O'FARRELL, David McDonald
Portrait & Biographical Record Winnebago & Boone Cos., IL. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1892, pp 911-912 (Portrait p 910)
Rev. David McDonald O'FARRELL, now residing in Winnebago County [IL], was born 15 Dec 1809 in Pompey, Onondaga County, NY. William O'FARRELL, his father, was a native of NY, and being an orphan when an infant, was adopted into the family of a lady who bore the name of McDONALD. She later married a Mr. PARMALEE, residing near Rome [Oneida or Essex County], NY.
The father of our subject learned the trade of a shoemaker, and after his marriage resided for a few years in Pompey, and later removed to Spafford [Onondaga County, NY]. There he purchased 100 acres of heavily timbered land, from which he cleared a farm, and there resided until his decease in Dec 1863, when in his 78th year. The mother of our subject in those early days carded and spun wool and flax, and thus dressed her children in homespun material. She bore the maiden name of Dina TURBUSH, and was born in Dutchess County [NY]. She was the mother of ten children, and departed this life on the home farm in the town of Spafford.
The brothers and sisters of our subject were: Jeremiah, Francis A., William McDonald, John W., Elihue, Maria, Catherine, Cornelia, and Henry T. [For additional information on Maria O'FARRELL, see the Winnebago County, IL, biography of Alanson J. BENHAM.] David, of this sketch, received his education in the pioneer schools of Onondaga County, and assisted his father in performing the farm duties until 16 years old, when he commenced to learn the trade of a carriage maker in Preble, Cortland County, [NY], completing his apprenticeship at Amber, Onondaga County. He did journeyman work for a time, and when 22 years of age attended school during the winter months, and later took a year's course at the Cazenovia Seminary. He abandoned his studies for six months on account of ill health, and on again resuming them entered Genesee Wesleyan Seminary, where he remained nine months.
Mr. O'FARRELL was then engaged in teaching and in working at his trade until 1836, when he joined the Oneida Annual Conference. He was licensed as a local preacher while at the Genesee Wesleyan Seminary, was ordained Deacon in 1838, at Ithaca [Tompkins County, NY], and Elder, in 1840, at Cazenovia [Madison County, NY]. He preached in different places in NY State for 15 years, but on account of ill health was compelled to abandon the ministry and purchase a farm of 15 acres, adjoining his father's estate in the town of Spafford, and there engaged in farming. To this he added from time to time until in 1863 he had 78 acres.
In 1863 Rev. David O'FARRELL disposed of his interests in NY, and coming to IL, purchased his present home in Winnebago County. On 04 Sep 1836 he was married to Adeline WHITNEY, whose birth occurred in NY, 11 Jan 1812. She was a daughter of William and Clarinda (FRENCH) WHITNEY, and departed this life 02 Jul 1879. Our subject is the father of three children by this marriage: Adeline E., the wife of Menzes STEBBINS; William M.; and Noah P. He has also 13 granchildren living. The second marriage of our subject occurred in 1880, at which time Eunice J. (SHEDD) HUDSON became his wife. She was born in Sardinia, Erie County, NY, 14 Aug 1826, and was a daughter of Andrew W. and Emily (HARRIS) SHEDD, and the widow of Richmond L. HUDSON.
Mrs. O'FARRELL's father was a native of VT, and when a young man removed to Erie County, NY, where he bought a tract of timberland from the Holland Purchase Company. There he cleared a farm in the wilderness, erected a good set of frame buildings, and resided until his decease in 1882, at the advanced age of 92 years. His wife, who was a native of NY [p 912], died two years previously, when in her 82nd year. Mrs. O'FARRELL was first married, in 1850, to Richmond HUDSON, immediately after which she came to Winnebago County, where Mr. HUDSON had purchased property in 1842. He was also the owner of land at Westfield Corners, but on selling that property, purchased a farm about a half mile southwest of the village, where he was engaged in farming until his death in 1863. The son born of this marriage, Frederick HUDSON, is a graduate of the Cleveland (Ohio) Medical College, and is engaged in the practice of his profession at Hoosick Falls [Rensselaer County], NY.
Rev. O'FARRELL is a man of broad intelligence, and maintains a deep interest in the welfare of the community. While residing in Spafford, NY, he was elected Justice of the Peace three times, the last time being chosen by the unanimous vote of the people. He was for many years an adherent of the Republican party, but is now a stanch Prohibitionist.
Submitted by Cathy Kubly.