Robert Y. Farrar, one of the oldest and most highly-respected citizens of Perry County, Mo., was born in Lincoln County, N. C., in 1817, and is a son of John and Mary (Abernathy) Farrar, natives of North Carolina, born on February 8, 1790, and March 11, 1789, respectively. John Farrar was a farmer and mechanic.
He married Mary Abernathy in his native State. She was the daughter of Col. Jones Abernathy, a colonel in the War of 1812, and was the mother of seven children. Her death occurred on August 19, 1829?, after which Mr. Farrar married Susan Clifton, also a native of the “Old North State”.
She died, and Mr. Farrar married the Widow Venable.
Robert Y. came with his parents to Missouri in 1820, and grew up on their farm, receiving his education in the common schools. He was proprietor of a saw and grist mill in Bollinger County for thirty years. In 1883 he retired from active business life and sold his mill. He then returned to the old homestead which his father settled in 1821. He has been a very energetic and enterprising man, and has amassed considerable wealth, now owning 180? acres of land.
In 1858 he was united in marriage with Hannah Finley, a native of Ohio, born on June 28, 1834. He and wife are consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. Mr. Farrar is a member of the Masonic lodge.
Mrs. Farrar is a daughter of James and Jane Finley, natives of Pennsylvania and New York, respectively. James Finley was born on August 9, 1801, and was well educated. For fifty years he taught school in Ohio and Missouri. He taught in Fredericktown, Mo., for four years. There are many old men in that section of country who have been his pupils. He died on April 27, 1876.
His wife was born on June 11, 1806, and on July 31, 1851. They were the parents of fourteen children, six of whom are now alive.
The Goodspeed Publishing Company compiled a series of histories of various counties in the U.S. in the late 19th century. The information in the History of Southeast Missouri, published in 1888, was provided by the contemporary residents of Perry County and her neighboring counties. The biographies are a valuable source of genealogical information, despite a few minor inaccuracies. We are glad to present the transcribed biographies here for anyone researching Perry County's history.
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