Notable and Famous


Pels Manny
Pels Manny, inventor of the reaper, was born August 17, 1802 in Amsterdam, New York and died in 1883. The Pels Manny family settled in Waddams Township in 1836. Pels was the son of Barbarel and Elizabeth (Pells) Manny. He was married to Eliza Marcellus. His son, John H. Manny took over the business, along with John's cousin, John Pels Manny. In 1849 the first Manny Reaper was patented with a factory established in Freeport by 1856. Abraham Lincoln defended the Manny's during the McCormick Company law suit


William T. Rawleigh, founder of one of the largest chemical products companies, was born in 1870 and died in 1951. He came to Freeport in 1889, and married Minnie B. Trevillian in 1890. The Progressive Party had considered WT Rawleigh for Vice President in 1924

Jane Addams
Laura Jane Addams was the founder of Hull House in Chicago and a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931. She was born in Cedarville, Illinois on September 6, 1860. Her father, John Huy Addams owned both the flour mill and sawmill in Cedarville and had also served as State Senator at one time. Her mother, Sarah Weber Addams passed away when Jane was young. Her father remarried to Anna Hostetter Haldeman

Charles Guiteau
Charles Julius Guiteau was born on September 8, 1841, in Freeport, Illinois. As a child he and his brother Luke and sister Frances, lived in a Greek-style stone house on the Southwest corner of High and Galena Ave. He was the fourth of six children born to Luther Wilson Guiteau and Jane Howe. Jane died on September 25,1848. Luther Guiteau then remarried. Charles was hanged on June 30, 1882 for the assassin of President James Garfield

Louella Parsons
Louella was born on August 6, 1881 in Freeport, the third house east of Walnut Avenue on the south side of Clark Street. She died December 11, 1972. Louella's parents were Joshua and Helen (Stine) Oettinger. She is the oldest of 5 children, three of whom died in infancy, her brother, Ed (Ettinger) survived. Joshua Oettinger came to Freeport from Pennsylvania along with 3 brothers. The brothers (two married Stine sisters) ran a clothing store in Freeport. Louella married three times, first to John Dement Parsons. Jack McCaffrey, a river boat captain was never publicly acknowledge. Her father died of tuberculosis at the age of 31. After time her mother remarried to John Edwards. She adored her grandmother, Jeanette Wilcox. Louella attended the River School

Spencer Tracy
Was born April 5, 1900 in Milwaukee, WI, died June 10, 1967, a few days after completing the film, "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner". His parents were John Edward and Carrie (Brown) Tracy, buried at Calvary Cemetery in Freeport. John was the first teller and bookkeeper of State Bank of Freeport. Spencer's brother, Carroll was born in Freeport in 1896, and was Spencer's business manager for many years. Spencer spent much of his time with his uncle Frank, Carrie's brother. They descended from Edward S. and Abigail (Stebbins) Brown. Caleb Brown was their grandfather, and founded Brown's Mill, east of Freeport on the Pecatonica River. Spencer and Carroll were very fond of their "Aunt Moom", as they referred to Emma Brown. Spencer returned to Freeport several times to visit his Aunt Emma and uncle, Andrew Tracy. It is believe that Spencer attended Union School during his youth.

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