Caddo Herald, December 19, 1924
Robert Clay Freeny Suddenly Dies Friday
At his home ten miles east of Caddo, Judge R. Clay Freeny died early Friday morning of a paralytic stroke. The remains were buried in Turnbull Cemetery near the home place, Saturday afternoon at 2:30 o’clock.
The funeral was conducted by Rev. R. C. Alexander of Stigler, who was the pastor of the Freeny church fifteen years ago and who is a friend of the family, assisted by Rev. M.A. Cassidy, pastor of the Caddo Methodist church.
The funeral was attended by a large concourse of people of the town and neighborhood, many of whom were friends of years of the family, and grieved at the loss of a friend.
Banks of flowers were silent tokens of the esteem in which the Judge was held, many tenders of sympathy came to the family and many voices joined in paying tribute to the sterling qualities of the deceased.
Judge Freeny was stricken Thursday morning, but was able to be brought to Caddo for treatment going home that evening. During the night he was so stricken again, and early morning ended his pilgrimage upon the earth.
Judge Freeny was well known in Caddo and Bryan county. With the coming of statehood he was elected county commissioner three times from the Third District, and many of the county’s progressive policies are due to his wisdom and probity.
He was a pioneer of the old Choctaw Nation, being a son of one of the emigrants from Mississippi who came here in 1832. At the time of his death he was 74 years of age, is survived by a wife, four daughters, seven sons, and numerous grandchildren.
He had made his home at Boggy Depot, Ardmore, and near Caddo. In the days of the Choctaw government he was many times elected county judge of Blue County, of which Caddo was the county seat. In his office he adjudicated the estates of the Choctaw deceased from time to time.
Judge Freeny was a progressive Choctaw, gathering his education from the Indian school at White Bead and from the early Christian Missionaries, who visited the country in the early days. In middle life he accepted the teachings of those Missionaries and became a consistent Methodist, helping at all times to support the cause and to build churches that his people might worship the true God.
One looking now upon the broad fields fertile with the fruits of nature can hardly realize it, but Judge Freeny was the first man to stick a plow into the black waxy land soil of northern Bryan County- the first to realize that such land would prove responsive to tillage. Prior to his pioneering, the prairies were thought by the Choctaws to be good for nothing but grazing, on which vast herds of cattle found rich sustenance. In the early days the Choctaws would make a clearing perhaps on the edge of the prairie where they would be close both to the pasture for horses and cattle and to the cleared land on which was raised wheat, corn, and cotton. Hogs ran wild in the woods and cattle were branded and turned loose on the prairies. They have witnessed the transition from this method to modern farm homes, modern fields and machines, well-built and progressive towns.
The home of Judge Freeny was the gathering place of many people on many occasions. Rarely was a meal eaten in his home by the family alone- always some guest, some wayfarer, some cattleman, some rancher, somebody passing was cordially entertained.
It was deemed then a privilege to entertain the wayfarer, stranger or friend. Usually from tow to twenty guests partook of his bountiful hospitality. None were ever turned away hungry or cold or weary. The church nearby built largely by himself, benefited by his largess. The itinerant preacher always found welcome shelter and support from him. Many old timers will remember the pleasant hours spent under his hospitable roof. Judge Freeny was a man of strictest (can’t read) and probity. His word always was good, could be depended upon. He was never known to utter a sentiment not in keeping with the highest sense of honor and integrity. His name was a synonym of the best in men.
The funeral was attended by several hundred people- people who loved him for his goodness, for his charity, for his manhood. Many silent tears were shed at the passing of the man who had been such a help to humanity. Their tears were greater tributes to him than would have been columns of eulogies and banks of flowers.
To his sons and daughters he has left a name which they can be proud to wear, which means much in human life. It is untarnished and noble. Truly he was a nobleman among primitive people.
Thus passes a man born of the forest between two civilizations. A mixture of the best blood of red and white, reared under frugal, primitive, stern realities, conquering a wilderness and building n empire out of the primeval, in the building of which this man had a prominent part. He witnessed the transition of his people from roving, primitive, untutored sons of the forest to honorable, civilize, patriotic American citizens.
Attended the Freeny Obsequies:
Mr. and Mrs. Dan Oakes and children from Soper.
Mrs. Sylvester Mullens of Ardmore.
Mrs. Rube Freeny of Ada.
Henry Freeny and family of Blanchard.
Ben Freeny and family of Alex.
Mrs. Edna Freeny of Bromide.
(can’t read) Freeny, Kerens, Texas
Dee Freeny, Wilson, OK
Mr. and Mrs. Pete W(can’t read), Bokchito
Walter J. Turnbull and Sam Maytubby, Jr. of Durant