Tancin.