Clark and Jackson
Also see [ Railway Officials in America 1906
WILLIAM FREE, of the firm of Free & Phillips, is engaged in manufacturing mouldings, shingles, etc., on
the corner of Seventh and Clay streets, where they commenced three years ago. They have a forty five horse power
engine, and employ from eight to twelve men. They do a general contracting business in building and all kinds of
wood work. Their building is 45 x 50 feet, two stories high. The firm do a business of $5,000 to $7,000 worth per
year, and are among the prominent manufacturers of the county.
Mr. Free was born in Quebec, Canada, February 2, 1856, the son of Richard and Jane (Parham) Free, natives of Ireland,
who came to America before marriage. The father was engaged in the boot and shoe trade, and was also an extensive
farmer. He sold his business in 1882 and came to Clark County, Wisconsin, where he was engaged in farming until
his death in 1889. The mother is still a resident of the county. While in Canada the father belda number of offices;
he was a strong Republican and highly respected. Mr. and Mrs. Free had a family of twelve children, eight of whom
are now living: Thomas, Anna, Margaret, Esther, Richard, William, Mary and John. William was reared on the home
farm, and lived on the same until twenty-two years of age, having received a common school education. He then came
to Wisconsin and settled in Clark County, where he was engaged at the carpenter's trade, which business be also
followed in this and Taylor counties. He settled permanently in this county in 1883, and since that time has been
engaged in contracting and building. He built a fine home in this city in 1883, on court street, where he now resides.
Mr. Free was married in 1883, to Miss Elizabeth Wilson, a daughter of William and Matilda (Sample) Wilson, natives
of Canada. They have a family of five children: William W., Richard P., Matilda B., Gladice J. and Mary Ellen,
Politically Mr. Free is a Republican, and socially an Odd Fellow, he is a man highly respected for his enterprising
spirit and business capacity.
Biographical History of
Clark and Jackson Counties Wisconsin
Lewis Publishing Company.