Biography of Agnew P. Farrell

Agnew P. Farrell, Registrar of deeds and County Treasurer of Haldimand, is the son of James Agnew Farrell of Magheramorne, County of Antrim, Ireland, being the youngest child in a family of eight children. His father was a land owner near Larne, The maiden name of his mother was Letitia Armenella Turnly. He received an English and classical education, and when a little past his majority, in 1833, emigrated to Upper Canada, settling in the Township of Dunn on the shore of Lake Erie, being the first permanent settler in that part of the township. The country was then very little changed from its primitive state; good roads were a convenience unknown, and in order to reach the lake shore from Hamilton, Mr. Farrell hired two Indians who took him from Brantford down the Grand river in a log canoe. He purchased a log cabin and a few acres of cleared land of a squatter, opened a farm and remained on it until 1851.

When the rebellion broke out in 1837, Mr. Farrell and his few neighbors immediately met, formed a company, and he was elected captain. The company was stationed at Fort Erie, under command of Colonel Kerby, and was preparing to storm Navy Island when the rebels abandoned it. On the renewal of disturbances a year or more later, Captain Farrell raised an independent company which was stationed for six months at Port Maitland, then the rendezvos of armed Government steamers. Some years later he was gazetted,Lieut. Colonel of the first battalion Haldimand Militia, and now has charge of the Regimental Division of the County of monck.

In 1844 Colonel Farrell was appointed County Registrar, and in 1851 County Treasurer, when he moved to his present home on the Grand river near the village of Cayuga, and known as “The Hermitage,” a quiet and pleasant rural retreat.

In addition to the offices mentioned, he has been Commissioner of the Court of Requests, Reeve, Issuer of Marriage Licenses, and is now Justice of the Peace and Notary Public. He is a man of fine business capacities, and faithful in the discharge of his official duties; is a member of the Church of England, and has often served as warden of the same, and occasionally as a delegate to the Synod, and bears a high character for integrity and honesty of purpose.

March 14, 1835, Miss Catharine Purnell, from Bristol, England, became the wife of Colonel Farrell, and they have had six children and the sad misfortune of losing all of them, two after they had become heads of families. Two grandchildren reside with their grandparents.



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