Romeo H. Freer
Romeo H. Freer
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from West Virginia's 4th district
March 4, 1899 – March 3, 1901
|Preceded by||Warren Miller|
|Succeeded by||James A. Hughes|
|West Virginia Attorney General|
|Judge for 4th circuit court of West Virginia|
|Member of the West Virginia House of Delegates|
|Born||November 9, 1846|
Bazetta Township, Trumbull County, Ohio), Ohio
|Died||May 9, 1913 (aged 66)|
Harrisville Ritchie County, West Virginia
|Political party||Republican Party|
|Alma mater||United States|
|Occupation||Attorney, judge, politician|
|Allegiance|| United States of America|
United States Army|
|Years of service||1861–1866|
|Battles/wars||American Civil War|
Romeo Hoyt Freer (November 9, 1846 – May 9, 1913) was an American attorney, soldier turned pacifist, judge and politician. A Republican, Freer served one term in the U.S. House of Representatives representing West Virginia's 4th congressional district (1899–1901) and was Attorney General of West Virginia (1901–1905).
Early and military life
Born in Bazetta Township, Trumbull County, Ohio, Ohio on November 9, 1846, he was the son of Josiah D. Freer and Caroline P. Brown. The family soon relocated to Ashtabula County, Ohio, where Freer attended common schools. At the age of 15, he enlisted in the Union army through 1865. Wounded during the Battle of Gettysburg, he received an honorable discharge in 1866. Freer became a dedicated pacifist and determined isolationist for the rest of his life.
In 1866, Freer moved to Charleston, West Virginia and began to study law. Admitted to the bar, Freer was elected the prosecuting attorney for Kanawha County in 1870. In 1872, he was a presidential elector for Ulysses S. Grant. President Grant appointed him U.S. Consul to Nicaragua until he resigned his duties in 1877 and accepted an appointment as Register of the Land Office for New Mexico. Freer resigned in 1879 after refusing orders that would lead to military conflict with Mexico.
Freer settled in Harrisville, Ritchie County, West Virginia in 1881 and married Mary Iams in 1884. That same year, he was a presidential elector for James G. Blaine. His isolationist policies proved to be divisive among voters, leading to his resignation from politics after the election.
Freer returned to politics by 1890 when he was elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates and later appointed prosecuting attorney for Ritchie County. In 1896, he was elected to the Fourth Judicial Circuit of West Virginia.
He served in the 56th United States Congress having been elected in 1898. In 1900, Freer was elected as Attorney General of West Virginia, and he served from 1901–1905. In 1902, he was briefly nominated for the Supreme Court by President McKinley.
From 1907 until his death he was postmaster of Harrisville.
Freer married Mary Iams in 1884.
Death and legacy
Freer collapsed suddenly while in a meeting with business associates in 1913. He was pronounced dead at 3:57 A.M. His autopsy showed acute necrosis of the small intestine and an abnormal mass in the stomach. Freer was buried with full military honors at Harrisville IOOF Cemetery.
- FREER, Romeo Hoyt - Biographical Information Retrieved 2018-12-28.
- United States Congress. "Romeo H. Freer (id: F000367)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from West Virginia's 4th congressional district
Edgar P. Rucker
| Attorney General of West Virginia
Clark W. May
|56th||Senate: S. Elkins • N. Scott||House: A. Dayton • B. Dovener • D. Johnston • R. Freer|