Former mayor Freund to be recognized with honorary street sign

McHENRY –People would always stop by George P. Freund’s business to talk to him and get his advice, his grandson said.

Despite only having a fourth-grade education, Freund, who died in 1979 at age 82, was a respected businessman and involved in the community.

The intersection of Green and Main streets will be designated “Honorary George P. Freund Way” in recognition of the McHenry native, who lived most of his adult life on Green Street.

“He’s truly been a tremendous member of the community and raised his children to be active members of the community and even his grandchildren,” Alderwoman Geri Condon said Monday evening before the council voted unanimously to approve the designation.

Freund was a city alderman from 1935 to 1948; was mayor for the next four years; served on the McHenry Public Library District Board for 32 years, including a stint as its president; and served on the McHenry Hospital Board for 11 years and was its president for 12.

He also was involved in a lengthy list of fraternal and service-oriented organizations.

His business, George P. Freund Inc., was located at 4102 W. Crystal Lake Road, where Main Street meets Crystal Lake Road. McCann Industries currently occupies the site, doing much the same work that Freund’s company did for the 61 years it operated.

Mike Freund remembers going down to the shop when he was a kid.

His father, Bob “Beef” Freund, and his uncles George M. and Jim Freund were busy as they took over the family business, but his grandfather, George P. Freund, would always take the time to work with the grandchildren.

He showed them how to assemble lawn and garden tractors and hay equipment.

“It was always about teaching a lesson,” Mike Freund said. “One of the things he would instill in us is, if you’re going to do it, do it right.”