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Below is a family biography included in The History of Polk County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  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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John W. Farmer, M. D., was born in Anderson County, Tenn., June 28, 1822. His parents were Luke and Jane (Williams) Farmer, both of Virginia, the former having been born in 1792, of English parents, and his wife in 1790, of Welsh parents. After marriage the father followed the life of a farmer till 1833, when he was killed by the falling of a tree, and his widow and children remained on the same farm till 1851, when they moved to Polk County, Mo., then to Cedar County, near El Dorado Springs, where she died in 1866. Luke Farmer was a soldier in the War of 1812. The family consisted of six children, four sons and two daughters. The subject of this sketch, John Williams Farmer, was raised on a farm and received a common school education. Leaving the farm, he alternately taught and attended college till he reached the junior year in East Tennessee University. In 1851 he graduated at Starling Medical College, Columbus, Ohio, after which he returned to Tennessee, and, October 22, 1851, married Nancy A. Pruett, of Roane County, Tenn., by whom he had one child, which died. The same year he located some eight miles southwest of Bolivar, Mo. In 1853 his wife died, and, five years after, he married Mrs. Sarah S. Campbell, of this county, but a native of Carter County, Tenn., who died in December, 1888. By her he had two children, Mary E., who died young, and Trefilia Jane, who still lives. Dr. Farmer was chairman of the county court for several years, has always been a Democrat, and is a Mason. In connection with his practice he is interested in farming, owning 2,500 acres of land. From 1863 to 1865 he was assistant surgeon of the Fifteenth Missouri Volunteer Cavalry, Federal Service. He is now a member of the Board of Examining Surgeons for the Pension Department, at Bolivar, Mo.

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This family biography is one of 132 biographies included in The History of Polk County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Polk County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

To view additional Polk County, Missouri family biographies, click here

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