Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5 v. (lvi, 2731 p., [228] leaves of plates) : ill., maps (some fold.), ports. ; 27 cm.

John Monroe Farnsworth

JOHN MONROE FARNSWORTH, of Humboldt, is one of the prominent oil well contractors and oil producers in this section of Kansas and has operated on a very extensive scale both for others and for himself. He grew up in the atmosphere of the oil industry in the East, and has been a resident of Kansas for the past fifteen years.

He is of English ancestry and the family came out of England and were Colonial settlers in New York. His grandfather, John Farnsworth, was born in New York State, was a carpenter by trade, and early settled in what is now West Virginia. He died at Parkersburg in that state before John M. Farnsworth was born.

John M. Farnsworth was born in Wood County, West Virginia, near Parkersburg, January 4, 1876. His father, Daniel Farnsworth, was born in the same locality in 1844, grew up and married there, and has spent practically all his life in some phase of the oil industry. He is an oil well driller, and for many years has operated in the volcano fields of West Virginia His home is now at Eaton Station, West Virginia. Daniel Farnsworth saw some active service during the Civil war, enlisting in 1863 in the West Virginia Cavalry and serving until the close of the struggle. He is a democrat and a member of the Baptist Church. The maiden name of his wife was Sarah Cochran. She was horn in Marion County, near Mannington, West Virginia, in 1849, and died at Eaton Springs in that state in 1896. They became the parents of a large family of children. Mollie is the wife of David Derr, of Eaton Station, West Virginia, Mr. Derr being a farmer and worker in the oil fields, and has also followed saw milling and threshing. Martha J., the second child, died in 1896, the wife of Mark Collins, who is a blacksmith and land owner near Claysville, West Virginia. Alfred Alonzo is in the railroad service, living at Clarksburg, West Virginia. Emma married Moody Parish, a grocery merchant at Buckhannon, West Virginia. The fifth in age of this family is John Monroe Farnsworth. Daniel N. is still unmarried and is associated with his father. Didama is the wife of Fred Slaughter, a minister of the United Brethren Church at Parkersburg, West Virginia. William is in the service of the United States navy and has seen many diverse parts of the world. Melissa is the wife of Mr. Hocker, an oil operator living near Mannington, West Virginia.

John Monroe Farnsworth has made his way in the world since an early age. He lived at home and attended school for a very brief period, and since the age of fourteen has been struggling in the world of events. He attended school near Walker's Station and at Redlill Hill, West Virginia. On leaving school he found employment in the oil fields, and at some time or another has done nearly every line of work connected with that industry. He was in the West Virginia fields until he was nineteen, then went to Wood County, Ohio, and put in eleven years in that section of the oil district. In 1902 he came to Cherryvale, Kansas. As an oil driller he had charge of the Cherryvale Oil Company's property for two years, and in 1904 he removed to Humboldt, which has since been his permanent home. For five years he had charge of the Big Gun Oil and Gas Company's property, and also the properties of the Phoenix Oil and Gas Company and the Producers Oil Company. He resigned his position with these companies in 1909. In the meantime he had operated drilling outfits under his own management and direction, and during the past ten or fifteen years he has sunk a great many wells in the Mid-Continent field and is still keeping up that line of work. At times he has had as many as five strings of tools. Mr. Farnsworth owns valuable oil productions 5 1/2 miles southeast of Humboldt, and has already drilled in and sold several leases in that vicinity.

In politics he is independent. He is affiliated with Cherryvale Lodge No. 989 of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. Mr. Farnsworth and family reside in a residence which he owns at 420 Sycamore Street in Humboldt, but they are moving to a large residence which he has just purchased and which was known as the Stoner's property on Ninth Street.

In 1898 at Hammondsburg, Ohio, he married Miss Elma Jimison, daughter of Joshua and Nora (Beaty) Jimison. Her parents now reside at North Baltimore, Ohio, her father being a farmer. Mr. and Mrs. Farnsworth have had three children: Cleo, born June 1, 1899, is now a freshman in the Humboldt High School, Harley died when five years of age; and Mearl was born February 3, 1905.

A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; transcribed October, 1997.