Gordon Edward Greenwood's Family Album

Freedom, Indiana

 Owen County

            Grade Class in Freedom, Indiana 1924-1925

First Grade at Freedom Elementary School for the class year 1924-1925.

Dick Felts of South Lyon, Michigan, shared this photo with us. It was taken by Harry Beck, a local photographer. Please let us know if you recognize anyone!

Thanks to Dick for sending the names of some of the children in the photo:

First row, left to right:  Austin Childress, Lester Glidden, unknown, Robert
Felts, unknown, Paul Franklin, May Edith Cantwell.
Second row, left to right:  Robert W. Hines, Radford Johnson, unknown,
teacher, unknown, Pauline Dyar, unknown, Wanda Nicholas, unknown.
Third row, left to right:  unknown, Bessie Lucille Reynolds, Lillian Denton,
teacher, unknown, Marian Christine Hubbard, unknown.

The information came from me (Dick Felts), from the granddaughter of Bessie Lucille
Reynolds, and from the son of Paul Franklin.

Dick Felts

Photo by John Gray

From John Gray

"This is the original iron span of the old Freedom Bridge in the original location over White River before they moved it.  The cement part of the span on the left in the picture is what replaced the covered portion  in the late 60's or early 70's. Remember, the original bridge consisted of two connecting parts, the covered portion and the iron portion. The iron portion spanned the actual river, the covered portion spanned the river bottom which was usually a farmer's field. You can see the buildings of Freedom in the picture under the iron span. In the bridge picture on your web site Freedom is off to the left about 1/4 mile.

"The iron part of the bridge was a 300 foot Pennsylvania truss spanning the West Fork of the White River, and my sister tells me it was moved off the river as part of a bridge replacement project in Owen County, Indiana. The iron truss was to be dismantled and carried to Conner Prairie Museum in Fishers, Indiana, where it will be re-erected again over the West Fork of the White River, far upstream from its original location in Freedom. In its new location, Freedom Bridge will be part of an expansion of Conner Prairie
Museum, connecting a new 1886 farm with a planned 1936 farm. Conner Prairie does have a website but I saw no mention of the bridge.

"This info was obtained from J. A. Barker Engineering, who was contracted to move the bridge. I did not go by the bridge location last week as we entered Freedom from the west and departed on the north side. The bridge which leads to New Hope is on the east."

"I lived in and around Freedom, Indiana in the 1960's. I attended Freedom school in the First grade, the last year the school was open. After it was torn down my friends and I used to play in the rubble. There were a couple of basement rooms intact that we used for our clubhouse. House trailers sit on the site now.

"I distinctly remember the covered bridge, going through it hundreds of times to our home near Pottersville. I remember one Halloween someone hung a scarecrow-body from a noose at the entrance to the covered portion. That was cool! The wooden covered part of the bridge was moved somewhere in the late 60's or early 70's, replaced by a cement span. The iron portion of the bridge was recently dismantled and carried to Conner Prairie Museum in Fishers, Indiana, where it will be re-erected again over the West Fork of the White River.

"I also lived in town on three occasions. I remember the Post Office was in one half of the old bank building, the other half was a restaurant. As a young boy, I enjoyed helping pump gas at the Shell station which was operated by Marie Boyer. The station also had two small motel rooms attached on one side and a restaurant on the other. Close friends of my family ran the restaurant.

"I also was enthralled by the mysterious Masonic Lodge in Freedom, so much so I eventually joined the fraternity. It closed down a couple of years ago and the building is now a plumbing store, one of the only businesses in town.

"On the main street in town there used to be a telephone switchboard. Some of my relatives worked there. It is nothing but a cement slab now.

"I returned in the summer of 2002 to visit family and we took a drive to some of the places we lived, including Freedom. It has changed radically, sad, really, as I had many good memories of living there.

"I also lived in Coal City, Indiana but that is another story.

"Unfortunately I don't think I have any pictures of Freedom when I lived there as a child. My Mother and Grandmother probably do, but they are in Indiana. I have plenty of memories though! The stories I could tell.

"My Mom, Judith C. Sullivan, lives near Clay City, my Grandmother in Jasonville. My grandparents are John F. and Helen A Morrow. After the first grade I went to Spencer, then Coal City, Worthington and Patricksburg schools as well as some in Florida, my Mom could only take so many winters in Indiana or summers in Florida before we would move. But the call of Indiana eventually proved too much and we finally moved back for good in 1971. I graduated Owen Valley High in Spencer in 1975."

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