The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

January 5, 2014

Preserver of history: Freeman remembered as an activist for Enid

ENID, Okla. — A woman remembered for her activism to preserve Enid history will be memorialized Monday at Central Christian Church.

Ruth Wiles Freeman was the founder of the Heritage League of Enid and the Keeper of the Plains Foundation. She died Tuesday at 85.

The daughter of Carl and Maude Adams Wiles, Ruth spent her early childhood in Pawnee, then attended junior high and high school in Enid. After graduating from Stanford University, she married Woody Howle in 1957.

She made her home in Dallas until 1976, when she married Boyd Freeman and the pair made their home in Enid.

“Ruth Freeman really was the mother of historic preservation in Enid,” said Becky Cummings, of the Kenwood Historic District.

Freeman’s work on behalf of Enid history and with the Friends of the Library garnered her the March of Dimes Women of Achievement award.

Freeman’s work to preserve the south side of Enid’s town square was featured in a Dec. 1, 1982, article in the Enid Daily Eagle. She worked to have the buildings preserved and renovated instead of torn down. Freeman made numerous presentations on behalf of saving the buildings.

“She was the one who found out that the Land Office at Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center was the original land office,” Cummings said.

The original land office had been built around, becoming part of another building, Cummings said.

Freeman’s obituary appears on page A13 of today’s Enid News & Eagle.

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