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Farley, Cal
B: 25 Dec 1895, Saxton, Iowa
D: 1967
M: Mimi Unknown

Cal Farley Essay:

Cal Farley Boy's Ranch, Cal Farley's Girlstown, U.S.A.

Kittson County Enterprise Newspaper article on August 7, 1996:

U. S. Government honors

former Humboldt resident,

Cal Farley, with postage stamp

Cal Farley recently joined the ranks of Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley.

Farley, a former Humboldt resident, received recognition from 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, who was a former Humboldt merchant and postmaster, Farley received the honor because 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 still had a lifetime interest in helping needy boys.

"His first love was working with boys, especially boys 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 in Amarillo. The ranch began with six boys living in the courthouse of Old Tascosa, a ghost town of 120 acres.

Farley once said, "Furnish a boy with a shirttail to 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, under the adult supervision, do most of the work," he said.

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

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

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

The ranch has its own accredited 12 grade school, providing students 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 program at the ranch. Farley, a well known baseball player, used to play with the semi-professional team sponsored by Walter Hill in Humboldt in 1911.

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

Members of the Humboldt baseball team during Farley's stay were Earl and Ernest Turner, Laurence Diamond, Fred and Eli Gooselaw, Herb Diamond, 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 continues to help homeless, troubled boys with its operation and policies guided by a board of directors consisted of 23 business and professional leaders.

There will be many new faces and changes at the ranch in years 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 him that . . . "It's easy to smile when someone cares."

Cal Farley founded the Legion in Humboldt in 1919. Members included 3 Heron boys, Howard Wilson, William Webster, Vic Clow, George Sylvester, Alfred Rustad Sr., and Shulty in bank.

Information on Cal Farley's Boys Ranch may be found at:

and -

Cal Farley's Boys Ranch and Cal Farley's Girlstown website
may be found at:

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Dennis L. Matthews
704 - 228th Avenue NE 232
Sammamish, WA 98074

Tel: 425-868-8838 - Fax: 425-836-0333