Biography of Myron James Farr

MYRON JAMES FARR – The surname of Farr is believed by many to be identical with Farrar, and there is considerable reason for the supposition as persons of both names appear simultaneously in the different localities of New England. It is derived from a Latin word meaning iron and was probably used as a place name before it came into use as a family name. It was first known in England from Gualkeline (or Walkeline) de Ferraris, a Norman of distinction attached to William, Duke of Normandy, before the conquest of England in 1066. From him all of the name in England and America appear to be descended. His son Henry de Ferrars appears on the roll. of the Battle Abbey among the principal companions of the Conqueror, and as the first of the family in England. When the general survey of the realm recorded in the Domesday Book was made in the fourteenth year of the Conqueror’s reign, Henry de Ferrars was one of the commissioners appointed to compile the work. He bore for his arms:

Arms-Argent, six horse shoes pierced sable.

The first of the name in New England was George Farr, who settled in Salem in 1629, coming with Higginson; was admitted freeman in 1635, settled finally at Lynn, and left eight children. Most of the families spelling the name Farr are descended from Stephen Farr.

His descendant, Daniel Farr, born in February, 1744, died in 1798, settled in Chesterfield, New Hampshire, in 1761, and married Lucita Walton. He came from Storr, Massachusetts, and was a soldier in the Revolution.

His grandson, Joseph Farr, a native of New Hampshire, was a school teacher for a number of years and later became a farmer. He died at the age of forty eight year in Windham, Vermont, and had nine children, one of whom was Micah.

Micah Farr, a native of Chesterfield, New Hampshire, born in March, 1800, died in 1861. He removed to Windham, Vermont, and was a farmer. He married Sally Stearns, a native of Windham, born November, 1799, and died 1879. They were the parents of the following children: James L., of whom further; George A.; Sarah E., who married Mr. Ranson; W. Carpenter.

James L. Farr, born on December 7, 1831, at Windham, Vermont, died at Greenfield, Massachusetts, on October 25, 1895. He spent the early years of his life in his native town, where he was educated in the district schools. For nine years he followed the profession of farming, but after that sold his farm and removed to Westminster, Vermont, where he remained two years. Later he spent two years in Grafton, Vermont, returning from there to Windham for a six years’ stay. From there he moved to South Vermont, where he remained three years. In 1876 he came to Greenfield, where he passed several years farming, confining himself mostly to dairying. While in Windham, Vermont, he served on the Board of Assessors, and during his stay in Greenfield, always took an active interest in anything pertaining to the welfare of the town. In politics he was a Republican, in religion a member of the Congregational Church. He married (first), in 1856, Mary H. Stiles, of Grafton, Vermont, who died in October, 1871. He married (second) Mrs. Julia (Dunklee) Banks, of Sunderland. A child of the first marriage, Mary A., died aged fourteen years, and a son, Myron J., of whom further. A child of the second marriage. Vinnie M., is deceased.

Myron James Farr was born December 2, 1861, in Windham, Vermont, son of James L. and Mary Hortensia (Stiles) Farr. He received his preliminary education in Windham, Vermont, and Greenfield, Massachusetts, where he attended the public schools, and afterwards studied at Powers Institute, Bernardston. After leaving school he started farming, dairying, and selling milk for a few years. In the year 1895 he saw a favorable chance and associated with F. L. Burnham, his father-in-law, and two years later in 1897, he bought out Mr. Burnham’s business and continued alone. In 1899 he sold out his lumber business and entered the service of the Franklin County Lumber Company as a member of this company and also as a director and yard foreman, remaining with them in this capacity for twenty-three years. Since this time he has bought a farm on the outskirts of the village and is again farming. For the past three years Mr. Farr, who takes a keen interest in all public affairs, has been selectman of Greenfield. In religion he is a member of the First Congregational Church, in which he is deeply interested, being treasurer of the building committee in raising a fund of $30,000. His fraternal associations include membership of the Pocomtuck Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows; Green River Encampment, Canton Davis; member of the Glen Lodge, Ancient Order of United Workmen. Mr. Farr has held all the offices and honorary posts of the Odd Fellows Lodge to which he belongs.

Myron James Farr married, April 11, 1888, Lizzie Mabel Burnham, a daughter of Frederic L. and Katherine (Tracy) Burnham, born September 15, 1867, died June 13, 1923. Mr. and Mrs. Farr were the parents of five children: 1. Alma Hope, born May 8, 1889, a graduate nurse, now a district nurse. 2. Mary Edna, born November 23, 1890. 3. Rollin James, born June 14, 1896, was educated in the schools of Greenfield, and graduated from the high school. During the World War he rendered national service after qualifying in the Wentworth Institute in Boston, making a specialty of automobile repairing; since the war he has had charge of the Reo automobile service station in Greenfield; Mr. Farr married, August 4, 1919, Eunice Emeline Peterson. 4. Lizzie. born June 4, 1898, died in infancy. 5. Mabelle Vinnie, born January 7, 1906.


Lockwood, John H. (John Hoyt); Bagg, Ernest Newton; Carson, Walter S. (Walter Scott); Riley, Herbert E. (Herbert Elihu); Boltwood, Edward; Clark, Will L. (Will Leach); Western Massachusetts A History 1636-1925; New York and Chicago: Lewis historical publishing company, inc., 1926

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