Hon. Roy C. Freeman. The science of justice and statutory law both require keen perceptions, well trained minds and intellects beyond the ordinary, and each is a distinct branch of what is technically termed “law.” The simple fact that an individual is admitted to the bar is of itself prima facie evidence of the possession of superior intellectual endowments, although some who pose as legists are unprincipled and others incompetent as such, in competition with the profession generally; but when lawyers are elected for office, especially the executive and judicial, those of the best reputation for honorable conduct and legal ability are generally given the preference. The career of Judge Roy C. Freeman, county judge of Champaign County, has been such as to demonstrate that he deserves membership in the latter class, and that he has fairly earned the honor which his position indicates and the confidence of the people of the county.
Roy C. Freeman is a native of Champaign County, having been born in Homer Township, on the farm of his father, July 13, 1880, a son of John T. and Jennie B. (Silkey) Freeman. His father has passed his entire life in Champaign County, where he has won his way to the ownership of a handsome property and a position among the leading agriculturists and stock raisers of this section, his home still being in Homer Township. In his native county he has gained the reputation of being a man of ability and resource, who is straightforward in living up to his business engagements and in discharging his civic responsibilities. Mrs. Freeman, who also survives, is a native of Tuscarawas County, Ohio. Roy C. is their only child.
Roy C. Freeman was brought up on his father’s farm, but his early tendencies were shown to lie in the direction of a career other than that of an agricultural life, and he was given the necessary encouragement by his parents. His early education was acquired in the country school following which he enrolled as a student at the high school at Homer, which he attended for three years, and from which he was graduated in 1898. He then entered the literary department of the University of Illinois, but in the fall of 1899 went to the University of Michigan, as a special student, taking literary work. His law work was started in the fall of 1900, and in June, 1903, he was graduated with his degree from the University of Michigan, and soon thereafter admitted to the bar of that state. Returning to Illinois, in October, 1903, he was admitted to the Illinois bar, and in December opened an office for the practice of his profession. The young legist was not long in attracting a good clientele of representative people in the general practice of his calling, and after about ten years of successful professional business his name began, to be mentioned as a judicial possibility. Finally he was persuaded to allow his name to be used in this connection, and in November, 1914, he was the successful candidate for the office of county judge. He took office in December of the same year and has remained in the same capacity to the present time. His record has been in harmony with that which he established as a lawyer, and in his office he has administered the law with the broadest intelligence and a keen regard for equity. The judge on the bench fails more frequently, perhaps, from a deficiency in that broad-mindedness which not only comprehends the details of a situation quickly and that insures a complete self-control under the most exasperating conditions than from any other cause; and the judge who makes a success in the discharge of his multitudinous delicate duties, whose rulings are seldom reversed, and before whom counsel and litigant come with an unshakable confidence, must possess that broad-mindedness referred to in in addition to well-rounded character, finely balanced mind and splendid intellectual attainments. From Judge Freeman’s past record and the confidence in which he is universally held it is assumed that he is just such a jurist.
Judge Freeman was married August 16, 1’905, to Miss Lillian A. Burdick, who was born in Champaign County, Illinois, and to this union there have been born three children: Beulah May, who died in 1910; and Gladys Irene and Hazel Bernice. Judge Freeman is a Republican. He has been interested in the success of his party and for some years has been active in politics. For about six years prior to his election to the county judgeship he served in the capacity of assistant state’s attorney. As a fraternalist he belongs to the Knights of Pythias and to the Blue Lodge and Council of the Masons, being past thrice illustrious master of the latter.