From the research of Linda Farr Welch:
Leon Farr was born and raised in the village of Proctorsville. He attended the local school and later self-studied the nursing field. Mr. Farr worked at the Brattleboro Retreat from April, 1902 to 1906. He also worked in private duty practice for some time in Cavendish and Proctorsville.
FAMILY NEWS: -Proctorsville, 15 Dec., 1893: “Anyone wishing for a Boston Sunday Journal, can get it of Leon Farr.” -21 Aug., 1903: “Leon Farr who is at work at the Brattleboro Retreat for the insane, is spending his vacation at his father's Russell Farr's. While Leon and Harold Pickett were driving home from Ludlow Monday afternoon, their horse became frightened near the watering trough in Smithville, throwing them out and smashing up the carriage.” -28 Aug., 1903: Leon Farr returned to Bellows Falls Sunday to spend a day or two with his sister, Mrs. Parody before returning to his work in Brattleboro.” -8 July, 1904: “Leon Farr is taking a two weeks' vacation from his duties at the Brattleboro retreat and is at his father's R. H. Farr's.” -19 Jan., 1906: “Leon Farr came home from Brattleboro asylum on Friday night suffering from an abscess on his nose.” 26 March, 1908: “Leon Farr is caring for Mr. George S. Hill at the present time.” -10 Dec., 1908: “Leon Farr, who has been an attendant on Geo. S. Hill, finished work there December 1st., and Miss Helen Fitton is now taking care of her grandfather.”
Leon removed to Collinsville, Conn. and worked at the hospital there. Collinsville, a suburb of the city of Hartford, Conn., was a prosperous manufacturing village of 3,000 inhabitants in the year 1924. Often times when the Cavendish and Proctorsville mills shut down, their workers would find suitable employment in Collinsville and manufacturing centers like it.
-Cavendish, 9 Aug., 1906: “Leon Farr was at his home here from Collinsville, Conn., called by the serious illness of his mother.” -Proctorsville 12 Nov., 1908: “The supper and concert given by the Order of Woodmen last Friday evening was well attended and pronounced by all present a most enjoyable event. Supper was served in the dining hall from five until eight. The concert was held in the opera house and consisted of selections on the phonograph, duets by Helen M. Hudson and Leon R. Farr, soprano solos by Mrs. Charles Cook, and Misses May and Maude Mack, baritone solos by Rice M. Battey and Charles Parker. Mrs. Charles Parker presided at the piano during the evening.” -Proctorsville, 4 March, 1909: “Leon Farr left Monday morning for Concord, NH where he has a position in the insane asylum.”
The first time back to Proctorsville after his marriage in Aug., 1910 to Mabel Emma Frost, we learn on 17 March, 1910: “Mr. and Mrs. Leon Farr of Concord, NH are at his father's R. H. Farr's.” Mabel had been working as an attendant in a hospital at Concord, NH, where she and Leon, who also was working as an attendant, became acquainted, fell and love, and were married.
-Proctorsville, 25 May, 1911: “Mrs. Leon Farr and baby went to her home in Pepperell, Mass., last Saturday.” - 6 July, 1911: “Leon Farr moved his family into one of the Parker tenements in the old store building.” - 28 Dec., 1911: “Mrs. Leon Farr was seriously burned last week through the ignition of her gown by the head of a snap match which broke in lighting and started her clothing on fire. Mr. Farr was asleep in another room and upon hearing her cries he rushed to her aid and with quick work on the part of both, fatal results were averted. Her lower limbs and body were badly burned but not deep enough but that it is felt she will recover.” - 11 Jan., 1912: “At the latest report, Mrs. Leon Farr is improving.” - 30 April, 1914: “Miss Lill Frost from Pepperell, Mass., who has been on a two weeks' visit to her sister, Mrs. Leon Farr, went back to her home on Wednesday.”- 9 July, 1914: "Mrs. Leon Farr and two children have gone to Pepperell, Mass., to visit her mother.” - 8 Oct., 1914: “Leon Farr has returned after a three months absence much improved in health and has returned to his former position in the Proctorsville mill.” - 22 Oct., 1914: “Mrs. Leon Farr and two children who have spent the past few months with her mother, joined her husband here last Saturday.” - 2 Dec., 1914: “Leon Farr has finished work at the mill and is in Rutland this week with the agent, learning the routine and preparing to engage in the insurance business under the auspices of the Odd Fellows.” - 10 Dec. 1914: “Leon Farr has returned home and resumed work in the mill.”
