The Valley of Heart's Delight


Bio- Sawyers

  A well-educated, genial gentleman, who is now living retired from active service, is Freeman H. Kemp, a Civil War veteran, who has led a most active and useful life. He was born on September 29, 1837, in Boston, Mass., and entered public school at the age of six years. In 1855 he went to sea on a whaler, cruising in the South Pacific Ocean, then took a trip to the West Coast of Africa. On April 10, 1861, two days before the call of 75,000 recruits, he enlisted in Company C, Third United States Infantry, and his regiment served as bodyguard for General McClellan for many months. During his service he was under McClellan, Burnside, Hooker and Meade and remained in the Army of the Potomac during the entire rebellion. In April, 1864, the company in which he was serving was reduced to twenty men and sent to New York on a recruiting expedition. He was honorably discharged at Fort Columbus, N. Y., but remained there only a short time when he reenlisted in Company E, Forty-second Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, and went to Fort Alexander, Va., across from Washington, D.C. Five months later he was honorably discharged at Reedsville, Mass.

  In November, 1865, at Independence, Iowa, Mr. Kemp was married to Miss Flora E. Root, born at Worcester, Mass., on December 1, 1848, who removed to Iowa in 1864 with her parents. Mr. and Mrs. Kemp are the parents of three children: Charles Grant came West with his parents and passed away on June 30, 1920; Alice E. is the wife of A. J. Beaty and they have four children and reside at Paso Robles; Herbert Lincoln is married and has one child and they reside at Healdsburg.

  Early in 1873 Mr. Kemp removed with his family to Knox County, Nebr., which was at that time a pioneer country and they took up a homestead and farmed until 1894. During the severe floods of 1881 he cared for sixteen sufferers and Mr. Root cared for twenty-four. His farm consisted of 120 acres and was devoted to the raising of grain and stock. In 1894 he removed to Paradise Valley and was one of the pioneers who bought a tract of uncultivated land, covered with oak trees, which he cleared, developed and set to orchard, which he disposed of in 1919. On his forty acres, ten of which was in orchard, he developed a spring that never has ceased to flow. The family then removed to Morgan Hill and invested in several pieces of property. Mrs. Kemp is active in club life at Morgan Hill and belongs to the W. C. T. U. and Civic Club.

  In politics Mr. Kemp is a stalwart Republican and rejoices in the fact that he voted for Abraham Lincoln and was in attendance at this second inauguration and was a member of the guard, one of the very few surviving members of that body; he was in Washington the night of Lincoln's assassination. A brother, Stephen B. Kemp, served in the Tenth Massachusetts Infantry and was wounded seven times; another brother, George H., was on the Frigate Congress, destroyed by the Merrimac; Frank E. Kemp, the youngest brother, was wounded and captured and held prisoner at Libby Prison and later was removed to Andersonville, where he met death by starvation. It is not to be wondered at that Mr. Kemp loves peace and hates war with a vengeance. Of a sunny, philosophical, optimistic, common-sense temperament, Mr. Kemp is a good neighbor and a good friend, and is always appreciated by those who know his character and his conversational powers as good company.

Transcribed by Joseph Kral, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,
 published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 1404