Oconto County WIGenWeb Project
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MEN of EARLY OCONTO COUNTY


Researched, written and contributed by: Doug Farnsworth  


 Descendants of George Farnsworth

1825 - 1913

 Vemont, Illinois, Wisconsin


Introduction

There were two successful, well known men by the name George Farnsworth in early Oconto County, Wisconsin, history.  Although both came from different backgrounds, since the ancestry of both goes back to the state of Vermont, it is suspected, but not proven, that they were related.

This George Farnsworth was a prominent citizen of Oconto, Wi and Chicago, Il.  He was the owner of the Oconto Company and the Farnsworth Library at Oconto was named after him.  George, Diantha(1st wife), Johanna(mother) and two daughters are buried at the Evergreen Cemetery in Oconto, Wi.  George died in Chicago in 1913 but had still maintained a residence in Oconto.

George Farnsworth's son, George James Farnsworth, lived in Chicago but was a Chicago Lumber and Insurance Executive at the time of his death in 1941.  He was the President of the Oconto Company, The Bay De Noquet Company of Nahma, Mi and the Michigan Company of Manistigue.  He was also Treasurer and Director of the Lumberman's Mutual Casualty Company of Chicago.  This George Farnsworth donated $15000 to the Public Library in Oconto, Wisconsin, and in 1903 it was dedicated as the Farnsworth Public Library.


Generation No. 1

 

1.  GEORGE4 FARNSWORTH  (JAMES3, JAMES2, JOSIAH1) was born May 22, 1825 in Fairfax, Franklin County, Vermont, and died January 26, 1913 in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois.  He married (1) DIANTHA WILSON Bef. 1854, daughter of JAMES WILSON.  She was born April 20, 1827 in New York, and died September 08, 1869 in Oconto County, Wisconsin.  He married (2) JANE WORTHINGTON SMITH October 18, 1870 in Cook County, Illinois, daughter of WORTHINGTON SMITH and MARY ANN.  She was born May 03, 1829 in Fairfax, Franklin County, Vermont, and died August 23, 1921 in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois.

 

Notes for GEORGE FARNSWORTH:

     George Farnsworth was born in Fairfax, Franklin County, Vt., in 1825.  His Grandfather, James Farnsworth was a Commodore in the US Navy during the Revolutionary War.  His parents were James and Johanna(Keith) Farnsworth. His father was a Brigadier-General of the Vermont Militia in Franklin County, Vt. and widely known in that section of the State where he died in 1843.

      George at the age of twelve, commenced his business life as a clerk in the general store of Hickock and Catlia in Burlington, Vermont, remaining there until he was fifteen.  He then attended school in St, Lawrence County, New York.  In 1842, he came to Chicago, Illinois and engaged in selling lumber in the summer months.  In 1845, he started the manufacturing of lumber in Muskegon, Michigan on his own, having leased a Saw Mill there.  In 1846, he entered the mouth of the Pere Marquette River, Michigan, now known as Ludington and built a Saw Mill, running it for a short time and subsequently for about six years he was with Mr. Atwater of the firm of Farnsworth and Atwater.   He was listed as a Lumber Merchant in Racine, Wisconsin in the 1850 Census.

      He sold his interest in the Ludington Saw Mill and remained out of the business for two years. in 1855 he went to Oconto, Wisconsin as the agent of R. M. Norton and Co.(lumber manufacturers). In 1858 he and Mr. St. Ores purchased a Mill and carried it on as the firm of St. Ores and Farnsworth. Mr. Suydam purchased the St. Ores interest and the firm became known as Farnsworth and Suydam, who established themselves in Chicago in 1861.

     George later became the owner of the Oconto Company and the Bay de Noquet Co. of Nahma, Michigan with corporate offices in Chicago.  George donated $15000 to the Public Library in Oconto and in 1903 it was dedicated as the Farnsworth Public Library.

      He married Diantha Wilson, daughter of James Wilson of Racine, Wisconsin.   She died in 1869 leaving four children, Carrie, wife of O. E. Ellis of Oconto, Wisconsin, General Manager of the Oconto Company, Julia. wife of George Purnell Fisher, Jr., Lawyer, George James Farnsworth, and Anna, wife of William A. Hay of New York.

      He remarried  Jane(Jennie) Worthington Smith, daughter of Worthington Smith who was a Vermont Religious leader and University of Vermont President in Burlington, Vermont.

 

More About GEORGE FARNSWORTH:

Burial: January 28, 1913, Evergreen Cemetery, Oconto, Oconto County, Wisconsin

 

More About DIANTHA WILSON:

Burial: Evergreen Cemetery, Oconto, Oconto County, Wisconsin

 

More About JANE WORTHINGTON SMITH:

Burial: Greenwood Cemetery, St. Albans, Franklin County, Vermont

     

Children of GEORGE FARNSWORTH and DIANTHA WILSON are:

2.           i.   CARRIE E.5 FARNSWORTH, b. Abt. 1850.

