Local Family Histories
'Working to preserve the rich heritage of the Temecula Valley'
Today We Honor Temecula's Freda Knott
Freda Knott at Sunday School, 1965
   The year was 1923 and Missionary Lloyd E. Hansen of Etiwanda Calif., organizer of the Temecula Union School appointed Freda Knott of that town to be superintendent of the Sunday School. . . and today, over forty years later this woman is still serving her beloved community in that capacity.

    She has seen the coming and going, in the parishioner field of such men as Lewis Rankin, now a missionary in Peru; Roy R. Perry, who was the school's missionary for twenty-five years until his death on December 6, 1964; Mr. C. Fountain; Rev. John Hull, of Escondido and the present missionary in charge from Escondido, Elwood Robinson, formerly of New Jersey.

    Freda recalls when Mr. Perry organized reunions of the Sunday schools in the area and they would meet at the different schools, including several reunions of Temecula.

    The building itself has quite a record for it is the first schoolhouse in Temecula and over the years underwent the transition from a school to its present day use, Temecula Union Sunday School, with few modern improvements.

    The interior of the building, see photo, has the belfry and any Sunday morning you will hear it toll its call to worship, with Aunt Freda, as she is affectionately known, pulling on the long rope.

    Inside you will find the high windows and doors that were used many years ago when the building was constructed.

    Local residents such as Ed Freeman and Ira Rail have given the building a lift with new cement steps and tile flooring.

    The "Old Organ" that was recently taken to the home of one of the Knott's relatives. The organ originally came from the John Knott homestead in South Dakota along with the rest of their furnishings when the family "went west, young man." John is the father of Al, Freda's husband. At present in the church is an old piano, but the members of the Sunday School are planning on purchasing a new piano. . . oh, yes, along with being superintendent, Mrs. Knott is pianist.

    Looking through the Sunday School records it was discovered that three funerals and three weddings were held from there.

    The townspeople of Temecula have shown this charming lady and her husband their appreciation for her efforts in helping others.

    For instance, ten years ago, with the assistance of Betty Otto and the entire community, the Truth or Consequence Show was put on with Freda Knott as guest of honor, much to the surprise of this grand lady. It seems for months the town buzzed around, aiding the crew of the program and getting everything in order and Aunt Freda, being her typical self, minded her own business and did not know a thing about it until show time.

    At Christmas, 1964, the folks of Temecula surprised the Knotts with an appreciation program and in June of last year, the Revue carried the story of how the entire town turned out to celebrate the Knotts' fiftieth wedding anniversary and as their gift from the people, they received the installation of a telephone with the bill paid in full for one year.

    Many other people, we realize, deserve credit for keeping the Sunday School operating, but today, we'll honor just one. . .Temecula's Freda Knott.

La Laguna Revue Volume IV February-March 1965