- Proctorsville, 14 Feb., 1915: “Leon Farr has taken the agency for sanitary brushes for Fuller brush company, Hartford, Conn., and has Windham county for territory.” - 10 June, 1915: “Miss Lillian Frost of Pepperell, Mass. is visiting her sister, Mrs. Leon Farr.” - 8 July, 1915: “Mrs. Leon Farr visited her father in Waverly, Mass., over the Fourth.” - 16 Sept., 1915: “Leon Farr is working in Cook & Wells' market, having taken Fred Hart's place, and has moved his family to the Dix tenement on Main Street” - 26 Oct., 1916: “Cook & Wells have recently purchased an automobile delivery truck which they are using as a meat cart and have added Springfield to their route, Leon Farr as delivery man.” - 16 Nov., 1916: “Mrs. Leon Farr went to Pepperell, Mass. Wednesday to visit her mother who is in poor health.”- 22 Feb., 1917: “Mr. & Mrs. Leon Farr visited at her home in Pepperell, Mass. last week.” - 24 May, 1917: “Henry E. Frost of Waverly, Mass., is the guest of his daughter, Mrs. Leon Farr. Mr. Frost is having a vacation of two weeks from his duties as night supervisor at the McLean Hospital, a position he has held for thirty-nine years.” - 7 June, 1917: “Miss Seymour, who teaches school in Walpole, NH, was the guest of her former playmate, Mrs. Leon Farr over Sunday.” - 28 June, 1917: “Mrs. Leon Farr was called to her former home in Massachusetts the last of the week by the serious illness of her mother.”
- Proctorsville, 5 Sept., 1918: “The program for the coming week at the “Pastime” includes a Sunday evening performance of “Over the Top” featuring Guy Espey himself. The doors will open at 7:00 and from 7:45 until 8:15, Perry's orchestra of Springfield will give a concert. During the evening, Leon Farr will sing. Mrs. Leon Farr left Wednesday for a week's visit to her sister in Pepperell, Mass., and her mother in Worcester.” - 19 Dec., 1918: “L. E. Boyce and Wright Danforth have purchased the grocer and meat business hitherto conducted by W. L. Warner on Depot Street, Ludlow ,and are now carrying it on under the 'cash and carry' system. The store was closed all day yesterday for re-arrangement of the goods, and opened again this morning. Mr. Warner is to remain with the new firm for a few days and J. C. Gleason is also helping here.” - 23 Jan., 1919: “Mr. Henry Edgar Frost has come to Proctorsville from a visit with his son Edgar and daughter Lillian at East Pepperell, Mass. He is now visiting with his daughter Mrs. Leon Farr. He is very proud of his son Edgar Frost. He brought in an extract from the Pepperell News: “Edgar W. Frost is spending his furlough with his sister, Mrs. John B. Rodier. Mr. Frost enlisted in the naval reserves when war was declared. Having entered the Harvard Radio school, he volunteered to go across on the U. S. S. destroyer, Tucker on May 17, 1917. During his 19 months of service, he worked up from third class to first class and finally to chief radio operator. The Tucker was awarded a white star on her forward funnel for downing a submarine unaided.”
- Proctorsville, 30 Jan., 1919: “Leon Farr cut the thumb on his left hand severely while peddling meat for Cook & Wells in Ludlow on Saturday. He injured the bone, which makes it very painful.” - (under same date): “Mrs. Adeline Parker, D. D. P., and her marshal, Mrs. Mabel Farr, installed the officers of Amity Rebekah lodge in Bellows Falls Friday evening of Crystal Lodge Saxtons River Monday evening, and of Hope lodge of Chester, Tuesday evening.”- 20 Feb., 1919: “Fred Hart has returned to a position he had in Kent, Ohio, last fall, and Leon Farr has taken charge of the Cook & Wells store in Ludlow. Mrs. Leon Farr returned the first of the week from a visit with her sister, Mrs. John Rodier in Pepperell, Mass.” - 27 Feb., 1919: “Leon Farr, who injured his hand a short time ago, expects to have his thumb taken off this week.”- Proctorsville, 20 March, 1919: “Leon Farr has had a telephone installed in his house, 2-8.” - 1 May, 1919: “Mrs. Eliza (McNulty) Williams and Mrs. Leon Farr left here last Wednesday noon for Greenfield, Mass. Mrs. Farr returned Friday. Mrs. Williams was to continue her trip to Boston.” Ludlow, - 11 Sept., 1919: “Leon Farr of the local Cook & Wells market, is in Boston or the week. Fred Hart of Proctorsville is helping in the market in his absence.”
