The following is from "The Family of Willis Vernon Farr" by Jayne E. Bickford:
THE FAMILY OF IVAH NEWTON FARR
The obituary for Ivah Newton Farr reads:
"Ivah Newton Farr died at his late residence Monday morning, aged 92 years, 4 months. He was born in Chesterfield, N. H., and was one of the fifth generation from John Farr an early settler of Massachusetts. He has held many positions of trust and took an active part in public affairs keeping well posted in political matters and was deeply interested in the silver campaign. He had been a member of the Congregational Church for more than sixty years, and always contributed liberally to its support. His funeral was held Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. Mr. Farr was the last of many children of Joseph Farr and raised a large family all but one of whom survive him, namely:
Sylvester N. Farr of Evona, Mo., Henry Farr of Swanzey, N. H., Harlan P. Farr and Mrs. Norman Whitney of Putney, Vt., Robert D. Farr, Mrs. Wm. B.Clay, and Mrs. Edwin Fenton of Westminster."
Obituaries are very helpful to the genealogist, and it is most satisfying when vital statistics bear out the statements found in them. Such is not the case in the above obituary. I have visited Ivah Newton Farr's grave in the Court House Hill Cemetery, Westminster, Vermont, and his stone bears the following inscription:
"IVAH N. FARR
Died Nov 2, 1896
AE. 91 yrs. 3 mos."
A copy of page 118 of a Westminster book of vital statistics headed "for the year ending December 31, A. D. 1896," which I obtained by writing to the town clerk at Westminster, indicates as item No. 15 that Ivah N. Farr died 2 Nov of that year at 91 years, 2 mos. and 21 days, that he was a widower and died of "old age." The entry also shows Ivah Newton Farr to have been born at Westmoreland, N. H., the son of Joseph and Hannah (Reed) Farr.
As to having descended fifth generation from John Farr, an early settler of Massachusetts, this does not appear to be true. As stated in early pages of this book, the best evidence available is that Ivah Newton Farr was fifth generation from Samuel Farr.
However, regardless of these inconsistencies, Ivah Newton Farr lived and died and became the ancestor of a number of people living today, some of whom bear the name of Farr, and many of whom I have been in contact with during the compiling of this book.
The fact that tvah Newton Farr was associated with the Westminster Congregatonai church is attested to by a stained glass window which is still there and which bears the name "FARR," and by a note in the handwriting of his granddaughter, Harriet Nancy Farr, which indicates that the window was given by Ivah N. Farr and his children, John V. Farr, Robert Farr, Harlan Farr, Semira (Farr) Clay, Whitman. Harriet adds: "I think these were all that gave. There were Henry Farr, Swanzey, N. H., Sarah Farr Fenton, N. Dakota, and Sylvester Farr, Missouri."
It is interesting to note that many years after Ivah Newton Farr died, his great, great granddaughter, Jeanne Lois Farr (daughter of John Elbridge and Marion Scott (Hyer) Farr) chose this Congregational church as the place for her marriage to William Semonite on 11 July 1953. I attended that wedding and I can also remember going to at least one church service at the Westminster church with my great aunt, Harriet Nancy Farr.
And making Ivah Newton Farr more human than mere vital statistics can do, there is an envelope which has come to me on which is written "I. N. Farr's Hair." Inside the envelope is a lock of some very soft white hair.
When I was a child there were yearly reunions of the descendants of Ivah Newton Farr. Some of these I attended. I remember one with particular vividness. That one was held at Vilas Pool, Alstead, New Hampshire. These are no longer held, and it is a pity that they ceased, but Ivah Newton's descendants are now spread throughout New England and stretch to California and Washington State and into Kansas and Missouri, New Jersey and Virginia. It would be difficult for these people to gather at a central place annually.
Ivah Newton Farr married his first wife at Grafton, Vermont, and later after her death and the raising of a large family being left a widower, Ivah Newton married his first wife's sister.
Ivab Newton Farr and both of his wives are buried at the Court House Hill Cemetery, Westrnirtter. All three names are on one stone, one name each on each of three sides. The inscriptions for Nancy and Mary Ann read:
Ivah N. Farr
Died A9. 30, 1867
"MARY ANN D.
Ivah N. Farr
Died Nov. 10, 1884
Another item concerning the death of I. N. Farr:
“The venerable Ivah N. Farr, next to the oldest person in town, died Monday morning. His birthplace was in the town of Chesterfield, N. H., where he was born over 91 years ago. After living in various places in this state and New Hampshire he removed to this place 54 years ago with his family where he has continued to live until his death. He was the last of a family of 11 children, nine of whom lived to mature years. Mr. Farr is survived by seven children as follows: Harlan P. and Mrs. Norman Whitney of Putney, Robert D., Mrs. N. S. Clay and Mrs. E. L. Finton of this place, Sylvester who resides in the west and Henry who lives in New Hampshire. He has held a number of town offices and been a prominent member of the Congregational church in this place for many years. Although a cripple for a long time he has taken a lively interest in all matters of public interest. He will be greatly missed in the family circle. The funeral will be attended at his home this afternoon.”
1850 Census of Westminster, Vt. lists: Ivah Newton Farr (b. NH, age 45, Farmer), Nancy D. (b. Mass, age 44), Harvey (b. Vt. age 21), Sylvester (b. Vt. age 19, peddler.
1880 census of Westminster, Vt. lists: Ivah Farr (b. NH, age 74, farmer), Mary A. Farr (b. Vt. age 71, wife), Lemira (b. Vt., age 47, daughter, father born NH, mother born Mass.)
CENSUS: Lists Nancy 54, John 26, Robert 19 and Sarah 15.
CENSUS: Lists J. N. Farr 65, Mary A. 60, Samira 37, Ellen M. 27 and Sarah A. 24.