Connecticut State Library with state seal

Memorials of Connecticut Judges and Attorneys
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports
volume 129, page(s) 719-720


Harrison Barber Freeman, who died in this city on April 9, 1942, at the age of seventy-two, was born in Hartford on August 22, 1869, the son of Harrison B. Freeman who for many years was judge of the Probate Court for the district of Hartford. He graduated from Yale University in 1892 and from Yale Law School in 1894. He was admitted to the Connecticut Bar in 1894 and after that time practiced law in Hartford until his death. He held many and varied public offices. From 1895 to 1906 he served first as assistant prosecutor and then as prosecutor of the Hartford Police Court. He represented Hartford in the House of Representatives in 1899 and 1901. During the First World War he headed the war rallies division and the speakers' bureau and was chairman of the state defense council law enforcement committee, and after the war he was identified with many groups formed to study worldwide conditions.

While his chosen profession was the law, he paid little attention to the familiar maxim "The Law is a jealous mistress." However true that maxim may have been, it has become more and more widely recognized that a lawyer who is nothing but a lawyer has not contributed as much as he should to the good of his community. Mr. Freeman always regarded his association with a public enterprise as a call upon him to make his office more than a nominal one and he contributed to it the benefit of his time, his training and his energy.

For many years during which the advocates of woman suffrage received only scanty recognition he was an enthusiastic champion of that cause and its success was a great satisfaction to him.

One of the particular benefactions of which he was the author and a leader was the Almada Lodge-Times Farm Corporation, to which he gave a farmhouse and land for a summer camp for underprivileged children, in memory of his first wife.

He gave the best of his work to the Connecticut College for Women, of which he was successively trustee, president, and chairman of the board of directors, holding the latter office until his death. During the years he occupied these offices, the institution grew from a small college into a large and successful one. The Connecticut College for Women owes a great deal to Mr. Freeman.

For about twelve years he was president of the Northern Connecticut Light & Power Company, and he was the receiver of the Hartford & Springfield Street Railway Company. As a lawyer he would work night and day for the interests which he represented, and his side was seldom unprepared for an attack or defense, whichever became necessary.

His first wife was Alma Crowell Newell of San Francisco, who died in 1910; his second wife, who was Marguerite Gibson of Chicago, survives. Mr. Freeman leaves two sons, H. Crowell Freeman of Farmington and H. Hoyt Freeman of West Hartford.