Tutty Baker

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William "Tutty" Baker (1793-1855), credited as the founder of Freeport, Illinois, built a trading post on the banks of the Pecatonica River. A generous man, Baker began operating a free ferry across the river and even invited travelers into his home for meals and lodging.[1] According to one story, Freeport earned its name after Baker's wife, Elizabeth Baker, asked him if his river port was a "Free Port", because of the number of people he didn't charge to ferry across the river.[2]

Freeport celebrates the founder of the town with Tutty Baker days in the downtown area.

A monument to him was erected in Freeport by the Daughters of the American Revolution.[3]


  1. ^ "History of Freeport". City of Freeport. Retrieved 15 January 2013. 
  2. ^ Illinois, written by the Federal Writer's Project of the Work Projects Administration for the State of (1939). Illinois; a descriptive and historical guide. St. Clair Shores, Mich.: Somerset Publishers. pp. 520–521. ISBN 0403012929. 
  3. ^ "Tutty Baker Monument". Freeport/Stephenson County Convention & Visitors Bureau. Retrieved 15 January 2013. 

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