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Brother Farris was a son of James and Martha Allison Farris, and was born in Wythe County, Virginia, October 27, 1842, and died in Pulaski county, Virginia, November 17, 1909, at the age of 67 years and 21 days.


Brother Farris was twice married.

His first marriage was to Virginia Sarah Jennings, daughter of William and Ruth Bolt Jennings of Carroll County, Virginia. Her father was familiarly known among Primitive Baptists as "Old Uncle' Billy Jennings." To this union were born five sons (one long since deceased) and two daughters. The names of the living are: Frank and Hulbert Harris, of Mecca. Va.; Henry Farris Snowville, Va.; John Farris, of Pulaski, Va.; Mrs. Josie Allison, of Delton, Virginia; and Miss Rhoda Farris, who is an inmate of the Asylum for the insane, at Marion Virginia.


His second marriage was to Miss Louvenie Kemp, daughter of John and Mary J. Reece Kemp, of Carroll County. Virginia, December 5, 1906; and to this union were born two sons. The first just bloomed in time to ripen in eternity. Henry, the babe, is still living.


Brother Farris lived happily with his first companion for more than thirty-nine years. He was married, by the writer, to his second wife, just forty years from the date of his first marriage. Be was blessed with two good companions, who looked well to their household and ate not the bread of idleness. He, himself, was a very industrious man, and was blessed with a great deal of this world's goods. Be owned fine real estate on Big Reed Island, with a good monthly income from the Pulaski Iron Co., for his interest in mineral property. Be also raised his children to know how to make their living by the sweat of the face. But, before his death, he gave them all a good home.


He was a soldier of the Civil war, loyal and true to his country, and never abandoned his post of duty, and was widely known in the business circles of life.


Brother Ferris lived for about fifty-seven years in sin and rebellion against God, apparently unmindful of a future state. The writer well remembers passing his home and viewing his residence, without any anticipation of its ever becoming a home for the Primitive Baptists. But God, who works all things after the counsel of his own will, for the good of his children and to his own declarative glory. in the year 1901, arrested him, by some supernatural power, and caused him to become exceedingly distressed on account of his sins. During that year the writer and Elders G. A. Reid and Dr. Hurst had some appointments in his neighborhood. The dear old brother was always on hand and manifested great interest in the meetings. In, September, if I am not, mistaken, I received a note from Miss Josie, stating that her father requested me come to the next meeting. I went, about the second Sunday in September; and, after preaching on the bank of Big Reed Island, he came forward and related an experience of grace and was heartily received for baptism. And on Saturday before the first Sunday in October, 1901, his first wife joined at her home, and the next day, were baptized together. It was a cold, frosty morning; and he took off his coat and waited for sometime before his baptism; and, after he was baptized, he did not seem to suffer from cold. Winter soldiers are not apt to fail. His second wife is not a, member of our church, although I think she is a Christian lady ; and my advice to her would be to go home to her friends (the church). Brother and Sister Farris took their membership to Bethel.


But in a few months he began stir, ring the winds of the brethren about building a house for worship in his neighborhood; and, in a short time, a site was located on his land where Reed Island church now stands as a memorial of his liberality and blessing to the community. The writer heard him say that, if the brethren and friends would help to build the house it would be alright; but, if not, he would build it himself. And I think the greater part of the building expenses was borne by him; and, when the new church at Reed Island was constituted, he and Sister Farris took letters from Bethel and went into the constitution.


He was a faithful to attend his church meetings as long as he lived, and was not one who forsook the assemblage of the saints. He contended earnestly for the faith which was once delivered to him. And, while he had his faults, he was ever ready for the correction of his brethren, considering that open rebuke was better than secret love. After he joined the church his doors were always open to the brethren; and, as it seemed, he was never satisfied unless some of them went home with him. The writer can truly say that he was good to him, and administered to him liberally of his carnal things.


The last church meeting he was ever at was on the third Sunday in October, l909; and the writer preached the last sermon he ever heard. About one week later, he took very ill of some fatal disease, and died so suddenly that I did not get to see him during his illness. He told his nurse that he had never enjoyed a better meeting in his life, than the last he was ever at. David said. "Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, 0 Lord, in the light of thy Countenance."


.And, notwithstanding our dear brother was treated by two good physicians and a trained nurse, and bad all done for him that loving hands could do, they could not stay the appointment of God; and, on November 17, 1909, he, as we believe, fell asleep in .Jesus and is now where the wicked cease from troubling and the weary are at rest. Ii e left a bereaved widow, four sons, two daughters, (by his first I wife), and aged brothel' land, many other relatives and friends, and the church, to mourn his los~, but not without hope.


May God bless his widow and Children, if it be his holy will, and prepare them to meet death in the triumphs of faith.


The church has lost a useful member, the widow a good husband, the children a good father, and the community a good citizen, in the death of our dear brother. "But the Lord giveth and taketh away, and blessed be the name of the Lord.  


His funeral was preached. by the writer, at his home church, on Friday before the third Sunday in November, 1909, to a large and attentive audience. Then his body was laid to rest by the side of his first wife, to await the resurrection, when God shall descend with a shout, and the dead in Christ shall arise.


Hiwassee, Va.