Search billions of records on

FARLEY, Thomas
Portrait & Biographical Record Winnebago & Boone Cos., IL. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1892, pp 934-936

The subject of this sketch was born 12 Jan 1834, in Morgan County, OH, and at the present time resides on section 17, Flora Township, Boone County [IL].  His father, James FARLEY, was born 30 Nov 1804, in Marshall County (the Panhandle district), WV, while his father, Andrew FARLEY, was a native of York County, PA, his birth occurring in 1749.   The great grandparents, Thomas and Jennie (FINLEY) FARLEY, emigrated from the North of Ireland from the vicinity of Boyce, the former having taken part in the battle and siege of that place in behalf of the Protestants.

Andrew FARLEY, the grandfather, was a man of influence and wealth, and took an active part in expelling the Indians from the western part of PA and OH.  During that period, for some unknown cause, he lost his property, and thus his family of three daughters and four sons were thrown upon their own resources and the charities of the world at the time of his decease in 1813.  Thomas, one of the sons, who now makes his home in Pittsburg [Pittsburgh, Allegany County], PA, at the age of 91 years, pursued the cabinet maker's trade for a number of years, or until his ambition led him into politics.  He was the incumbent of the offices of Clerk of the Court, Sheriff, Postmaster, etc., on the Democratic side, and was an able stump speaker; his sons and son-in-laws are in the employ of the Pittsburg, Ft. Wayne & Chicago Railroad Company, holding the respective positions of Auditor, Clerk, Division Superintendent and Civil Engineer, one of his sons having been Auditor for 25 years.

James FARLEY, the second son of Andrew, and the father of our subject, learned the trade of a brick maker, which he followed successfully until 24 years of age, pursuing the calling in [p 935] Pittsburg and Washington [probably Washington in Washington County, not the one in Cumberland County], PA, where he spent the most of his youth and early manhood.   At the age of 24 he emigrated to Eastern OH, where he was first engaged in farming, and later in selling goods and operating a mill, until 20 Oct 1853, when he removed to Cherry Valley [Winnebago County, IL].  In that vincinity he carried on his farm, and was engaged in mercantile pursuits for some 20 years, or until he retired from active business.

James FARLEY's surroundings during his early youth and manhood were unfavorable, but the foundations of his true and noble manhood were so laid in his nature as not to be removed by adverse surroundings.  He borrowed copies of Plutarch's Lives, Pope's Translation of Homer's Iliad, the poems of Burns, and the lives of Franklin and Washington, and as opportunity offered, read these standard and useful works in connection with his Bible.   Being possessed of a political turn of mind and fine retentive memory, he made these few volumes do the service of a good library.  He, in oppostion to his brother, was a Whig, casting his first vote for Henry Clay, and on the organization of the Republican party, voted for its candidates, although his sympathies were with the Prohibitionists.  He joined the Christian Church when young and had the pleasure of seeing his family and many of his friends become identified with that church.  He died at the home of his son in Flora [Boone County, IL], 27 Jan 1890, aged 85 years and three months.

Joseph, the third son of Andrew FARLEY, died at Barnesville [Belmont County], OH, in 1840.   David, the fourth son, was drowned at Beverly [Washington County], OH, 04 Jul 1840.   Hannah CRAIG, the eldest daughter, who was the mother of six sons and three daughters, died in 1854 at Claysville [County], PA.  One of her sons is an attorney at Keokuk [Lee County], IA; one, now deceased, was President of Jefferson College, PA; another is now a member of Congress; one died while teaching in the South; the youngest is a merchant of Claysville [Washington County], PA, while the remaining son is farming at Reserve [Brown County], KS.  Sarah, the second daughter, died in 1883 at Marietta [Washington County], OH, in the vicinity of which her large family of descendants now reside.  Drusilla, the youngest, did near Beverly [Washington County], OH, in 1882.   The average age of the five older members of James FARLEY's family was 81 and a quarter years.

The grandmother of Thomas FARLEY bore the maiden name of Hannah TEMPLETON.  Her ancestors emigrated from Scotland and located at Oldtown [Allegany or Kent County], MD.   Mrs. FARLEY died near Wheeling [Ohio County], WV, in 1825.  Thomas TAYLOR, the maternal grandfather, was born at Wigan, near Manchester, England, 24 Apr 1766.  His wife, Margaret NEVEL, was born 23 Dec 1771, and was married 01 Jan 1793.  She became the mother of 10 children:  John (born in 1794), Mary (1796), Betsey (1798), Mary (1800); Ellen, born in 1802, the mother of Thomas FARLEY; Thomas (1804), Ann (1807), Peter (1809), James L. (1810), and Sarah (1818).

