Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
EDWARD FARMER. To the person who closely applies himself to any occupation which he has chosen as his calling in life, there can only come one result, that of success and a high place in the esteem of those among whom his lot has been cast. Edward Farmer, chief engineer of the state Pythian home at Springfield, is no exception to this rule, and he has also during his residence here of nearly forty years manifested much interest in the city and county where he located his permanent home, taking a just pride in their general development.
Mr. Farmer was born at Belsfield, Prince Georges county, Maryland, January 26, 1861. He is a son of Alfred and Susanna (Dugan) Farmer, the mother a native of the same county and state as our subject, where she grew to womanhood, attended school and was married. She lived in a number of states until she removed with her family to Springfield, Missouri, where she spent the rest of her life, dying here in 1898, at the age of seventy-two years, and was buried in Maple Park cemetery. The father of our subject was born in England, where he spent his earlier years and attended school, immigrating to the United States in 1840, landing in New York City. He had learned the bricklayer's trade in the old country, which he followed as his chief life work. However, he was a deep sea sailor for ten years. After leaving the seafaring life he located in Maryland, where he married, after which he resumed his trade of bricklayer, which he continued to follow the rest of his life, eventually developing into a contractor and builder, his work taking him practically all over the state of Maryland, and he became well known and successful in his vocation. Upon the breaking Out of the Civil war he went to the state of New York, locating in Onondaga county, continuing his occupation until he joined a large colony of New Yorkers in 1871 and went to the state of Kansas, where he remained three years. They were on their way to Florida when his death occurred in Carrollton, Arkansas, in 1875, at the age of forty-six years. He was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows before the Civil war, and he belonged to the Methodist church.
To Alfred Farmer and wife six children were born, namely: Albert met an accidental death in Oklahoma a number of years ago; Edward of this sketch; George, who was engaged in business in Kansas City, is deceased; Frank is a landscape gardener and lives in California; Ellen, who lives in Baltimore, Maryland, is the wife of Frank Chappell, a railroad man; John died in infancy.
Edward Farmer received a limited education in the common schools, and when only twelve years of age he went to work helping his father as mortar mixer, which he continued two years. In 1876 he removed with his mother and the rest of the family to Springfield, Missouri, and went to work running a picking machine in a cotton mill, in which he remained three years, where he was also employed as fireman and engineer. Then he went to the Queen City mills as engineer in 1882, and later became chief engineer of the Meyer Milling Company, with which he remained over thirty-two years, having charge of both Model and Queen City flouring mills. He became an expert in his line and was a very faithful and trustworthy engineer, as may be surmised from his long employment here. He had four men under his direction most of the time, and during his long service there he saw many changes made in employees and also in the methods of operating the mills, many of these changes having been made at his suggestion. He left this concern in September, 1914, the work having become too heavy for his advanced years, and accepted the position he now holds, that of chief engineer at the Pythian Home, where he is residing, although owning two good residences in Springfield.
Mr. Farmer was married in 1887 to Pauline Dyer, a member of an old Springfield family and a sister of Fillman Dyer, a retired veteran of the Civil war. Here Mrs. Farmer grew to womanhood and spent her life, dying in October, 1907, and is buried in Maple Park cemetery. To our subject and wife two children were born, namely: Eva has remained single and is keeping house for her father; Nicholas is a Frisco clerk in the general offices at St. Louis.
Mr. Farmer is an independent voter. He belonged to the National Association of Stationary Engineers, and for seventeen years he has been a member of the Knights of Pythias.
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