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Delaware County, Iowa


 Biography Directory

Henry Farmer


Lodomillo, Clayton County



     Through his vigorous and successful operations in connection with agriculture and live stock industry Mr. Farmer has given consistent justification to the patronymic which he bears, as he is the owner of one of the finely improved farms of Lodomillo township, besides which he has secure place in popular esteem in the county which became his home when he was an infant.

Mr. Farmer, who was born in Wheeling, West Virginia, on the 8th of June, 1854, is a son of John and Mary Ann (Barr) Farmer, both of whom were born and reared in the north of Ireland. The parents received their education in their native land and about 1845 came to the United States, where their marriage was solemnized and they established their residence at Wheeling, West Virginia. In 1856 they came to Clayton county, Iowa, and the father became a pioneer farmer in Lodomillo township, where he and his wife passed the residue of their lives, he having followed in earlier years the trade of a blacksmith. Both were of the Protestant faith in religion, and in the same they reared their children. Henry, the subject of this review, is the elder and only survivor, his brother, John, Jr., having died when forty-three years of age. Henry Farmer gained his early education in the pioneer schools of Clayton county, and he continued his active association with the work of the home farm until his marriage.

On the 20th of January, 1876, Mr. Henry Farmer wedded Miss Margaret O'Brien, who was born in Rochester, New York, and who is a daughter of James and Anna (Kalnan) O'Brien, the father being a native of Ireland, while the wife Anna was of French origin. James O'Brien was a soldier of the Union in the Civil war, serving as a member of the Michigan cavalry, their home at that time being at Mackinac Island. He died while in active service at Memphis, Tennessee. His widow, who survived him by many years, spent the remainder of her life with her three children at Mackinac Island and Chicago. The two surviving of this family being Mrs. Farmer, who is the younger, and her sister Rebecca, wife of O. E. Huene of Manchester, Iowa.

Mr. and Mrs. Farmer became the parents of four children: Nellie Irene, the eldest, in 1898 became the wife of C. J. Rulon, who is a merchant of Wood, Iowa, and a son of K. Rulon of Clayton county. To them was born one son, Burdette, in 1904. James Willard, who resides upon and manages his father's farm in Delaware county, in 1904 married Nettie Hockaday, daughter of William Hockaday of Manchester, Iowa. In 1906 and 1913 their two sons were born, Wayne James and Henry Bertram respectively. Floy Lucille, who in 1906 became the wife of Dr. A. L. Breed of Rock Elm, Wisconsin, died at her home in Wisconsin at the age of twenty-six years. And Zelda Vivian, who has since 1913 been a teacher in the Elkader schools.

After Mr. Farmer's marriage he lived on a part of his father's farm in Clayton county until 1879, when he, with his family, moved to Kansas, where he purchased a one hundred and sixty acre farm. Becoming tired of the West, they returned in 1882, then making their home in Delaware county. About 1890 he purchased a farm of one hundred and fifty acres in Delaware county. On this place, which he still owns, he continued his operations as an enterprising agriculturist and stock raiser for a period of about fifteen years, at the expiration of which time he returned to the old homestead in Clayton county which he had inherited from his parents and which is situated in Section 28, Lodomillo township. He has since continued as one of the representative farmers of this part of Clayton county and gives also a general supervision to his farm in Delaware county, a property that is now in the active charge of his only son.


He is a Republican in his political proclivities and is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity and the Knights of Pythias.




~ source: History of Clayton County, Iowa; From The Earliest Historical Times Down to the Present; by Realto E. Price, Vol. II; page 115-117

~ contributed by Sharyl Ferrall, http://iagenweb.org/clayton/ 




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