Freeport is located in northern Illinois in Stephenson County (of which it is the county seat) about 25 miles west of Rockford along U.S. Highway 20. The population estimate for July 1, 1998 was 25,806, a decrease of 34 since 1990. The town's pretzel moniker was derived in 1869 when the Billerbeck Bakery flooded Freeport with pretzels.
Freeport was the host for the second of eight Abraham Lincoln-Stephen A. Douglas debates in 1858. A life-sized statue--"Lincoln and Douglas in Debate"--commemorates the site. Another statue in town--"Lincoln, the Debater Statue"--honors the former President.
Recreation is plentiful in the area and revolves around the Pecatonica River and Park Hills Golf Course, a 36-hole complex open to the public.
The town is home to Highland Community College and the Freeport Arts Center.