Doctor and Civil War soldier remembered for his role in two important legal decisions of the late nineteenth century. Not only was he the first person to claim land under the 1862 Homestead Act, but as the plaintiff in the Daniel Freeman v. John Scheve case, he was also the first to argue for separation of church and state in the United States.
Before joining an Illinois-based Union Army regiment during the American Civil War, he received his medical training in Cincinnati, Ohio.
In 1936, his Nebraska homestead was designated a National Monument.
His marriage to Elizabeth Wilber produced three children. He later married Agnes Suiter, his deceased brother's former fiancee. The couple raised seven children.
President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act into law in 1862, and Freeman seized the opportunity to claim land.