Merrill Freeman was born in Ohio in February 1844. He was a resident of Nevada for 18 years and moved to Tucson, Arizona in 1880. In 1884 he was appointed postmaster for the city of Tucson, but resigned this position in 1887 to accept the position as a cashier for the Bank of D. Henderson (this bank consolidated with the Bank of Tucson and eventually became the Consolidated National Bank). Freeman went on to establish the Santa Cruz Valley Bank. He became very notable and influential in Arizona’s financial history. He was also a member of Arizona Board of Regents for the University of Arizona for 16 years and served as its Chancellor for 10 years. In 1911, on nomination by the governor of the state, he was given the degree of LL. D. (honorary doctorate), "for constant and conspicuous service to the state and university, for devotion to every detail of his high office as regent and chancellor." Merrill freeman died in 1919.
Collection includes holograph and typescript letters, to and from Freeman, concerning personal matters, Apache Kid and various reminiscences of Apache attacks, camels in Arizona, and various incidents of law and order in frontier life, some of which were utilized by him in subsequent publications. Also includes letters from F.W. Hodge regarding Grossman's Pima vocabulary.