The following is from "The Family of Willis Vernon Farr" by Jayne E. Bickford:
THE FAMILY OF JOHN VERNON FARR
The fourth child born to Ivah Newton Farr and his wife Nancy was another son, and they chose the name John Vernon for him. This son is of particular interest to me, for he was my great grandfather. The house in which John Vernon spent his married life and where all his children were born still stands in Westminster, Vermont, in that part of the town known as Westminster Station. Going south from Bellows Falls to Brattleboro, the house is the third one on the left after the underpass over the road which leads to Walpole, New Hampshire. A picture of his house is included in this section.
When I was a child and young woman, John's daughter Harriet Nancy occupied the second floor of this house and also had a front parlor on the first floor. The remainder of the house was rented. I can recall visiting my great aunt Harriet and of sitting in this parlor on horse hair covered parlor furniture. I don't know, but I think in all probability this furniture had belonged to John Vernon Farr and his wife Mary. The windows in the parlor went clear to the floor and intrigued me as a child.
My husband and I have in our home two Currier and Ives pictures which came from John Vernon Farr's home. One is titled “Little Manly” and the copyright date is 1714. The second one is titled “The Village Beauty." However, as John Vernon died in 1866, I have to assume “Little Manly,” at least, belonged to John Vernon's daughters. Also, I have some wax fruit and vegetables said to have been made by John's wife Mary. I can remember as a child my grandparents (Willis and Ethel Farr) having the molds from which these items were made. Also, there is a charcoal drawing beloning to my cousin, Jeanne (Farr) Semonite which was done by Mary.
But I know very little about my great grandparents except for what you will find in the following newspaper items and remarks. I regret deeply that I did not learn more from John's son, my grandfather Willis, when my grandfather was living, but unfortunately I did not begin serious genealogical research until 1972. For some reason an interest in family history for most people seems to occur in one's middle or later years, not when a child or teenager.
I have visited the Court House Hill Cemetery, Westminster, Vermont, and seen the graves of my great grandparents. Two of their daughters and one of their sons are buried with them. The inscriptions read:
“John V. Farr
July 1, 1834 - Aug. 14, 1895
Mary L. Watkins
Nov. 20, 1840 - Jan. 28, 1882”
These inscriptions are on one side of the monument and on the other side appears the names of three of John and Mary's children.
May 9, 1878 - May 24, 1906
Jan. 14, 1882 - Apr. 24, 1918
Aug. 18, 1868 - Oct. 25, 1953”
I visited Windham, Vermont, to locate a birth record for John Vernon, as his obituary which follows indicated he was born there, but I could not find such a record at Windham. It proved that his birth is recorded at Grafton.
The following is a copy of the obituary for John Vernon Farr. I copied it from a diary which originally belonged to Willis Vernon Farr, John's son. It is presently in the possession of Willis' son, John Elbridge Farr, of Westminster, Vermont. John Elbridge also has the Farr family Bible.
“Aug. 14, 1895, Windham County, Westminster
“John Vernon Farr died at his late residence in this village Wednesday afternoon, age 61 years, one month and 13 days. He was born in Windharn, Vt., July 1, 1834, was educated at the Saxton's River Academy and Westminster Institute, and at the age of 16 started in the retail silk business from which he worked into the wholesale silk trade which he followed for a number of years, making regular trips througth the New England States and Northern New York until 1866 when he was taken with typhoid fever and after a long illness he gave up the silk business. Having earned a competence he turned his attention to farming. He married Mary L. Watkins of Walpole, N. H., in Jan. 1866, by whom he had five children, Willis V., in charge of the circulation of the Free Press; Harriet Nancy, who has kept his house since her mother's death on Jan. 28, 1882; Gertrude May, at the head of the commercial department at Cushing's Academy at Ashburnharn, Mass.; Winfred Roland and Mary Bell, who lives at home. Six years ago he was thrown from a roller, injuring hIs eye and shattering his nerves. About- four years ago he was attacked with what gradually deprived him of the use of one arm and affected the other, but was able to get about without assistance till about a year ago when he was thrown from a wagon.
BIRTH: Birth record is actually of Grafton.