Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
GEORGE ELLIOTT FARWELL is a retired
business man living in Reardan. He was born in Monroe county, Michigan,
February 5, 1846. His father was Benjamin E. Farwell, a native of
Lockport, New York, and was a pioneer in Michigan and California.
During his career he followed various occupations, among which were butchering,
milling, farming, dealer in live stock and the livery business. He
came to California in 1852, and while engaged in the livery business at
Oakland, was killed by a vicious horse, in 1881. Mr. Farwell's mother
was Susan Aldridge in maiden life, and was a native of Onondaga county,
New York. The only brother of our subject died at the age of two,
and the mother died when George was a lad of five years. Her family
still resides in Onondaga county. Mr. Farwell is a descendant of
the old Farwell family which came to America on the Mayflower, and which
has since played a conspicuous part in the history of this country.
He is a man of finished education, his schooling having been gained in
his native state, New York and California, to which last named state he
came with his father in 1863.
Among the hardships endured by the pioneers
of Lincoln county are many cases, such as Mr. Farwell experienced the first
few years here. Coming here with the intention of going into the
stock business, he had several head of good horses, which were stolen by
Looking Glass and his Indian followers, and run out of the country, leaving
him without stock to harvest his crop. To carry him through the winter
he was obliged to work on the railroad, his winter's supplies consisting
of three sacks of potatoes, one pig and some flour. From the three
sacks of potatoes he had to save seed for the next season's crop.
Mr. Farwell made his trip to California overland, riding the entire distance
from Beloit, Wisconsin, to Sacramento in the saddle. Leaving Salt
Lake he continued his trip west, the date being July 4, 1863. Mr.
Farwell was unfavorably impressed by the crude methods of fighting fire.
The only apparatus then in Salt Lake for fire protection was a bucket brigade.
Upon the outbreak of the Civil war he enlisted
in Company D, Fifteenth Michigan Infantry, but was mustered out about six
months later on account of his youth. In California Mr. Farwell was
variously employed. He spent some time in Brayton College, was a
member of the Oakland fire department, of which he attained the rank of
assistant engineer; and he also helped organize the first hook and ladder
company of the department. He then entered the composing room of
the Oakland Daily News, where he learned the printer's trade.
While with this paper he was married at San Francisco, January 27, 1872,
to Hanna Adelaid Studley, born near Augusta, Maine.
Leaving the Oakland News Mr. Farwell
engaged in the trucking and draying business in Oakland, and later opened
a furnishing goods store there, which he conducted until 1879, when he
sold out and came to Washington. He settled on a homestead in what
is now Spokane county, which place he still owns. Two years later
he purchased a quarter section of railroad land, and also a ranch near
Chewelah, Stevens county. He came to Reardan in 1893 where he was
engaged in business for three years, and where he is now living.
He owns, besides the land previously mentioned, one thousand acres of good
grain land, six hundred and forty acres of which is in Yakima county, five
valuable store buildings, and other real estate in Reardan. He has
always been an active Republican in politics, and a most progressive citizen.
He was made an Odd Fellow May, 1870, and a Mason three years later.
In both of these orders he is a conspicuous member in Reardan.
Mr. and Mrs. Farwell have an adopted daughter,
Marion P. Farwell, aged eight years. He is one of the substantial
citizens of his county.