Biography of Henry B. Farren

Henry B. Farren is a leading member of the bar in Buffalo County, known for his prominent role in the state legislature. Born in Philadelphia in 1848, he hails from a respected Pennsylvania family. After moving to Iowa and Missouri, Farren settled in South Dakota in 1882, where he acquired and cultivated land. A devoted Republican, he served as state’s attorney and was elected to the state legislature in 1902. Farren’s successful legal career and active involvement in his community have made him a valued figure in Buffalo County. He is married to Mary E. Mather and is a dedicated member of the First Congregational Church.

Henry B. Farren, who is one of the leading members of the bar of Buffalo County, is a member of the legislature of the state at the time of this writing and is one of the prominent and popular citizens of this section of the Commonwealth. Mr. Farren is a native of the old Keystone State of Pennsylvania, having been born in the city of Philadelphia on the 4th of November 1848, and being a son of James L. and Mary (Bellfield) Farren, both of whom were members of old and honored families of Pennsylvania. They became the parents of nine children, namely: Mary V., Henry B., Helen F., Emma C., James L., Martha F., Alfred R., Alice M., and Horace W., and of the number, all are living except Mary, Helen, Alfred, and Horace. When the subject was quite young, his parents removed to the city of Columbus, Ohio, and a few years later, in September of 1856, took up their abode in Van Buren County, Iowa, becoming pioneers of that section, where the family resided until the fall of 1867 when they moved to Keokuk, Iowa. The father of the subject being a carpenter, father and son there engaged in the building business as contractors until the spring of 1871, when they removed to Kokoka, Clark County, Missouri, where the father died at the age of sixty-nine years. Mr. Farren’s mother is still living, making her home in Springfield, Missouri, and is in her eightieth year. In Van Buren County, Henry B. was reared, and there received his early educational training in the common schools, while it may be noted that among his schoolmates at the time was Hon. William B. Mason, late United States senator from Illinois. After leaving school at sixteen years of age, Mr. Farren turned his attention to the carpenter trade, which avocation he followed almost constantly until coming to Dakota, after which time he turned his attention to reading and studying law. In 1894, he was admitted to practice in the courts of South Dakota and has ever since given his attention to professional work, in which he has met with gratifying success, retaining a representative clientage and having been concerned in much important litigation.

Mr. Farren came to South Dakota in May 1882 and settled in Hand County, where he remained a few months and then came to Buffalo County, where he exercised his prerogatives in the taking up of government land, securing a tract of four hundred eighty acres, which he improved and placed under cultivation. He has maintained his residence in Buffalo County since September 1882 and is popular in professional, business, and social circles, having repeatedly held positions of trust since the organization of the county in 1885. He is a staunch advocate of the principles of the Republican Party and has long been active in promoting its interests in this section of the state. In 1894, he was elected state’s attorney of Buffalo County, serving one term, while in 1901, he was appointed to this office to fill a vacancy and served until the close of the term. In November 1902, after a vigorous and able campaign, he was elected to represent his district in the state legislature, and he is one of the prominent and valued members of the eighth general assembly, in which he has made a most excellent record. Both he and his wife are zealous members of the First Congregational Church.

On the 1st of September 1886, the marriage of Mr. Farren to Miss Mary E. Mather was solemnized. She was born and raised in Washington, Iowa, being a daughter of John and Elmira Mather.


Robinson, Doane, History of South Dakota: together with mention of Citizens of South Dakota, [Logansport? IN] : B. F. Bowen, 1904.

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