LaSalle County


The gentleman whose name appears above was one of the oldest and best known citizens in LaSalle county, Illinois, where he resided after 1856.

Mr. Farnham was born in Marseilles, Onondaga county, New York, September 7, 1815, a son of Amasa and Rachel (Perry) Farnham. Amasa Farnham was a native of Massachusetts, a son of Reuben Farnham, who was a Revolutionary soldier. The latter moved from Massachusetts to Vermont and subsequently to New York. The family were poor and the father of our subject when a boy was "bound out," and at the age of fifteen went as a bound boy to New York state, where he grew to manhood and married. His first wife died when their son Perry was two years old, and, besides him, left four other children - Hiram, John, Alice and Sophia. The father was afterward married again, and in New York spent the rest of his life and died.

His father a farmer, the subject of our sketch was reared to agricultural pursuits, remaining a member of the home circle until he was twenty-two years old. He then hired out as a farm hand, and not long afterward went to Ridgeway, New York, and secured a position as a clerk in a store, in which capacity he served four years. After his marriage, which event occurred in the spring of 1842, he engaged in farming in Cayuga county, New York, and gave his attention to agricultural pursuits there for twelve years. On coming to LaSalle county, Illinois, in 1856, he first settled in Ophir township, where lie soon ranked with its successful farmers and where he lived until 1888, when he moved to Earlville, and here lived retired till his death occurred. He disposed of his home farm, but owned eighty acres in Iowa at the time of his death.

Mr. Farnham was married in April, 1842, to Miss Mary Ann Bishop, who died in 1860, leaving two children: Don B., still at home, and Dorr B., engaged in farming in Iowa. July 27, 1863, Mr. Farnham married Miss Nancy McGregor, a native of Mifflin county, Pennsylvania, born February 1, 1823, a daughter of James McGregor. Her father and brother, Joseph, came to Illinois and settled in LaSalle county in 1852, and she joined them here in 1857.

Mr. Farnham was a hard worker all his life, and it was to his energy and his good management that his success in life was due. Politically he was a Republican. July 23, 1899, he passed to the great beyond, leaving a widow and two sons to mourn his loss; and numerous friends hold him in affectionate memory.

Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 395-396.

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