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U. S. government honors

former Humboldt resident,

Cal Farley, with postage stamp


Kittson County Enterprise Newspaper article,August 7, 1996


Cal Farley recently joined the ranks of Marilyn Monroeand Elvis Presley.

Farley, a former Humboldt resident, received recognitionfrom the United States Government with the printing of a postage stamp.

The stamp shows Farley's picture, name and the word humanitarian.

According to Robert Florance, son of James Florance, whowas a former Humboldt merchant and postmaster, Farley received the honorbecause of his work in founding the Cal Farley's Boys Ranch.

After leaving Humboldt, Farley ended up in Amarillo, Texas,where he went into the tire business.

Florance said Farley's business was successful but he stillhad a lifetime interest in helping needy boys.

"His first love was working with boys, especiallyboys from broken homes, or no homes, boys who were destined for reform schools,"Florance said.

In 1939, Farley founded the Cal Farley's Boys Ranch inAmarillo. The ranch began with six boys living in the courthouse of OldTascosa, a ghost town of 120 acres.

Farley once said, "Furnish a boy with a shirttailto hang onto and you'll never have to furnish him a room in the reformatory."

Florance said today the ranch has grown to a modern town,with over 35 buildings where 400 boys of all ages live and work.

"It is strictly a working ranch, where the boys, underthe adult supervision, do most of the work," he said.

The boys are paid for the work they do at the ranch andhave their own bank accounts at the ranch bank.

Florance said the boys use this money to buy clothes andfor entertainment.

Boys ranchers come from nearly every state and representa cross section of races, colors, religions and national origins.

The ranch has its own accredited 12 grade school, providingstudents with academic and vocational education.

"They are taught responsibility, work ethic and honesty,while having a home atmosphere, time to play and plenty of good food,"Florance said.

The boys are kept busy with a year round athletic programat the ranch. Farley, a well known baseball player, used to play with thesemi-professional team sponsored by Walter Hill in Humboldt in 1911.

Florance said he remembers Farley spending much of hisspare time working with kids, especially in the field of athletics.

Members of the Humboldt baseball team during Farley's staywere Earl and Ernest Turner, Laurence Diamond, Fred and Eli Gooselaw, HerbDiamond, Earl and Clarence Maxwell, Lomas Matthews, George Easter, Ed McVean,Lefty Jenkins, Bill Irving, M. Bouvette Red Cameron and Riley.

In 1967, Farley died. Cal Farley's Boys Ranch continuesto help homeless, troubled boys with its operation and policies guided bya board of directors consisted of 23 business and professional leaders.

There will be many new faces and changes at the ranch inyears to come but the heart of Cal Farley's Boys Ranch will remain the same.It will be ready to receive another boy and to teach hiim that . . . "It'seasy to smile when someone cares."

ch hiim that . . . "It'seasy to smile when someone cares."