Jane Charlotte <I>Shields</I> Freeman

Jane Charlotte Shields Freeman

Iredell County, North Carolina, USA
Death 23 Mar 2018 (aged 96)
Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota, USA
Burial Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota, USA
Plot Section 30 Lot 317 Grave 2
Memorial ID 188257907 · View Source
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Former first lady of Minnesota (1955-1960) who along with her husband Orville Lothrop Freeman and future vice president Hubert H Humphrey was instrumental in establishing the Democratic Farmer Labor Party of Minnesota. Born in Statesville, she was the second of five children of a teacher and labor organizer. Her father was of Scotch-Irish descent, her mother of Swiss-German and English. Her maternal grandparents were Moravian missionaries. The family relocated to Minnesota in 1936. She graduated Marshall High School in Minneapolis in June 1937, two weeks before she turned 16. “So I was young and different. But I also had a southern accent,” she stated in an oral-history interview. She received a partial scholarship to Hamline University in St. Paul but for convenience and financial reasons started at the University of Minnesota in the fall of 1937 to study political science. She was treasurer of her sorority, Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women, and secretary of the All-University Council, the only woman to be chosen the first year she was elected to the position. There she met Orville. In her junior year, she served as president of the Women’s Self-Government Association of Minnesota. She graduated in 1941. She was awarded the Clara Ueland Fellowship to pursue graduate studies in public administration. Orville had enlisted in the Marine Corps, and she followed him to the East Coast instead. They were married in Washington DC on May 2, 1942. She also joined Orville in California later. When he was deployed, Jane moved back to Washington and worked in the office of the Secretary of War. After World War II, the family, including their two children, returned to Minnesota where Orville continued to pursue a law degree and where he worked for Hubert H Humphrey, his longtime friend and mayor of Minneapolis. Jane became a member of the League of Women Voters and helped organize the DFL Party. Her political activities increased. Orville was elected Minnesota’s first DFL governor in 1954. He and Jane traveled extensively throughout the world to promote Minnesota. Jane converted the Dome Club, a luncheon group for wives of legislators, to a circle that visited state institutions. She hosted her weekly television show “Mrs. Freeman Reads Her Mail” where she read constituents’ letters about various topics. When Orville was appointed US Secretary of Agriculture, he and Jane returned to Washington. Jane presided over a major fundraiser for John F Kennedy’s presidential campaign there. She worked with the United Nations and UNICEF. From 1978 to 1984, Jane was president of the National Girl Scout Council. The couple later returned to Minnesota. Orville passed away in 2003. By the time of her death, Jane had seen 75% of the world’s countries.

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  • Created by: Emmi
  • Added: 24 Mar 2018
  • Find A Grave Memorial 188257907
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Jane Charlotte Shields Freeman (25 May 1921–23 Mar 2018), Find A Grave Memorial no. 188257907, citing Lakewood Cemetery, Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota, USA ; Maintained by Emmi (contributor 49113532) .