Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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WHEELER, J.H. Vol. II. Pp. 656-59. Lewis Pub. Co. Chicago. 1910


Daniel J. Farrell, the' present city assessor of Mason City, Iowa, who has for years been identified with the progress and development of that place, is a native of Nova Scotia, born September 27, 1843. He is a son of William and Catherine (Walsh) Farrell, the father a native of Ireland, born December 4, 1798, and died at Mason City, in 1882, and the mother, born in Newfoundland in 1808, died in 1892. They were parents of nine children, of whom are now living, Daniel J.; Joseph, ex-postmaster of Mason City; and Catherine, wife of Anthony Solon, of Sanborn, Iowa.

When he was eleven years old William Farrell went to sea as a cabin boy, and was a sailor the remainder of his life. He sailed out of New York fifty years as master of a merchant ship, and was for a time a pilot on an English vessel detailed to protect the Newfoundland fisheries. He traveled over most of the world, and after - he was too old to follow his calling any longer, spent the remainder of his life in Mason City, retired from active labor.

Daniel J. Farrell moved to New York city in 1856, and in 1861 went with his mother to Philadelphia, from which port the father sailed for some time. Later the young man came west and worked some time in the vicinity of Waverly and Cedar Falls, at masonry and brick laying. He located in Mason City in 1864, at which time most of the main street was a corn field and he could have purchased the land around his present home for one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre, the nearest railroad points at that time being Cedar Falls and Austin, Minnesota. He followed his trade in Mason City and there was married in 1871. In the fall of 1872 he left his wife and six months old babe and went to the Pacific coast, where he worked at his trade for a year and then returned home. About two years later he again made the same trip. He has been a contractor for years and has seen Mason City develop from a straggling village to a prosperous, thriving city, helping not a little in promoting the progress and welfare of the place, and has erected a number of the most substantial buildings.

Mr. Farrell is independent in politics and has held several offices. He served some time as deputy county auditor, was deputy city assessor, and is now serving his second term as assessor. He has always been faithful in the discharge of his public duties, giving them the same careful attention he has always bestowed upon his private affairs. He owns considerable residence property in Mason City and has been successful in a financial way. He and his wife are members of the Holy Family Catholic church.

On June 5, 1871, Mr. Farrell married Elizabeth Powers, who was born in Elmira, New York, January 10, 1840, and four children have blessed this union, namely: Mary, wife of E. A. Wickham, of Council Bluffs, Iowa; Dr. William D., of Aberdeen, South Dakota; Daniel P., at home; and Justin, of Detroit, Michigan.

NOTE: Daniel J. Farrell died on September 6, 1923. Elizabeth (Powers) Farrell was born in 1851 (according to her gravestone), and died in 1928. Their son, Daniel P., was born in 1878, and died in 1949; his wife Frances was born in 1893, and died in 1969. They, along with Daniel J.'s parents, William and Catherine, were interred at Elmwood-St. Joseph Cemetery, Mason City IA.

Transcription and note by Sharon R. Becker, February of 2014



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