Biography of Edgar W. Farmer

EDGAR W. FARMER, a railway postal clerk on the New York Central Lines between Cleveland, Ohio, and St, Louis, Missouri, lives on Indiana Avenue, North Anderson, He was born here February 23, 1868.

The Farmer family is better known, probably, than any other family in Anderson Township outside of the city of Anderson and ranks among the older ones in the County, Charles M. Farmer (April 16, 1846-June 27, 1910) and Mary L. Cummins Farmer (Nov. 27, 1848- Nov, 16, 1900), the parents of Edgar, moved from Henry County, Indiana, immediately after their marriage and bought two acres of land of Isaac Clifford. There were then about six houses in what is now known as North Anderson. Indiana Avenue was then a mud road lined by woods on both sides except an occasional clearing for a dwelling, A. little house was built on the land purchased, and here the children, Edgar W., Harold W., and Jessie M., and John S. were born, Charles, the father, had been left an orphan at the age of nine years and was the oldest of a family of four children, His first work was in a brick yard at twenty-five cents a day, From this on he toiled early and late, managed carefully and lived frugally, By this means he kept his mother in comfort, supported his brothers until their death in early manhood as well as his sister until her marriage, Besides this he raised and educated his children, added a little to his land from time to time and established the wholesale market garden and greenhouse business which is now conducted by his son. Harold.

The Farmer family is one of the pioneer families of Indiana. John Farmer was a captain in the Revolutionary army and is credited to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, From here the family moved to Franklin County, Virginia, where a grandson, also named John, married Mary P. Showalter, a granddaughter of another soldier of the Revolution. John and his young wife moved to Wayne County, Indiana, in company with the Showalter family and settled first in Wayne and later in Henry County, Here their fourth son, Isaiah (Jan, 16, 1825-Sept, 18, 1853), father of Charles and grandfather of Edgar, was horn. His death at the early, age of twenty-eight was caused by typhoid fever and he left his wife, Elizabeth Fifer Farmer (May 22, 1817-April 27, 1892) and four children as has been stated, It is related of him that he was a stockily built man and was considered to be a man of great strength among the pioneers where bodily strength and agility were highly regarded, He could shoulder and carry a barrel of salt, To his occupation of farming he -added the trade of basket weaver which he learned from his father, While the Chicago-Cincinnati division of the Pennsylvania railroad was building he set up a barrel of whiskey in his kitchen and added to his scant income the profit on the sale of whiskey to the workmen at five cents a drink served in a pint tin. There were no restrictions on the sale of liquor at that time and no more odium was attached to its sale than to the sale of calico or groceries.

On the side of his mother Edgar W. Farmer traces his line of descent through the Scotch to the Norman French, Fleming Cummins was his maternal grandfather and the name Cummins is a variant of the French name Comyn, the family name of the Earls of Monteith, His maternal grandmother was Marendat Mann, a daughter of Michael Mann, horn in Virginia on January 6, 1794, of German parents, He spent most of his life at Mechanicsburg, Indiana, and died at the age of ninety-five.

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Edgar was married to Elizabeth Moore June 21, 1890, and they have three children. Hallie is a student at the Indiana State Normal at Terre Haute, Indiana, Ray is a student at home and Dorothy is a schoolgirl, The Farmer family are members of the Indiana Avenue Church. Charles M. Farmer and Rev, David D. Powell organized this church and Mr. Farmer was a member of the Official Board of the church until his death. His sons, Edgar W. and Harold W., each served for several years as Sunday School Superintendent and both are now members of the Official Board.

Isaiah Farmer was an old line Whig, Charles M. Farmer was a life long Republican and ranked his party along with his country and his church, In the natural course of development his sons are all Progressives.



Forkner, John. History of Madison County, Indiana: a narrative account of its historical progress, its people and its principal interests. Chicago: The Lewis publishing company, 1914.

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