PUBLISHER: J.H.BEERS & CO., CHICAGO; 1903     P.  1106

GEORGE FARLEY.  From the study of the life history of the honored subject of this review one may learn many valuable lessons.  The spirit of self-respect and self-help is the source of all genuine worth in the individual, and is the means of bringing success to a man who has been denied the advantages of wealth and fortuitous influence.  This spirit as exemplified illustrates in no uncertain manner what it is possible to accomplish when perseverance and determination form the keynote to a man’s life record.  Depending upon his own resources from his boyhood days, looking for no extraneous aid or support, Mr. Farley has risen through his own efforts to a position as one of the representative business men and honored citizens of Putnam, Windham county, and it is but consistent that he accorded consideration in a work of this kind.  It is left to specific biography to perpetuate the record of those law-abiding citizens who in the midst of the active affairs of this work-a-day world stand forth in integrity of purpose, loyalty to the institutions of the land, and in that enterprise and industry which make for the well-being of their respective communities.  Of this class is the subject of this brief sketch, to whose personal career we now direct attention, his ancestral history having been adequately outlined in the foregoing article, which has to do with the life history of his brother, Simon Farley, who is likewise a representative citizen of Putnam.  

George Farley is a native of the parish of St. Norbert, County of Berthier, Province of Quebec, Canada, a distinctively French section of the Dominion, and one in which the French language is commonly used, so that our subject was unfamiliar with the English at the time when he came to the United States, on which score he had an added burden placed upon him in acquiring the prevailing vernacular while laboring assiduously to make his way toward the goal of material success and prosperity.  That he proved equal to meeting all exigencies is shown in the position which he holds to-day.  He was born Feb. 18, 1850, and his early educational discipline was confined to about two years’ attendance in the parochial schools of his native county, while as a boy he contributed his quota to the work of the homestead farm.  In the autumn of 1859, before he was ten years of age, Mr. Farley left the parental home and went to St. Culbert, Canada, where he entered upon a four years’ apprenticeship at the shoemaker’s trade.  After completing his term of apprenticeship and becoming an expert and discriminating workman at his trade, he went to the town of Sorel, Quebec, where he was employed for a period of six months, at the expiration of which he proceeded to the town of Joliet, in the same Province, where he entered the employ of the firm of Michaux & Gilbeault, for whom he worked as a journeyman for about six months.  He then, in the spring of 1866, left Canada and came to the United States, first locating in Webster, Mass., where he worked at his trade for a fortnight, and then came to Putnam, Conn., where he made his advent June 15, 1866.  He entered the employ of the firm of Corbin & Tourtellotte as a contracting shoemaker, and under these conditions he continued operations for a period of six years, within which time he had not only acquired valuable business experience, but had also, through association and personal application, become familiar with the English language, and otherwise supplemented his somewhat limited education.  At the expiration of the period noted Mr. Farley accepted a clerical position in the shoe store of Leonard Brothers, of Putnam, with whom he remained for nine months, when he resigned to enter upon an independent business career whose outcome was to be a definite and worthy success.  He opened a grocery store on the site of his present establishment, beginning operations on a modest scale, but conducting his affairs with such distinctive discrimination, enterprise and fairness that the business steadily expanded in scope and importance.  He began business March 21, 1873, and Dec. 23, 1885, to his now large and well equipped establishment, he added a complete stock of drugs, and this department of his business enterprise has been pushed forward to a point of tantamount success, while in March, 1899, Mr. Farley still further extended the field of his business operations by adding a stock of shoes and men’s furnishings goods, dry goods, etc., so that he has now a well equipped department store, and one which caters to a large and discriminating patronage, the establishment representing one of the leading mercantile enterprises in the county.  He is known as one of the progressive and successful business men of this section of the State, and as a citizen whose life has been dominated by high principles and a determination to achieve a success worthy of the name, so that he has not been denied the fullest measure of confidence and esteem.

Mr. Farley has ever shown a deep interest in all that tends to conserve the progress and general prosperity of the community, and his influence has ever been cast in favor of all worthy enterprises.  His political proclivities are shown in the unwavering support which he accords to the principles and policies of the Democratic party, and he has served in various offices of local trust and responsibility, his tenure of the same indicating the confidence and respect in which he is held in the community.  He has thus served as a member of the board of review and as assessor, while at the time of the incorporation of Putnam under a city charter, in 1897, he was elected as the first representative of the Third ward on the board of aldermen, in which capacity his fidelity and earnest efforts in the promotion of municipal interests have caused his successive re-election, so that he has continuously held the office to the present time.  His religious faith is that of the Catholic church, in which he was reared, and he is identified with various fraternal and social organizations in his home city.  That he has been the architect of his own fortunes is shown unmistakably when we revert to the fact that when he left Canada to become a resident of the United States his entire capitalistic reinforcement was represented in the sum of fifteen dollars.  Energy, determination, consecutive application and inflexible integrity of purpose have, however, proved adequate in enabling him to surmount obstacles and to win a position of independence and prosperity, together with the confidence and good will of all with whom he has come in contact in the various relations of life.

On Oct. 14, 1867, Mr. Farley was united in marriage to Miss Maria Bibeau, daughter of Antoine and Marie Louise (Anger) Bibeau, of Putnam, and of the children of this union we enter the following record:  Marie Louise, died at the age of six months.  Georgiana is the wife of Frank Foisy.  George William, was born in Putnam, where he is now successfully engaged in the bakery business, and where was solemnized his marriage to Donalda, daughter of P.M. Leclair; they have two children:  Mabel and Henry.  Delphine, who was born in Putnam, is the wife of G. Le Maitre, of that town.  Alexina and Armand are at the parental home.  

Reproduced by:

Linda D. Pingel – great-great granddaughter of Cyrus White of Rockville, Ct.


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