Biography of John William Farrow, M. D.

John William Farrow, M. D. In addition to the service rendered by him as a physician and surgeon, Doctor Farrow had played a conspicuous part in business and other affairs in Elk County. He is president of the Elk Falls State Bank and a stockholder in the Waumega First National Bank. He is one of the principal property owners at Moline, and for fourteen years consecutively he served as a member of the United States Pension Examining Board. He was first appointed by President McKinley and was reappointed by Presidents Roosevelt and Taft. His service on the board terminated in January, 1915.

His ancestors were Scotch-Irish people who came to Maryland in colonial times. However, Doctor Farrow’s grandfather was born in Kentucky, though he afterward returned to Maryland and died at Williamsport in that state in 1862. He was a cooper and carried on a wholesale business as a manufacturer of barrels.

J. H. Farrow, father of Doctor Farrow, was a conspicuous man in his generation in the State of Maryland. He was born at Williamsport in that state in 1822, and died at Baltimore in 1906. He grew up and married at Williamsport, spent many years there in the drug business, and subsequently was connected with the Baltimore postoffice. He was a republican and strong Union man, and his presence in a border state, which was largely Southern in its attitudes and sympathies, made his situation during war times one of great personal risk and danger and also one of responsibility. During the war he was appointed to the office of provost marshal at Williamsport. It was his duty to prevent goods being smuggled across the river into the rebel country, and many times he found it necessary to confiscate large cargoes of stuff designed for use by the Southern forces. As part of his private business enterprise he owned a warehouse, four boats and a coal yard, and all this property was destroyed by the rebel sympathizers. In those trying days his house was robbed sixteen times, and even Doctor Farrow, who was a small child at the time, had some recollection of the grim horrors and tragedies of war times. J. H. Farrow enjoyed great personal popularity and influence in spits of his affiliation with the republican party in a strongly democratic community. For three terms he represented Washington County in the Maryland Legislature, and served two terms in the State Senate. He was a very able and fluent campaign orator. He was a Mason and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. His wife was Mary Nitzel, who was born in Williamsport, Maryland, in January, 1834, and is now living at the age of eighty-three in Baltimore. Of their children the oldest, Charles, died young. The second is Dr. John William Farrow. Jennie, who resided with her mother in Baltimore, is the widow of William Norris. Charles is the manager of Station “F,” a large sub-station of the Baltimore postoffice. Emma married Jesse Metz, who is an engineer on the Western Maryland Railroad, living at Hagerstown. Harry, who was a druggist, died in Baltimore at the age of thirty-four.

John William Farrow was born at Williamsport, Maryland, January 13, 1858. He was educated in the Williamsport schools, graduating from high school in 1876, spent one year in the Mechanicstown Academy, and then entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Baltimore, where he graduated M. D. in 1881. In 1906 Doctor Farrow returned to his alma mater for a post-graduate course.

His first experience after graduation was in his home town of Williamsport, but in August, 1881, he came out to Kansas and had been identified with the profession in this state now for thirty-five years. For fourteen years he lived and practiced at Laclede in Potawattomie County. In 1894 he removed to Moline, and had lived in that city ever since, giving his time and service to a general medical and surgical practice. He is an active member of the Elk County Medical Society.

Doctor Farrow owned a drug store on Main Street, two other stores in the same location, had an attractive residence on the same thoroughfare, and formerly owned considerable farming land, which he had sold. Fraternally he is affiliated with Wild Cat Camp No. 859, of the Modern Woodmen of America at Moline, and is especially interested in Odd Fellowship, being past noble grand of Moline Lodge No. 215, and had also represented it in the Grand Lodge.

In 1885, at Laclede, Kansas, Doctor Farrow married Miss Mary Prunty. Her parents were L. C. and Adeline (Lebo) Prunty, both of whom are now deceased. Her father was a large land owner and miller. Doctor and Mrs. Farrow have two children of their own. Ruby, who still lives at home, is a graduate of the Moline High School and of the Independent Business College, and is a competent stenographer, typewriter and bookkeeper, having for a number of years been employed in those capacities in the Moline National Bank at Moline. Opal, the younger daughter, is now a senior in Washburn College at Topcka. Dr. and Mrs. Farrow also have an adopted child, Hazel, who was born in June, 1910.



Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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