3.          ii.   JULIA W. FARNSWORTH, b. October 20, 1854, Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin.

iii.ELLA J. FARNSWORTH, b. February 1854; d. April 20, 1856, Oconto, Oconto County, Wisconsin.

 

More About ELLA J. FARNSWORTH:

Burial: Evergreen Cemetery, Oconto, Oconto County, Wisconsin

 

iv.ETTA FARNSWORTH, b. Abt. 1858, Oconto County, Wisconsin; d. February 28, 1859, Oconto, Oconto County, Wisconsin.

 

More About ETTA FARNSWORTH:

Burial: Evergreen Cemetery, Oconto, Oconto County, Wisconsin

 

4.          v.   GEORGE JAMES FARNSWORTH, b. August 19, 1863, Oconto, Oconto County, Wisconsin; d. November 11, 1941, Senachwine Twp., Putnam County, Illinois.

vi.ANNA M. FARNSWORTH, b. 1865, Oconto, Oconto County, Wisconsin; m. WILLIAM A. HAY, February 05, 1895, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois.

 

Notes for ANNA M. FARNSWORTH:

In 1890 Anna was the first resident to join Jane Addams at "Hull House" in Chicago.  She talked with neighbors, helped them find decent housing, and organized Saturday trips to the park for children of working mothers.  She remained at Hull House for almost three years

 

 

Generation No. 2

 

2.  CARRIE E.5 FARNSWORTH (GEORGE4, JAMES3, JAMES2, JOSIAH1) was born Abt. 1850.  She married O. A. ELLIS June 15, 1869 in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. 

     

Children of CARRIE FARNSWORTH and O. ELLIS are:

              i.   GEORGE6 ELLIS.

             ii.   FRED ELLIS.

 

 

3.  JULIA W.5 FARNSWORTH (GEORGE4, JAMES3, JAMES2, JOSIAH1) was born October 20, 1854 in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin.  She married GEORGE PURNELL FISHER, JR. October 13, 1886 in Cook County, Illinois, son of GEORGE FISHER and ELIZA MCCOLLEY.  He was born January 30, 1856 in Dover, Kent County, Delaware, and died July 14, 1931 in Lake Forest, Lake County, Illinois.

 

Notes for GEORGE PURNELL FISHER, JR.:

FISHER, George Purnell, lawyer; born Dover, Del., Jan. 30, 1856; son George P. and Eliza A. (McColley) Fisher; A.B., Georgetown Univ., D.C., 1874: married Julia W. Farnsworth, of Chicago, Oct. 13, 1886; children: George Farnsworth and Ethel Virginia.

   Assistant examiner, law clerk, and principal examiner for U.S. Patent Office, Washington, D.C., 1875-81; began Law Practice at Chicago, 1881;  member of the firm of Peirce, Fisher & Clapp. Member of the Patent Law Assn., American,  Illinois State and Chicago Bar assns.

   He was a Republican. Presbyterian.  Member of the Loyal Legion.  Member of the following Clubs: University, Saddle and Cycle, Onwentsia, Chicago Literary.  His recreations were golf and fishing.

 

 

More About GEORGE PURNELL FISHER, JR.:

Burial: July 16, 1931

     

Children of JULIA FARNSWORTH and GEORGE FISHER are:

5.           i.   GEORGE FARNSWORTH6 FISHER, b. October 19, 1887, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois.

6.          ii.   ETHEL VIRGINIA FISHER, b. October 10, 1890, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois; d. May 07, 1979, Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida.

 

 

4.  GEORGE JAMES5 FARNSWORTH (GEORGE4, JAMES3, JAMES2, JOSIAH1) was born August 19, 1863 in Oconto, Oconto County, Wisconsin, and died November 11, 1941 in Senachwine Twp., Putnam County, Illinois.  He married MARY ALICE HAWTHORNE BROOKS December 31, 1896 in Cook County, Illinois, daughter of JAMES BROOKS and ROSE HAMBLETON.  She was born May 17, 1870 in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, and died Aft. 1941.

 

Notes for GEORGE JAMES FARNSWORTH:

    Lumber Manufacturer. : born in Oconto, Wisconsin, Aug. 19, 1863; son of George and Diantha (Wilson) Farnsworth; education: public schools. of Chicago until 16; student at Greylock Institute, S. Williamstown, Mass. for 2 years. 

    Began in lumber yard at Oconto. Wis., 1883-7; secretary and manager of Bay DeNoquet Co., Nahma, Mich., 1889. and in charge of the plant until he came to Chicago in 1908; President and director for Bay DeNoquet Co of Nahma. Mich., and Oconto Co., Oconto, Wis, since 1908 until 1941,  both corporations. having offices at Chicago.

    Was also President of the Michigan Dimension Co. of Manistique, Michigan and Director of the Lumberman's Mutual Casualty Co. of Chicago, Illinois. 

     He held all the above positions at the time of his death at 78 years old in 1941.  He was a Republican, Presbyterian and member of the following clubs: Chicago Athletic, Chicago Yacht, Onwentsia.  He enjoyed Shooting, fishing, and golf.

