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Profiles from the Archives: Riddick N. Freeman

Matthew M. Peek, Military Collection Archivist

Riddick Norfleet Freeman was born on February 28, 1893, in the town of Colerain in Bertie County, North Carolina, to Samuel A. and Mary L. Freeman. Samuel Freeman was a farmer in Colerain. Riddick Freeman was inducted into military service for World War I at Windsor, N.C., on May 28, 1918. He was ordered to report to Camp Jackson, South Carolina.

Freeman was assigned to the 44th Company, 156th Depot Brigade, in which he served until June 23, 1918. After that date, he was transferred to Company 5, 305th Supply Train M.T.C., until he was discharged. He was appointed to the rank of private first class on March 15, 1919. Freeman served overseas from August 5, 1918, to June 24, 1919, and was honorably discharged on July 9, 1919.

By 1920, Riddick Freeman was living with his sister Nannie’s family, working as a laborer in a blacksmith shop in Colerain, N.C. By 1930, he was working as a stenographer for the state of North Carolina in Windsor, N.C. Freeman remained a bachelor for most of his life. At the age of 52, Riddick Freeman married Hazel Stroud on August 16, 1945, in Lenoir County, N.C. The Freemans lived in the city of Kinston in Lenoir County for the rest of their lives, where Riddick returned to his father’s profession as a farmer. Riddick N. Freeman died at the age of 87 on August 7, 1980, in Kinston, N.C., and was buried in Maplewood Cemetery in the same city.

To see Riddick Freeman’s original WWI photograph, check out his collection Riddick N. Freeman Photograph (WWI 23) held in the WWI Papers of the Military Collection at the State Archives of North Carolina in Raleigh, N.C.

This blog post is part of the State Archives of North Carolina’s World War I Social Media Project, an effort to bring original WWI archival materials to the public through the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources’ (NCDNCR) various social media platforms, in order to increase access to the items during the WWI centennial celebration by the state of North Carolina.

Between February 2017 and June 2019, the State Archives of North Carolina will be posting blog articles, Facebook posts, and Twitter posts, featuring WWI archival materials which are posted on the exact 100th anniversary of their creation during the war. Blog posts will feature interpretations of the content of WWI documents, photographs, diary entries, posters, and other records, including scans of the original archival materials, held by the State Archives of North Carolina, and will be featured in NCDNCR’s WWI centennial blog.