After his father's death in 1919, Leon and wife Mabel purchased the home and moved in right away, vacating the house they had rented.
-Proctorsville, 3 May, 1920: “Leon Farr is beautifying his home by the setting out of hydrangeas and rose bushes, pear and apple trees.” - 3 June, 1920: “When Leon Farr set out fruit trees a short time ago, in the 'wilds' of Proctorsville, he used dynamite in digging the holes. He says he did not linger near the holes to note the details of the digging process, but found when the dynamite was through with the dirt, in loosened in fine shape and now recommends this process to his neighbors, for large hole digging.”
Proctorsville, 15 July, 1920: “A Proctorsville Woman Writes of Her Trip Through The Air In An Airplane: “Mrs. Leon Farr of Proctorsville sends this description of a recent trip in an airplane: Mrs. Farr claims the distinction of being the only woman in the immediate vicinity who has been fortunate enough to travel by airplane and in anticipating the time when this will be a common mode of travel. The new mode of travel by airplane is a most delightful experience, though not all pleasant by any means, to those who are fortunate enough to have so thrilling an adventure. None of our party had any idea of taking a flight when we started for Kendrick's Corners, the landing place and aviation 'field'. When we arrived, Capt. Stickney, the aviator and his assistant, were adjusting a new propeller. It was not an ideal day for a flight, the weather being showery and with high winds. However, as they expected to make flights at Claremont, NH the following day, the place was given a try-out. Capt. Stickney going up alone the first trip. The spectators were treated to a thrill when the plane 'looped the loop.' In plain sight of all. He then carried three passengers, one at a time. I was the fourth passenger after signing a paper releasing the government from responsibility should any damage occur to my person or clothing during the flight. The assistant, having helped me to the seat, I was strapped in, and invested with an aviators cap and goggles. When the machine left the ground, I wished myself back on solid ground, but this feeling passed quickly and I became anxious to peer over at objects below. Suddenly it seemed as though we were not moving an inch, but just hanging in mid-air. How long it seemed as we passed over that mountain, facing a strong wind! Soon I began to follow the course of the river, railroad, and highways, and began to partially realize what was passing below us. Just before reaching Proctorsville, Capt. Stickney called my attention by pulling my cape and pointed toward the town. As Mr. Butler had sent word than an airplane was to fly over the town I felt sure some of the citizens were looking our way, but must confess I saw none. The trip back was delightful, with the wind at our backs, and we were at the landing place again, in a surprisingly short space of time, the entire trip being covered in 24 minutes.”
A few days after Mabel went flying in the plane, her husband Leon was in Plymouth, Vt. at the Coolidge reception, taking pictures for the Vermont Tribune newspaper of Calvin Coolidge's visit to the old homestead. One of the pictures he took appeared on the front page of the 22 July, 1920 issue. Leon took a good deal of pictures and held a 'show' of the event at Hammond Hall in Ludlow on Saturday evening, 24 July, 1920. Mabel Farr was very proud to have registered for the very first time to vote in the September primary election in Proctorsville, September 14, 1920- the very first year women were given the absolute right to vote. She was one of sixty-four women of Proctorsville who registered to vote and one of forty-three who cast their ballots that day in the village for the first time.
More news: - 7 Oct., 1920: “Leon Farr is taking a vacation from the Cook & Wells market and Ludlow, and with Mrs. Farr is visiting relatives in different parts of Massachusetts.”