 

 

 

 

More About GEORGE JAMES FARNSWORTH:

Cause of Death: Heart Attack while on a hunting trip.

     

Children of GEORGE FARNSWORTH and MARY BROOKS are:

7.           i.   MARION6 FARNSWORTH, b. September 10, 1899, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois; d. October 1986, Lake Forest, Lake County, Illinois.

             ii.   EDITH BROOKS FARNSWORTH, b. 1903, Illinois; d. 1978.

 

Notes for EDITH BROOKS FARNSWORTH:

Chicago physician, translator of Italian poetry.

 

Edith Farnsworth was born in 1903 to George James Farnsworth, a Wisconsin and Chicago lumber manufacturer, and Mary Alice Brooks Farnsworth. Educated at the University of Chicago (English literature and composition) and the American Conservatory of Music (violin and theory), Farnsworth continued her musical studies with Mario Corti in Rome during the 1920's. There she also learned Italian and studied the country's literature. In the 1930's Farnsworth turned to medicine, graduating from the medical school of Northwestern University. At the beginning of World War II she joined the staff of the Passavant Hospital and specialized in diseases of the kidney.

 

Farnsworth retired in 1967 and moved to Bagno a Ripoli near Florence, Italy. She spent her final years translating Italian poetry and becoming acquainted with Nobel Prize-winning poet, Eugenio Montale. Three volumes of her translations of the work of Montale, Albino Pierro, and Salvatore Quasimodo were published by the Henry Regnery Co., 1969-1976.

 

In the late 1940's Farnsworth contracted with Mies van der Rohe to design and build a weekend cottage for her on the Fox River in Plano, Illinois. Tremendous cost overruns incurred during the construction of the "Farnsworth House" led Farnsworth to sue the architect. The home's notoriety made it far from the private retreat Farnsworth had envisioned, and in 1968 she began the process of selling it to Lord Peter Palumbo, a London real estate developer and collector of architects' houses.

 

Farnsworth died in 1978.

 

 

iii.RICHARD BROOKS FARNSWORTH, b. Abt. 1910.

 

 

Generation No. 3

 

5.  GEORGE FARNSWORTH6 FISHER (JULIA W.5 FARNSWORTH, GEORGE4, JAMES3, JAMES2, JOSIAH1) was born October 19, 1887 in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois.  He married (1) FLORENCE MANN 1909, daughter of ? MANN and FLORENCE HALL.  She was born November 25, 1886 in New York, and died June 20, 1985 in Miami, Dade County, Florida.  He married (2) MAMIE April 30, 1921.  She was born May 14, 1894 in Abrams, Oconto County, Wisconsin.

 

More About GEORGE FARNSWORTH FISHER:

Occupation: Lawyer

     

Children of GEORGE FISHER and FLORENCE MANN are:

              i.   GEORGE FARNSWORTH7 FISHER, JR., b. December 14, 1911, Illinois; d. June 16, 1950, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California.

8.          ii.   FLORENCE FISHER, b. December 30, 1914, Illinois; d. October 31, 1996, Gordonsville, Orange County, Virginia.

 

 

6.  ETHEL VIRGINIA6 FISHER (JULIA W.5 FARNSWORTH, GEORGE4, JAMES3, JAMES2, JOSIAH1) was born October 10, 1890 in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, and died May 07, 1979 in Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida.  She married REGINALD HOLBROOK HARDIN May 23, 1913, son of ISAAC HARDIN and GERTRUDE.  He was born July 31, 1881 in Illinois, and died December 13, 1972 in Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida.

     

Children of ETHEL FISHER and REGINALD HARDIN are:

              i.   ETHEL VIRGINIA7 HARDIN, b. Abt. 1914, Illinois.

             ii.   GERTRUDE ANN HARDIN, b. Abt. 1918, Illinois.

 

 

7.  MARION6 FARNSWORTH (GEORGE JAMES5, GEORGE4, JAMES3, JAMES2, JOSIAH1) was born September 10, 1899 in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, and died October 1986 in Lake Forest, Lake County, Illinois.  She married FAIRBANK CARPENTER January 28, 1930 in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois.  He was born February 21, 1902 in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, and died April 1983 in Far Hills, Somerset County, New Jersey.

     

Child of MARION FARNSWORTH and FAIRBANK CARPENTER is:

              i.   FAIRBANK7 CARPENTER, JR., b. November 13, 1930; m. LYNNE PETERSON.

 

 

Generation No. 4

 

8.  FLORENCE7 FISHER (GEORGE FARNSWORTH6, JULIA W.5 FARNSWORTH, GEORGE4, JAMES3, JAMES2, JOSIAH1) was born December 30, 1914 in Illinois, and died October 31, 1996 in Gordonsville, Orange County, Virginia.  She married FRANK LESLIE ROBINSON, JR. August 11, 1948, son of FRANK ROBINSON and MABLE FARISH.  He was born March 19, 1911, and died August 18, 1999 in Gordonsville, Orange County, Virginia.


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