Mentioned in his father's will.
Hello Tim! My name is Jean (Reiners) Johnson, and my father's maternal line through his great grandmother, Emma Farr, and her father, Freeman H. Farr, leads back to Stephen and Stephen, Jr. of Concord. (Also it would appear to George Farr via Sarah Stone who married Stephen Farr, Jr. in 1707, in Groton, MA.)
I wrote to you many years ago to ask whether you saw my 3rd great grandfather, Freeman H. Farr in your wonderfully extensive Tree, but you had not. Well, many research miles and years later, I believe that he is. I believe my Freeman is the son of Miles Farr and Parmelia Ferris, of Vermont, and listed in your tree as: "Truman FARR-11744 was born about 1824 in Vermont …"
I have been writing my 3rd great-grandfather's history for many years, but have never been able to break through to his parents. You could say I have been obsessed with Freeman. He was an interesting and good man who served (and was severely injured) in the Civil War in the Battle of Stones River near Murfreesboro, TN. He survived the war to prosper again in lumber, but the Panic of 1873 caused him to lose all of his money, and in the very same week, he lost his only son who had just graduated from the University of Ann Arbor-Michigan. At 60 years of age, after losing everything, once again, he picked himself up and moved to South Dakota where he Homesteaded and farmed until he died a very old man. Such resiliency! So it was always a disappointment to not know where he came from! Well, right before I was about to finish his history, I decided to go through every piece of paper I had to see if my tired eyes had missed anything - and of course they had! I noticed that a woman named Mary Ann Farr stood up for him when he married Caroline Maria Birdsley 3 Dec. 1843, in Weybridge, Vermont.
I began researching Mary Ann and that is when I found the 26 Jan. 1865 Will of Miles Farr from New Haven, Vermont (son of Simeon Farr and Mary Bates). I have attached the portion from Miles's will that shows where Freeman is mentioned, and it certainly could easily have been mistaken for Truman!
“I give to my sons Alfred Farr, and Freeman Farr, and Lyman B. Farr, all that I have advanced to them heretofore.”
This is what I wrote in my history:
Freeman lived 85 years in two Territories (Wisconsin and Dakota) and 4 States between 1818 to 1903: Vermont, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, but his life began in Addison County, Vermont.
Unfortunately, I’ve never found an actual birth record for him, but I believe the pieces of information that I've gathered through the years tell his story: 1) his obituary (written by his best friend) states he was born “near Weybridge, Vermont” on 24 November 1818, 2) his name appears in the Jan. 26, 1865, Will of Miles Farr of New Haven, Vermont, who had lived and died along the New Haven River, near where the towns of Weybridge and New Haven meet, 3) the 1820 Vermont Census showing the Miles Farr household notes a son who would have been Freeman’s age, and 4) when Freeman married, one of the persons standing up for him was a Mary Ann Farr, and Miles Farr had a daughter named Mary Ann, who also appears in his Will. So, everything I have found points to Freeman being the 5th child of Miles Farr and Parmelia (Ferris) Farr.
In your online Tree you have his sister Sarah as being born in 1818 - which would conflict with Freeman's birth of 24 Nov. 1818 -- but there is a Vermont Death Index record on Ancestry that shows she died in Oct. of 1851, as Sarah Wright, at just 37 years of age - meaning that she was actually born in 1814. Freeman's birth date does not interfere with any other of the people who I believe are his siblings. His two nearest siblings, Marilla, was born on either Jan 19, 1816, or 10 May, 1817 and Mary Ann is thought to have been born in 1820, so Freeman being born in November 1818 fits in without any obvious problem.
So, let me know what you think. I only wish I could find an actual birth record or index record for Freeman.
Tim, your Tree is an amazing resource and so well done that I can only be envious. I have always loved my Farr ancestry through Freeman, but now I love it even more after seeing all of your information. Thank you So much!
Best Regards, Jean Marie
Freeman Farr was born "at or near" Weybridge, Vermont, on 24 Nov. 1818, according to his obituary, and appears in the 26 Jan. 1865 Will of his father, Miles Farr, who lived in New Haven, VT (Weybridge is near New Haven). Also in Weybridge on 3 Dec. 1843, he married young Caroline Marie Birdsley (bn: 3 June, 1828, in Montreal, according to her obituary, and died in Parker, SD on 17 Jan. 1902.) They remained in Vermont near his family for 3 years and had their first daughter, Emma Elizabeth Farr, in Middlebury, VT. on 22 June 22, 1846. By 1847 the family was in the Wisconsin Territory and appeared in that year's census -- so they made their 1000-mile move when Emma was just a baby. They moved to Fond du Lac "when that city numbered only 3 framed houses …" and they lived there for 22 years.
