MAURICE FARRELL, SR.
SURNAMES: DEVEREUX, HINSON, McLELLAN, WILLIAMS
of the Hamilton District, residing on Moorpark Avenue, near its western terminus, is the owner of a very fine fruit ranch of forty-eight acres, which he bought while it was a stubble-field, about 1877. All the trees on the place were planted by Mr. Farrell (almost entirely by his own hands) and raised in his own nursery. He has six acres of almonds, and fifteen acres about equally divided between apricots and French prunes. His apricot crop of 1887 was nearly twenty tons. The product of the orchard in 1887 brought cash returns of about $1,000. This showing is certainly a most excellent one for a young orchard.
Mr. Farrell was born in the city of Waterford, Ireland, April 19, 1809. He is the son of Patrick and Barbara (Devereux) Farrell. His father was a member of the firm of Matthew, Patrick & Maurice Farrell, ship and barge owners, and general importing and exporting merchants. This was one of the leading firms of Waterford, and was of 250 years' standing. During this long term of years the business had been in the hands of the Farrells, and for generations had been of great magnitude and wealth, while its continued prosperity seemed assured. But about 1820 a general bankruptcy, through general commercial failures and the failures of correspondents, brought the old house down. Paying fifteen shillings and sixpence to the pound, the firm wound up its affairs, and the children, educated and reared in wealth, were thrown upon their own resources, practically penniless.
The subject of this sketch, when twenty years of age, came to the United States. Having followed the sea for some years, he left his vessel at New Orleans, and, going up the Mississippi, stopped near Alton, Illinois. Here he lived for about seven years, being engaged in teaching school. Among his pupils was Miss Elizabeth Hinson, a lady whom Mr. Farrell afterward married. Mr. and Mrs. Farrell removed to Dubuque County, Iowa, where they bought 160 acres of land and settled down to a farm life. After living here about twenty years, they crossed the continent, about 1870, to California, and made San Benito County their home for several years, removing to this county, as before stated, about 1877.
Mr. Farrell, although nearly eighty years of age, by virtue of a life of temperate and regular habits, is strong and vigorous, more so than many a man of fair health, thirty years his junior. He is an indefatigable worker, working six days each week, and sleeping soundly seven nights each week. Owing no man a dollar, he is more independent in his prosperous, pleasant home than any of his ancestors, with their wealth and business cares. His mental vigor is only equaled by his physical strength. He descended from a long-lived race. His father died at the age of seventy-six years, while his mother reached the remarkable age of one hundred and one years !
Mr. Farrell has nine children living. Mrs. Josephine McLellan, a widow, resides in San Jose; Ambrose M. is a resident of San Benito County; Martha is the proprietor of a millinery and dressmaking establishment in San Jose; Daniel makes his home with his parents; William is a resident of Waterloo, Illinois; Maurice, Jr., is foreman in the employ of the Almaden Quicksilver Mining Company; Mary is the partner of her sister Martha, in their San Jose establishment; Addison Burns is residing in San Jose Township, at the Willows, and Mrs. Anna Williams is a resident of San Jose.
The Farrell family are consistent members of the Catholic Church.
Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. - Edited by H. S. Foote.- Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888.
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