James Farr ~ Early Indiana Pioneer ~

  At the close of the Revolutionary War, a young man named Benjamin Farr with his wife, Elizabeth Cochrane Farr, and son George, a lad of 2 or 3 years, moved from an English colonial settlement in the state of Maryland and located at Fort Beard or Beards Block house, as it was sometimes called, on or near the site of the little city of Bardstown, now the Nelson county seat in Kentucky. This around 1780 or 1790. The land in this area and north of the Ohio River was still wilderness.

  It was necessary for an emigrant from Maryland, with Kentucky as his objective point of location, to take a circuitous route, bearing south and over the mountains of Tennessee, probably over the trail blazed by Daniel Boone and his comrades. It was not long after the Farrs settled in Kentucky and while they yet lived in the fort, that their son, James was born (30 Nov 1789). This son, a sturdy Scotsman, was destined to become the father and founder of this branch of the Farr family. Fate had also decreed that he should become an orphan at a very early age, by the death of his mother.

  Benjamin, becoming discouraged over the loss of his helpmate, decided to move back to his old home and friends in Maryland. A neighbor in Kentucky, a Mrs. Tucker, knowing the circumstances and realizing the difficulties that would be met in supplying a motherless infant with the proper food and care while traveling through a sparsely and sometimes wholly unsettled country, prevailed on the father to leave the child with her until he was older and strong enough to stand the trip, when, she proposed, that Benjamin might return for him. This the father decided to do and, after leaving some household goods and other property for the baby, in case anything happened to prevent his return, he and his son, George set forth into the wilderness, leaving his son and his dream of the new country behind.*

  Neither father nor son was heard of again, although James and his foster parents, the Tuckers, made inquiries in the later years. In those years, Kentucky was known as the "dark and bloody ground" and it was believed by his Kentucky friends, that a roving band of savages had overtaken and massacred them.

  Little more is known of the story of James Farr's childhood days at the frontier settlement in Kentucky. He was never enrolled in any school; he never learned the letters of the alphabet.

* Another account of this story has Benjamin leaving his 4 year old son , James, with the McCarty family, who were living with the Thomas Curry family in Kentucky. (Burnett, Baker, Beaman, and Related Families; Morgan County Library)

James Farr was the grandfather of Hannah Farr, Absalom's wife, and was my great, great grandfather (JHR).

He did, however, learn to read two words, his own name- James Farr. And he memorized Biblical Scripture which was taught to him as a child. He memorized it so well that he became a Minister of the Gospel and was listed, along with his son Nathan, as ministers in the history of the First Baptist Church of Martinsville

  ~ War of 1812 ~

  He served his country in the War of 1812 and fought in the Battle of New Orleans (Private, 13th Regiment of the Kentucky Militia). He slept on the ground around New Orleans where the water was so near the top of the ground that when he moved a shovel full of dirt, he had dug a well. He stood guard where the water was to his knees. He was a great admirer of General Andrew Jackson, as a commanding officer and sometimes met him on the road to the city. Jackson always lifted his hat to his soldiers when he met them out of camp.

  The soldiers had to walk to the war zone and then back home at the end of the war since there were no railroads in that part of the country at that time. The monthly pay was $8, which James took in a lump sum after his service ended. He was paid $48. Later, he received from the Federal Government, a land warrant for 40 acres of vacant land of his choice, anywhere in the country. He chose a plot of raw prairie near where Toledo, Illinois now stands, and later sold it for $200.

~ Morgan County, Indiana ~

  James married Catherine Curry in 1807 (7 Jul 1808). To this union were born nine children: Matilda, Malinda, Jefferson, James, Daniel, William, Nathan, Sarah, and Juliann. All born in Kentucky.

  In 1823, James and his family moved to Baker Twp., Morgan County, Indiana. Later he moved to Ray Twp., where he owned 80 acres, part of which is the present town of Paragon. His farm was located just west of Paragon where he built a house for his family. In 1850, he planted a cottonwood tree in front of the house. The house burned down in 1934, and the tree blew down in a windstorm in 1970. The stump of the tree, some 40 inches in diameter, is still visible.

  James Farr died in Ray Twp., 14 Jul 1866. He is buried in the Samaria Cemetery in Ray Twp. next to his wife and three of his children. The inscription on his headstone reads: 76 years, 7 months, 14 days.

Transcribed in part from a newspaper story, the clipping of which is located in the Morgan County Library, Genealogy Department. Other information taken from: Burnett, Baker, Beaman and Related Families; Morgan County Library; Federal Census Records; personal observation of memorials. JHR 15 May 2000

Photo from Burnett, Baker, Beaman and Related Families, Morgan County Library

James Farr 1789-1866

Samaria Cemetery, Morgan Co., Indiana

Catherine Curry Farr 1791-1875

Memorial is located at James' gravesite, Samaria Cemetery, Ray Twp., Morgan County, Indiana

...and their young men went to war.

 James and Catherine Farr saw ten of their young men march off to the great War to Save the Nation: son Nathan; grandsons Nathan L., Uriah H., James B., Thomas J., Jefferson C., William L., Benjamin F., and Harvey J. Laughlin; grand son-in-law, Absalom Ross. Of these: two became prisoners of war and were released in exchange; four were wounded in action. All survived the War. (Information provided by Joseph Burkhart, taken from a family history document that was compiled by Dr. James Farr, great great grandson of James and Catherine Farr.)

~ Families Divided by the Great War ~

  Veteran of the C.S.A. Army, connected to the Farr family by marriage. "Two daughters of Michael and Sarah (Killian) Teague married into the James and Catherine Farr family: Susannah Teague (Absalom Ross' mother-in-law) married Daniel Curry Farr; Delilah Teague married James Farr Jr. The Teagues were from North Carolina and were very staunch Southern Democrats who supported the Confederacy at it's inception and throughout the war. Susannah was very vocal about her feelings and adamant about her sons Nathan L. and Uriah H. becoming "Lincoln Soldiers". She remained so to her death. I cannot vouch for Delilah's stand, however, since my Grandfather (Uriah) Farr never mentioned it."

  "These sisters had a younger brother, John Teague, who moved from Indiana to Missouri in the 1840's. He took his mother (Sarah Killian Teague), a widow, and some of the family who wished to go. While living in Missouri, the Mexican war started (1840's). John joined a Missouri Unit and saw service, under General Kearney, on U.S.-Mexican border. After this war ended, John moved his family, including his mother, to Wise County, Texas. When the Civil War started in 1861, John enlisted in the C.S.A." (Information provided by Joseph Burkhart, taken from a family history document that was compiled by Dr. James Farr, great great grandson of James and Catherine Farr.)