It was announced in the newspaper that the Cook and Wells partnership was dissolved 20 July, 1920, as Charles M. Cook bought out Reuben O. Wells in the meat store business. - -4 Aug., 1921: “Mrs. John Rodier and Mr. & Mrs. Jesse Shattuck of Pepperell, Mass. have been the recent guests of Mrs. Rodier's sister, Mrs. Leon Farr.” -Ludlow, 17 Feb., 1922: “Dollar Days in Ludlow was a success. C. M. Cook offered bargains on Saturday and had a volume of business that exceeded his fondest hopes. The Cook market had sold out its supply on hand before evening and was obliged to replenish its refrigerator with more beef and pork to take care of the night trade. 'It was by far our best day in many months,' said Mr. Farr, the manager, when asked about his success.” - -11 Aug., 1922: “Most people have opinions of their own about flying in an airplane. Some are decidedly opposed to taking any changes in a dash through space; others would like to try it if they could keep one feet on terra firma. While some would welcome the opportunity to fly, even to the limit of emulating the tricksters in their 'loop-the-loops' and fancy 'dives.' Bill Donahue of Ludlow has an opinion with which all of us will agree. When Leon Farr pointed to the airplane circling over the town Wednesday morning and asked Mr. Donahue how he would like to be up there in it, the genial Irishman replied: “I would much rather be up there with it than without it.' “
Leon and Mabel removed to Ludlow, Vermont, where they bought a farm from George C. Parker of North Bennington, Vt., known as the Cynthia A. Orvis place, for $1,150, on April 27, 1923. This farm consisted of a dwelling and barn about two acres of land, bounded northerly and easterly by land of Harlan Graham; southerly by land of George H. Bennett; and westerly by the highway leading from Ludlow Village to Weston. An additional parcel of land they purchased at the same time lay across the highway from the home place and had ten acres of pasture land.
-Ludlow, 13 April, 1923: "Leon R. Farr, who has managed the meat market here, owned by C. M. Cook of Proctorsville for the past five years, has purchased the establishment from Mr. Cook, and took possession on the first day of the month. Mr. Farr had worked for the former owner for eight years at the time the sale was made- the first three of that time being employed in Proctorsville. The new proprietor will continue to handle the same quality of products as before and no immediate changes in the business are anticipated." - 27 April, 1923: "Walter Hemenway, who has been employed in the Tribune office for the past eight months, finished work here Saturday, and will begin work on Monday for Leon Farr in the meat market. Lawrence Burney has been working in Farr's market this week." - Proctorsville, 4 May, 1923: "Through the Elwin Leach Agency, Arthur E. Rhodes has bought the Leon R. Farr place in Proctorsville, Mr. Farr as purchased the Chester A. Durphey's place on Andover Street in Ludlow. On Tuesday evening, Mr. and Mrs. Farr, who are soon to move to Ludlow, were presented by Mrs. Park Pollard on behalf of Rebekah Lodge, with a May basket in which was a ten dollar gold piece. Mr. Farr is past grand of Mt. Sinai Lodge, and Mrs. Farr is a past noble Grande of Myrtle Lodge. They have a large circle of friends who regret very much their leaving town."
-Proctorsville, 19 Sept., 1924: The next meeting of the Ladies' Aid will be held with Mrs. Leon Farr in Ludlow." - 3 Oct., 1924: "Seven members of the Ladies' Aid of Proctorsville, attended the work meeting held at the home of Mrs. Leon Farr last week, and report a very pleasant time. They made plans for the Harvest Supper to be held at the Opera House Friday evening, October 10th." - Ludlow, 20 Feb., 1925: "Mr. and Mrs. L. R. Farr were in Boston last week to see Mrs. Farr's cousin, Julian Eltinge, in a last appearance at Fenway's Theater. Mr. Eltinge is called the greatest artist in the country, if not the world, in the impersonations of female characters. He has often been called the 'most beautiful woman on the stage.'" - Ludlow, 30 April, 1926: "Mrs. J. W. Archibald, while making her first automobile trip of the season to Camp Plymouth on Tuesday, while some distance from the camp, her car bumped into a heap of snow which it could not negotiate and went so deep into the drift that it could neither go ahead or back. She then started on foot in the direction of Tyson for help, She met Leon Farr by the side of Echo Lake where their attention was drawn to an animal in distress in the water. At first sight it appeared to be a man or boy struggling for life. Finally the object gained a foothold on a cake of ice where it revealed itself as a splendid young fawn The creature soon lost its balance, however, and soon fell back into the water where it continued to struggle until it sank to the bottom of the lake. In the meantime, Mr. Farr had gone for aid and soon returned with A. H. LeBarr. The two men immediately set out in a boat in the hope of saving the young deer if possible, but were too late. Its body was secured and brought to shore, but life had departed. The fawn was supposed to have been driven into the lake by dogs, as two hounds were seen in the vicinity at the time. The game warden took possession of the body as the law requires." - 20 Aug., 1926: "Mr. and Mrs. Leon Farr and Mr. and Mrs. Leslie Cushman were in Springfield, Mass on Sunday to see Miss Helen Cushman, who has a position in that town. Miss Cushman returned with them for two weeks prior to going to Atlantic City, NJ, where she has a new position."
