Freeman (South Dakota, USA)
Freeman, South Dakota, is a town located in the southeastern part of the state, in Hutchinson County, with a population of 1,000 in the mid-1950s (1300 in 2000). The town itself was not solidly Mennonite, nor was the site originally platted by a Mennonite. However, the Mennonite influence became a predominant one. The population of the Mennonite churches within the immediate shopping district of Freeman in the 1950s approached 2,000. Perhaps around one fifth of these lived in town.
Five General Conference Mennonite churches lay within and to the east (Swiss) and west (Hutterite) of the town. A Mennonite Brethren and an Evangelical Mennonite Brethren church were located north and northeast of Freeman in a predominantly Low German district; the Krimmer Mennonite Brethren had a church northwest of town. These latter three, along with two other General Conference Mennonite churches, were at least partly within the shopping area of Marion (15 miles from Freeman). The earliest Mennonite settlement in the Freeman area dates back to 1873-1874.
The Mennonite constituency of Freeman in the 1950s supported and controled a home for the aged, a junior college, and an academy. It also gave considerable support and patronage to a community hospital.
The Freeman community was perhaps unique in the fact that four different Mennonite conferences cooperated in maintaining institutions and community activities which were distinctively Mennonite in character.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 389. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Gross, Harold H. "Freeman (South Dakota, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 24 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/freeman_south_dakota_usa.
APA style: Gross, Harold H. (1956). Freeman (South Dakota, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/freeman_south_dakota_usa.