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    Past and Present of Greene County, Iowa
By E. B. Stillman


The twelve miles of territory between Jefferson and Churdan, naturally pre-supposed an intervening town at some point nearly equi-distant from them, but the village thus forecasted was slow in finding its proper place on the map. In 1884 an attempt was made to create a cetner of trade just north of the farm of Patrick Minnehan, and the embryonic hamlet was called Forbes, located about four miles northwest of Jefferson. The project was a failure, and one of three reasons caused its death a couple of years after it was staked out: It was too near the county seat, or the location was bad --- low, wet land -- or the roads leading to it were in no condition for hauling loads over for about five months in a year. Two years later a new attempt was successfully made to establish a town nearer the center of Bristol township, the new site being named Farlin, in honor of Mr. McFarlin, a prominent grain buyer of Des Moines, who was then operating extensively along the line and who gave the citizens a long to be remembered oyster supper to christen the naming of the town. The location was far from ideal, by reason of the flat, badly drained territory immediately surrounding it, a condition drainage has greatly improved. The growth was slow during the first years of the village, but it was situated in the midst of a community of first class farmers, who brought their products to its stock yeards and elevators for shipment, and bought freely of the local merchants, hence it has developed into a bright, prosperous village, with churches, a good schoolhouse and a score or more of earnest business men. Never having been incorporated, it is under the regular township government, the trustees looking after its interests. A well stocked dry goods store is conducted by Will J. Banning for the [????;] D. Milligan has a good grocery and hardware store and is postmaster of the village; J. E. Snively is the hotel keeper, and runs a restaurant in connection; the elevator and lumber business is conducted by Will J. Banning for the D. Milligan Company, of Jefferson. The usual complement of barber, blacksmith, shoe shops, etc. are successfully carried on.

A bank was established in the town about four years ago and is doing a prosperous business. Its capital is $10,000, and it is conducted by T. C. Williams; George Messenger, president.

BRISTOL LODGE No. 191, was organized March 31, 1905, with eleven charter members, and the night of institution there were thirty-two initiations. The following named served as the first officers of the lodge: O. O. Long, N. G.; Thomas Morrison, V. G.; E. A. Cairns, secretary; Charles Try, permanent secretary; J. B. Smeltzer, treasurer. The lodge is in a flourishing condition and the present membership is fifty-three.

FARLIN CAMP, No. 19,449, M. W. or A., was organized February 3, 1902, and has enjoyed a healthy and vigorous growth. The present membership is forty-three.

The CHURCH OF CHRIST at Farlin was organized June 28, 1891, with the following charter members: Peter Mosteller, wife and Ruth Mosteller, Elizabeth Morlan, Mary Hurley, John and Melinda Allstott, Mr. and Mrs. D. R. Toliver, Sarah Toliver, Minnie Carter, Nettie Dickerson, Julia, Nettie and Frankie Wright, Mr. and Mrs. R. G. Seaman and Hattie Seaman, Alice Mosteller, Mary Beebe, William Hurley, Mary Hurley. The church building was dedicated, clear of debts, June 28, 1896, by Rev. B. B. Burton of Jefferson. The following have served as pastors of the church: Revs. Laurence McCray, W. H. Bybee, J. W. Vanderwalker, L. E. Huntley, L. E. Deweese, J. D. Forsyth, J. Golden, W. L. Post, Samuel Gregg, E. C. Park, L. G. Parker. The value of church property is $2,000; salary paid pastor, from $700 to $1,000 per year. The present membership is one hundred and twenty-five, and a good Sunday school is maintained.

The BAPTIST CHURCH, Farlin, was organized October 26, 1890, and in less than a year -- August 23, 1891, the society had completed the erection of a neat, commodious church building. The value of the property is $2,000. The present membership is forty-eight. A Sabbath school and B. Y. P. U. society are maintained. The following named pastors have supplied the pulpit of this church: Revs. L. A. Lovelace, the organizer; E. E. Empey, J. F. Gallagher, A. J. McColl, S. E. Enos, R. H. Morehouse, C. U. Harter, E. M. Rex, E. O. Rogers, who is the present pastor.

A commodious two-story school building was erected in 1898. The average attendance of pupils is sixty.

A co-operative creamery association was organized March 20, 1894, and the enterprise started off under the brightest of prospects. A large building was constructed, filled with the most approved modern machinery, and the day of its dedication was one of the most notable in the annals of Farlin. For a time it did a large business and its product had a ranking place in eastern markets, but disaffections crept in, the supply end was not kept up, and after three years it went out of business. The losses were fairly well scattered among the stockholders.

The postmasters of Farlin have been: Charles Try, Mrs. Elfa Hastings and John A. Snively.

From Past and Present of Greene County, Iowa, by E. B. Stillman, Chicago, Illinois: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1907, pp. 201-202.
Transcribed by Cheryl Siebrass, November, 2014.

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