Leon had one of the first 'mobile meat markets' and grocery delivery trucks in town. He also leased a store (Farr's Market) in 1927 on the corner of Depot and Main Street in Ludlow, which was owned in 1898 by S. A. Hill of Ludlow. Leon operated the market until about 1929 when he went back to the nursing profession. His wife Mabel, was also a nurse. The stock market crash of 1929 proved hard for Leon as he had invested heavily in the market. Forcing to close his business in Ludlow, he sold his place in Ludlow on 20 April, 1937, and removed to Fair Haven (Rutland County) Vermont, to live with his son Russell, where he stayed until he went back to the nursing profession.
Leon died in Middletown, Conn. 14 Aug., 1944. His widow, removed to Pepperell, Massachusetts where she worked at the McLean Hospital for many years and lived nearby her sister Lillian who had married John Rodier. Mabel died at Pepperell, 13 April, 1972.
Memories of Linda M. Welch: "Sadly, none of the four Farr grandkids got to know our grandfather Farr. He died of a heart attack five years before I was born. My father had told me stories of grandfather Leon and my mother often told me that he spoiled my father and neglected to teach him the proper sense of responsibility! I agree that my father must have been spoiled, but he was a delight and we all loved him so. Grandma Farr was a very self sufficient and proud woman. She was a nurse and worked for a living and had her own circle of friends and involvement in Pepperell where she lived. We used to visit her in Pepperell and I always remember what a beautiful colonial town it was. Now I have learned much about its historical past and it holds an even more special place in my memory. Grandma was the President of the Golden Age Society of Pepperell and was responsible for organizing activities for the senior citizens there. Her sister was my Aunt Lillian. Aunt Lill was a character and had dyed red hair and wore tons of makeup and colorful jewelry- and she was in her 80s! After her husband John Rodier died, she had many suitors and boyfriends. They used to come up to the farm in the Fall time of the year to visit and it seemed she always had a different "friend" with her each time she came. Gram Farr paid us many visits and at one time had her own room in our farmhouse I cannot remember the particulars, but know we- the four Farr kids, were all very happy to have her living with us. She left when and went back to work in nursing, and when she came to visit, she would always take the bus to Rutland and spend the night at the Bardwell House before Daddy drove down to pick her up and bring her up to the farm. She always dressed with great care and had a wonderful figure. She was a special lady- I think much of her character came from her "English" background. Her mother, Mary Ellen Baker was the daughter of two English immigrants to America- Robert Baker and Maria Burkinshaw. The Burkinshaw Family, Maria's parents, were from Sheffield, England and came to Pepperell, Massachusetts where they opened a knife factory and were quite prosperous. Mr. Baker also came from Sheffield England, to work in the Burkinshaw Knife Factory and it was here he met and married Maria. Their daughter, Mary Ellen Baker married Henry Edgar Frost from Norway, Maine, who was my great-grandfather. My grandmother Farr was born in Sommerville, Massachusetts while her father was working as a Supervisor at the McLean Hospital- so she was introduced to the nursing profession at a very early age. Grandma must have been devastated when her husband Leon died in 1944. Her son Russell- my dad, was in military service at the time and was not able to come home for the funeral. She made do with her life and went on with it- often times traveling to California to visit her daughter and granddaughter and great-grandchildren there. She worked hard and was able to retire with a little pension. She took up painting for a hobby and loved to paint Vermont scenes- especially foliage scenes. I have a few of her oil paintings, and my sister Mary has a few also. I was in California when she died and not able to attend her funeral."