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Below is a family biography included in History of Shawnee County, Kansas and Representative Citizens by James L. King, published by Richmond & Arnold, 1905.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Hon. Joseph S. Farrell, a successful farmer and stock-raiser of Soldier township, Shawnee County, who owns a half-section, the best part of section 29, township 10, range 16, was born December 24, 1849, in Delaware County, Iowa, and is a son of Francis and Vin (Ray) Farrell.

The father of Mr. Farrell was born in Ireland and after he came to America spent some years at Philadelphia, where he was employed in the construction of public works. In 1848 he moved to Iowa, where he followed farming until his death in 1852. His widow survived until 1858. Our subject has two brothers: Francis, a resident of Pocahontas County, Iowa, who has seven children; and Thomas, of Cherokee County, Iowa, who has one child.

Joseph S. Farrell was reared and educated in Iowa and early devoted himself to agricultural pursuits. In 1878 he came to Kansas and settled on a farm of 160 acres in Jewell County, which locality remained his home for 22 years. During this period Mr. Farrell became one of the county’s most prominent men, serving 18 years on the School Board of the local district and taking a very active interest in political affairs. In 1896 he was elected to the Legislature on the Populist ticket and served one term and through the extra session, during which time he supported the maximum railroad rate bill and the school book bill, proving himself a conscientious and faithful legislator. He served also as township trustee for some four years and dominated party affairs in his township for a number of years. In 1900 he sold his property there and bought his present farm, which he conducts in a great measure as a stock and cattle farm.

Mr. Farrell was married October 6, 1879, to Bridget Sullivan, who is a daughter of John and Mary (Cunningham) Sullivan, who came to Kansas in 1888 and settled in Jewell County, where Mr. Sullivan died April 18, 1894. Mr. and Mrs. Farrell have had these children: Mary V., residing at home; Katherine (Mrs. Charles Rail), of Kansas City, who has two children,—Charles and Emmet; Francis and James, both at home; Agnes Winifred, who died February 11, 1894; and Mabel and Marguerite, both at home. The family belong to the Catholic Church.

Mr. Farrell completed the beautiful family residence a year ago. It is modern throughout and is situated on a bluff from which can be seen a wide stretch of valley and the city of Topeka. It is one of the ideal rural homes of the township.

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This family biography is one of 206 biographies included in History of Shawnee County, Kansas and Representative Citizens by James L. King, published by Richmond & Arnold, 1905.  For the complete description, click here: Shawnee County, Kansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Shawnee County, Kansas family biographies here: Shawnee County, Kansas

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