SIMON FARLEY

BIOGRAPHY

AS RECORDED IN:

COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF 
TOLLAND AND WINDHAM COUNTIES CONNECTICUT.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF PROMINENT AND REPRESENTATIVE  CITIZENS AND OF MANY OF THE EARLY SETTLED FAMILIES
PUBLISHER: J.H.BEERS & CO., CHICAGO; 1903     P.  1104

SIMON FARLEY.  In a publication which purports to touch upon the history of the men and forces whose contributions to the development and material prosperity of Windham county has been of distinctive scope and importance, it is but consistent that more than passing attention be accorded to Messrs. Simon and George Farley, who have been of marked service to their city, county and State, through various avenues of usefulness, being identified with enterprises which can not be considered as other than potent factors in connection with the industrial activities of this favored section of the State of Connecticut.  We are thus gratified in being here able to enter individual sketches of the careers of these honored citizens and representative business men of the city of Putnam, offering in the sketch of the elder brother such genealogical data as is available.  Success does not depend so much upon the possession of talents or powers unusual to the majority of mankind as upon the exercise of those qualities which are common to all.  Hope is of the valley, while effort is climbing the mountain side, so that personal advancement comes not to the one who hopes alone, but to the one whose hope and faith are those of definite action.  We may thus hold in high esteem the result of individual accomplishment, and accord the credit and honor to those who have achieved success through worthy means, as have Simon and George Farley.

Simon Farley is a native of the Dominion of Canada, having been born in the town of St. Norbert, County of Berthier, June 5, 1846, his ancestry in the agnatic line being of Scotch-Irish extraction, and in the maternal line of pure French strain.

Hypolyte Farley, his father, was born on the Isle of Du Pas, Province of Quebec, Canada, June 20, 1810, and his death occurred Feb. 17, 1893, at Berthierville, Canada, where he had long maintained his home, and where he commanded unqualified confidence and esteem by reason of his sterling integrity and honor in all the relations of life.  He was a blacksmith by trade, and to the same he devoted more or less attention during the major portion of his long and active life, while he also attained success in connection with the great basic industry of agriculture, with which he was long identified, being a man of unflagging industry and excellent business ability.  He was a man of influence in his community, and was naturally called upon to serve in various positions of public trust and responsibility, in which connection it should be noted that for three years he was identified with the commission which had in charge the determining of the dividing line between Canada and the United States.  He was a man of marked mental and physical vigor, having escaped the many neutral ills to which human flesh is heir, and having retained exceptional health until the closing years of his life, while his genial and kindly nature won to him warm and lasting friendships.  In the year 1839 was solemnized the marriage of Hypolyte Farley to Domithilde Durand, who was born in Berthier, Canada, daughter of Paul Durand, who was of stanch French lineage.  She is still living, maintaining her home in Berthierville, Canada, and being seventy-nine years of age at the time of this writing (September, 1902).  Concerning the children of Hypolyte and Domithilde Farley we enter the following brief record:  Adolph, who is now living retired in St. Gabriel, Canada, was for many years successfully engaged in farming in that locality, where he has reared his four sons and two daughters.  Exilda died the age of sixteen years.  David is a retired farmer, residing in St. Gabriel, Canada, and he has five daughters.  Simon is the next in order of birth.  Louis, who was for fifteen years engaged in the bakery business in Berthierville, Canada, is now living retired, in that place, and has one son and one daughter.  George, who is one of the prominent business men of Putnam, Connecticut, is the subject of the sketch which immediately follows this.  Paul, who is engaged in the harness business at St. Gabriel, Canada, has five sons and two daughters.  Edward, who is a prominent shoe merchant of Woonsocket, Rhode Island, has six daughters and two sons.  Henry was the manager of an extensive clothing establishment in Fall River, Mass., but now resides in Pawtucket, R.I.; he has one daughter.  Eloize is the wife of Gardien Coutu, who was formerly a sea captain, was twenty years alderman and is now superintendent of the waterworks at Berthierville, Canada.  Marie Louise became the wife of Jerimie Lefebre, a farmer of Berthierville, Canada, where her death occurred in 1900; she left three sons and four daughters.

Francois Xavier Farley, the grandfather of our subject, was born in the Isle of Du Pas, Canada, and passed his entire life in the dominion, having been a successful farmer and having acquired a valuable estate, which is still in the possession of his descendants.  He lived to attain the patriarchal age of ninety-three years, and was endowed with that fine physical vigor which has been characteristic of the family, and which ever stands typical of right living.  Francois X. Farley married Elizabeth de Sicard, likewise of French descent, and she died at the age of eighty-seven years.  They became the parents of eight children, whose names, in the order of birth, were as follows:  Antoine, Hypolyte, Louis, Amable, David, Clement, Auralie and Delphine.  Of these it may be stated that Amable Farley was a valiant soldier in the army of the United States during the Civil war, in which he held the office of captain, and in which he attained a high reputation for bravery and gallantry.  He was named for an uncle, who was a captain in the King’s service during the war of 1812.  On one occasion his men were suffering for want of food and other provision, and the intrepid captain met the exigency by breaking into one of the king’s provision houses and securing rations for his command, regardless of what the consequences might be, his men fearing to follow his leadership in this bold effort.

