Freeholders of Yesterday

Meet the Morris County Freeholders of Yesterday.

What was a Freeholder?

Morris County government in its early days was governed exclusively by “free men”; men who owned property without debt.

A part-time position, to be fitted between the work of survival in previous times. Responsibilities included “Over-criers of the Poor”, and serving in the militia.

Board of Chosen Freeholders

A brief look at what was the Chosen Board of Freeholders:

  • First created in 1798
  • Freeholders of the Eighteenth Century must serve a term of sheriff, or pay a fine
  • In 1972, the number of freeholders was limited to seven.

As of January 2020, this group is now called the Board of County Commissioners.

Who is a Freeholder?

Read about the current County Commissioners making history today.

This informative site contains information for political historical research; meeting minutes and agendas.

Although the definition, responsibilities and number of Freeholders has evolved over the years in Morris County government, there appears to be a single, common constant: a life of service.

Contribute to Our History

The Office of Planning and Preservation is researching our governmental history. This research is on-going, and as in other historical research, records remain elusive. On behalf of the Board of Chosen Freeholders past and present, thank you for your continued support of your history.

If you have any information to contribute for Morris County’s Meet the Freeholders of Yesterday, please send us an e-mail.

On December 22, 2014, based on this list, the Morris County Freeholder Board dedicated a “Wall of Service” which contains plaques to all known Morris County Freeholders. The “Wall of Service” is located on the fifth floor of the Morris County Administration Building.