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.
JOHN P. O'FARRELL, city marshal
of Davenport, Lincoln county, deputy sheriff, and secret service man, first
came to the city nearly eighteen years ago. He was born in Atchison,
Kansas, March 2, 1856, the son of John and Catherine Spellman, natives
of Ireland. They came to the United States when quite young, and
lived in Boston until their marriage. They removed to Kansas in 1856,
where the father now resides. The mother passed away in 1874.
They were the parents of nine children, three of whom survive: Edward,
in Flagstaff, Arizona; Katie, living with her father; and John P., the
subject of this sketch.
The latter received his elementary education
in a log school house in Pottawatomie county, Kansas. At the age
of seventeen he left school and carried a hod for his father, who was a
plasterer, and when twenty years old he was appointed on the police force
of Kansas City, Missouri. Subsequently he was appointed deputy sheriff
of Pottawatomie county, serving eight years under four different sheriffs.
He was elected assessor, serving two years, and in 1886 came to Sprague,
Washington, where he was appointed deputy sheriff, and rounded up a party
of horse thieves. In 1877 he came to Davenport, Lincoln county, where
he served as deputy sheriff until 1890, when he was elected marshal of
the city, which position he still holds. He has served under Sheriffs
Reardan, Donahue, Gardner, and Inkster. He participated in the capture
of the notorious desperado, Tracey, but refused to share in the reward
offered by the governors of Oregon and Washington.
October 17, 1895, our subject was united in
marriage to Mary Davis, daughter of John and Ann Davis, natives of Wales.
Politically Mr. O'Farrell is a Republican, and takes an active interest
in the campaigns of his party. He is a member of the Elks, has passed
through the chairs of Davenport Lodge, No. 64, I. O. O. F., and is a member
of Davenport Post, No. 44, F. O. A., having gone through the chairs there
also. May 14, 1903, he was elected supreme representative at Providence,
Rhode Island. In 1900 he was deputy grand chief during six months.
Mr. O'Farrell is a member of the Catholic church. He is a man of
great force of character, progressive and public spirited, and in the community
in which he resides he is highly esteemed.