Freeman was a lumberman, a carpenter, and a millwright, and had his own business in Fond du Lac until the time of the Civil War. He and Caroline had two other children while living in Fond du Lac: Ella was born in 1848 and died in 1851, and Frank Ward Farr, born in 1853 and died in 1873. Freeman walked away from his business in 1861 when President Lincoln called for volunteers to fight in the Union Army. He was one of the first to sign up for 3 years service. He served first as a Private and then as a Sergeant with Company K of the 1st Wisconsin Regiment. There is a physical description of him that was written into a Civil War Logbook (that is housed in the Wisconsin Historical Archives on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus). The description of him was written by Captain Green on Saturday, Sept. 21, 1861, and described Freeman as: "43 years of age, married, blue eyes, mixed hair, sandy complexion, 5' 9 1/2 inches in height, and a builder by occupation."
Freeman's father, Miles Farr, saw at least 2 sons serve in the Civil War (one in New York and one in Wisconsin), and a grandson. I have seen Draft records for two other brothers, but I don't know if they served. Freeman's service was interrupted when he was shot through the jaw on 30 Dec., 1862, at the Battle of Stones River near Murfreesboro, TN. (He also had seriously injured his left ankle and tibia bone the year before.) Sometime before the Stones River battle, he was made Sergeant and put in charge of the supply train that the Union Army was trying to get to Nashville, and away from the Confederates who were desperate for supplies by that point in the war. He was Commissary Sergeant of over 60 wagons with the 1st Division under Major General Lovell H. Rousseau and was shot in defense of that train when Wheeler's Cavalry attacked them on the early morning of 30 Dec. After being shot, Freeman spent 5 1/2 months in a Confederate prison hospital in Nashville (until 17 May 1863). Three months after returning home to Wisconsin, his family doctor removed teeth that had been lodged in his tongue since he had been shot.
Freeman and Caroline moved to Clinton, Iowa, sometime the end of the 1860's - probably around 1867 -- since their daughter Emma married Edgar Ely there that year. In 1869 their son Frank went to the University of Michigan. Freeman prospered in Clinton once again in the lumbering business. That would come to an end in 1873 when the "Great Panic" financial crisis hit the U.S., and he lost a lifetime of savings. Tragically, he lost his son at the same time. A few years later, in 1878, at 60 years of age, with disabilities from his war injuries and broken financially, they moved to the Dakota Territory to homestead in Parker (S.D.) where they built a farm together.
On 17 Jan. 1902, Caroline died. Freeman stayed in Parker until a few months before his own death at 85 years of age, when he went to live with his daughter. Freeman is buried next to Caroline in Rose Hill Cemetery in Parker, S.D.
Freeman is buried in Rose Hill Cemetery in Parker, S.D. under an old cottonwood tree. They have cleaned up his stone in the last couple of years, but the attached photo from 2001 was taken by me when my husband and I visited there. It reads: Sgt. F.H. Farr, Co. K, 1 Wis. Inf. and next to it was an old weather-beaten Civil War plaque.
I previously sent Freeman's obituary, but not sure if I told you it was from the Jan. 30, 1903 issue of THE NEW ERA, (Parker), S.D. newspaper.
Attached is the official doc I received back in 1996 from the Wisconsin Historical Society -- Univ. of WI Archives, in Madison, Wisconsin, confirming Freeman's Civil War service in Company K of Wisconsin 1st Infantry.
Attached is a copy from Page 412 of the Nathaniel Ely and descendants History book showing Freeman and Caroline and the parents of Emma Elizabeth Farr who married Edgar Titus Ely on 12 May, 1869, and Emma and Edgar's children. To complete the info in this history: Mary Lydia (Ely) Cairy died 26 Jan. 1919, in Hurley, S.D. Her brother Frank Hanson Ely died in Los Angeles, CA on 24 May, 1944. (Also, Frank amended his birth record in 1942, to note that he had been born on 9 Sept. 1873 and NOT 8 Sept. 1874.)
The 1847 Territorial Census for Lamartine Township (Seven Mile Creek), Fond du Lac County showed Freeman and 2 females (Caroline and Emma) and was from an online source dated 22 Oct. 2018: www.http://wlhn.org/fond du lac/towns/census/1847 Lamartine.htm. Microfilm of the original records is available at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin library (Call No. 1847-1).
Jean Marie Johnson