The great-grandfather of our subject in the agnatic line was James Antoine Phillips Farley, who was born in the north of Ireland, whence he came to Canada when a lad of twelve years, in 1707, becoming an extensive and influential farmer in the county of Berthier, and owning the farm which is still held in the possession of his descendants.  He was one of the first settlers in that section of the Dominion, and was one of the honored and influential citizens of the locality.  The church and parsonage are located on land which was donated by him for the purpose, and he was ever foremost in the promotion of all worthy enterprises for the advancement of the civic and material prosperity of the community in which he lived to venerable age, and in which he held the respect and high esteem of all who knew him.  He married Elizabeth Lemarise, daughter of Lord Lemarise, of Montreal, and they reared a family of several children.

Simon Farley, whose name initiates this review, was reared in his native county, receiving his preliminary educational discipline in the parochial schools, after which he entered Berthier Academie, where he completed a five years’ course of study, being graduated as a member of the class of 1863.  After leaving school Mr. Farley gave inception to his practical business career by securing a clerkship in the general merchandise establishment of Francois Gervais, in Sorel, Canada, retaining this incumbency for four and one-half years, at the expiration of which time, in 1867, he came to the United States, visiting divers sections of the Union for the purpose of gaining a knowledge of the country and business methods.  In this connection he tarried for an interval in a number of the leading cities, including St. Paul, St. Louis, Memphis, New Orleans and New York, and gaining much practical information which proved of great value to him in his future business career.  On July 15, 1868, Mr. Farley arrived in Putnam, Conn., where he was employed for several months in the Morse cotton mills, and then he secured a position in the store of Ely & Co., in Danielson, continuing in the employ of that firm until the death of Mr. Ely representing a period of nearly fifteen years, within which he had advanced to a position of responsibility through his able and faithful service, while he became familiar with all details of the dry-goods business, so that he was well equipped for conducting an enterprise on his own responsibility at the time when he withdrew from the service of the firm mentioned.  He opened a dry-goods and clothing store in Danielson, while later he opened branch establishments in Putnam and Grosvenor Dale.  In Danielson he originally occupied quarters in the Evans block, but his business so rapidly increased in scope that he was obliged to erect a new building in order to secure the requisite accommodations, and after conducting a profitable enterprise for a period of four years he disposed of his realty in Danielson, and removed his stock of goods to Putnam, continuing the business at Grosvenor Dale for a period of eight years, and then adding the stock from his store there to the one in his main establishment in Putnam, a fire in the former store having entailed to him a considerable loss just prior to the consolidation.  Mr. Farley opened business in Putnam under favorable auspices, being first located in the Bailey block, whence he later removed to the old Mansfield building, where he continued business some time.  Recognizing that larger and more eligible quarters were demanded for the proper display of his goods, and the accommodation of the increasing trade, he contracted for one of the stores in the new Court House building, which was in process of erection at the time, and there he continued his dry-goods and clothing business until June 15, 1900, having built up a large and prosperous business during the thirteen years of his identification with the industrial activities of Putnam, and having gained prestige as one of the town’s most able, conservative and successful business men, his course having been such as to gain to him unequivocal confidence and esteem, and a resulting support of the most representative order.  On the date mentioned Mr. Farley disposed of his stock and business to N.H. Hulburt, who still conducts the enterprise.  Since his retirement from the business noted he has given his attention to the handling of real estate, and to the conducting of a rapidly increasing insurance business, while in addition to this important enterprise he purchased, in September, 1901, the drug store of J.F. Donahue, so that he is still identified with the mercantile activities of Putnam, while his personal popularity insures to the latter enterprise a continual growth of patronage.

In politics Mr. Farley gives an uncompromising allegiance to the Republican party, of whose principles and policies he is a stanch advocate, and though he has had no personal ambition in a political way he has rendered effective service to his party, and is at present time a member of the city Republican committee of Putnam, while he has been incumbent consecutively of the office of tax collector from the time of the incorporation of Putnam as a city, in 1896.  He and his wife are zealous and valued members of the Baptist church, in which they have held membership since 1888, and fraternally Mr. Farley is identified with the Blue Lodge and Chapter of the Masonic order, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Foresters of America.  It may be noted in the connection that he was the first person of French descent to become a naturalized American citizen in Danielson.

On June 20, 1869, in Moosup, Conn., was solemnized the marriage of Simon Farley to Miss Mathilde Reeves, daughter of Eugene and Zoe (Senecal) Reeves, of Canada.  Of the children of this union we incorporate the following record:  Eugenia, born in Danielson, March 31, 1870, is the wife of Dr. Oswald Gregoire, a prominent dentist of Southbridge, Massachusetts.  George W.H., born in Danielson, Sept. 6, 1873, is engaged in the bakery business and in the manufacturing of a patent clasp for ladies’ skirts, in Chicago; he married Miss Lillian M. Blair, of Chicago.  Arthur Paul, born in Danielson, Dec. 30, 1874, is engaged in the practice of dentistry in the city of Providence, R.I.; he married Ada Bampton, of Providence.  Albina, born in Danielson, June 8, 1877, is the wife of Dr. Andrew J. Fortier, who is engaged in the practice of dentistry at Pawtucket, R.I.  Louise Delvina, born in Danielson, April 9, 1880, was graduated in the convent at Fall River, Mass., as a member of the class of 1899, having exceptional musical talent and now devoting her attention to the study of vocal music, in which line her interpretations have met with the most favorable criticisms.

Reproduced by:

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

 

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