Thomas TAYLOR early showed indications of unusual musical talent and compiled a musical work.  He was a tradesman, or merchant, in England, until attaining his 49th year, when with his family he emigrated to America, setting sail from Liverpool on Easter Sunday, and landing in Philadelphia eleven weeks later.  [By calculation, Thomas TAYLOR would have been 49 years of age on 24 Apr 1815.  Easter Sunday occurred on 26 Mar 1815.  Assuming the Western calendar was used, and assuming the author meant that he was 49 years of age before beginning the voyage (did not become 49 years old during the voyage), Thomas TAYLOR would not have been 49 years of age until Easter of 1816, and therefore left Liverpool on 14 Apr 1816, arriving 11 weeks later in Philadelphia the week 30 Jun 1816 to 06 Jul 1816.  If instead he became 49 years of age during the voyage, he would have left on Easter Sunday, 26 Mar 1815, and arrived in Philadelphia the week of 11-17 Jun 1815.]  They crossed the Alleghany mountains with teams to Pittsburg, at which place they took passage down the Ohio River upon keel boats, landing at Marietta [Washington County], OH.  Going back into the almost unbroken forest about 15 miles, Mr. TAYLOR established a home, erecting a log house which later gave way to a brick dwelling.  For 38 years this spot was their home, or until their decease in 1852, their deaths occurring only about 10 days apart.

In 1848 eight of the family were married and located within a radius of six miles of the old homestead.  The youngest one died at the age of 49.  The average ages of the ten was 71 years, four of the number having lived to be over 80 years of age.

Peter TAYLOR went to KY to prepare himself to be a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which State he remained until his decease, which occurred near Ghent, on the Ohio River, in 1867.  [Ghent is in Carroll County, KY.]  Two of the family are still living:  James L., of Flora [Boone County, IL], and Ann BACON, of Sioux City [Woodbury County], IA.  Of their grandchildren, 57 grew to manhood and womanhood, 40 of whom are living, whose average ages are about 49 years.  [p 936]

The children comprised in the family of James and Ellen (TAYLOR) FARLEY were:  (1)   Hannah, who was born in 1828, and married William  KIRKLAND; (2)  Sarah, who was born in 1830, became the wife of Philip HECKMAN; (3)  Elizabeth, born in 1832, married B. B. HOVEY; (4)  Thomas, born in 1834; (5)  Mary Carpenter [unknown to submitter if Carpenter is a middle or married name], now deceased, born in 1836; (6)  Lucy, born in 1854, married Austin G. SPRAGUE, who was killed in 1863, in a charge on Champion Hill in the War of the Rebellion.  Mrs. SPRAGUE was married again to John BROOKS.  [See also the Boone County biography of John BROOKS.]   (7)  Maria L., who was born in 1840, is now Mrs. KEITH; (8)  Beccie, now Mrs. DUNWELL, and (9) Nellie.  Beccie and Nellie were twins, born in 1843.  The latter became the wife of Captain J. W. HICKS, of the regular army, who died of yellow fever in LA, in 1867.  Three years later, Mrs. HICKS was married to Edwin Thomas IRONMASTER, at Portland [Cumberland County], ME, who died in 1872, and in 1881 his widow became the wife of David ECKERT, of Topeka [Shawnee County], KS.  (10)  Carrie, the youngest of the family, who was born in 1849, is now Mrs. E. T. FROWE.  There are 37 grandchildren living, five of whom are attorneys, three physicians, nine students, five farmers (or farmers' wives), three clerks, two merchants, and one engineer.  Ellen (TAYLOR) FARLEY, the mother of Thomas FARLEY, died in Cherry Valley [Winnebago County, IL], 25 Oct 1880, aged 78 years.  The average of ages of the nine now living of the family is 55 years.

Thomas FARLEY, the subject of this sketch, was married 25 Dec 1859 to Lottie E. SPRAGUE, of Washington County, OH, whose distant ancestors, Jonathan and Joshua SPRAGUE, were among the first colonists of New England.  Mr. and Mrs. FARLEY were the parents of two daughters:  Euretta H., born 10 Nov 1860, who died in Feb 1886, and Marietta, who was born in Feb 1862, and died 10 Jan 1863.  The wife and mother departed this life on 23 Jul 1865.

The lady whom Mr. FARLEY chose as this second wife was Mrs. Jennie P. (HAYDON) HOUGHTON, their marriage being celebrated 03 Sep 1868, at Galva [Henry County], IL.  She died 05 Nov 1880.  Her ancestor on the paternal side, William HAYDON, emigrated from England to Fayette County, PA, which place was their home for some five generations, his descendants there being as follows:  John, and two in succession by the name of Jonathan.  Her father's name was Jonathan Jefferson.  The family lived for a time in Maysville [Mason County], KY, emigrating from there to IN, and thence to Fulton County, IL.  Mrs. FARLEY's mother's name was REEVES.  Her family were from VA, while she was born in Fountain County, IN.  Her only son, Professor F. A. HOUGHTON, is a graduate of Cambridge University, and for a number of years was Professor of Natural Sciences in the Englewood High School; Eunice and Eugenia, her twin daughters, born in Cherry Valley [Winnebago County, IL] 13 May 1870, are students of Hillsdale College.   These two daughters are the only children Mr. FARLEY has living.  In addition to her fine natural abilities, Mrs. FARLEY had considerable training in music and other accomplishments.

Submitted by Cathy Kubly.