New Jersey is the only state where elected county officials are called "freeholders." Most other states elect a county commission or county council. Freeholders are elected to preside over their county governments. Among the many essential services provided by County government are higher education, road and bridge maintenance, parks and recreation, social services, employment training, consumer advocacy, recording of deeds and wills, curbside recycling and much more.
One who has a freehold estate, by holding the land by fee simple, which is to hold a piece of property outright with no other claims on it. In colonial times, a freeholder had the right to vote and hold public office.
defined in 1684 as "a person who holds lands, tenements or hereditaments for his owne life, for the life of his wife, or for the life of any other person or persons." \(Hening, comp. Statutes at Large,III,26.) Subsequent acts redefined the definition to male, twenty-one years of age or older, with a freehold of twenty-five acres with a house, or one hundred acres without a house, and excluded convicted recusants. \(Ibid, III, 172-75, 236-46 IV, 475-78)