Harry Prince Farrar.Success in any line of occupation, in any avenue of business, is not a matter of spontaneity, but represents the result of the application of definite subjective forces and the controlling of objective agencies in such a way as to achieve desired ends. Mr. Farrar has realized a large and substantial success in the business world, and his career has well exemplified the truth of the foregoing statements. He occupies a prominent place in the financial circles of southern Kansas and is the controlling force in one of its important mortgage, loan and investment enterprises. He has large and varied capitalistic interests and is one of the distinctively representative men of the state. Progressive and energetic in the management of these varied affairs, loyal and public spirited as a citizen, he holds a secure position in the confidence and esteem of his fellow citizens and has contributed in large measure to the development of Arkansas City and Cowley county, in which he was a pioneer merchant and banker and in whose still greater civic and commercial prestige he is a firm believer. He is president of the Hill Investment Company, and vice-president of the Arkansas City Gas & Electric Light Company, the Arkansas City Water Power Company and the Land & Power Company of Arkansas City.
Harry P. Farrar is a native of the State of Maine and was born in Phillips, Franklin county, Sept. 28, 1851, son of Byron and Mary (Howland) Farrar. His ancestors, paternal and maternal, were among the early settlers of America, and numbered among them are men who achieved distinction in the frontier life of those early days, in the commercial era which followed, in the French and Indian war, and later in the war of the Revolution. Byron Farrar was born in Buckfield, Me., for many years was postmaster at Phillips, that state, and served as a justice of the peace. He married Miss Mary Howland, daughter of Isaac Howland, a descendant of one of the first settlers of the State of Maine. In 1890 he retired from active business and removed to Arkansas City, Kan., where his last years were passed in the company of the family of his son, his death occurring in 1906.
Harry P. Farrar acquired his education in the public schools of his native town, supplemented by a course in the Bryant & Stratton Business College, at Portland. Subsequently he secured employment as bookkeeper in the offices of Plummer Brothers, founders and machinists at Portland. In September, 1872, he decided to avail himself of the greater opportunity offered by the growing West and came to Kansas. He established himself in the general merchandise business at Arkansas City, Cowley county, then in its early stage of development. In 1874 he disposed of his mercantile interests to accept the position of cashier of the Cowley County Bank of Arkansas City, one of the first to be organized in the county. In 1885 the institution secured a national charter and became the First National Bank of Arkansas City. In the organization, development and administration of the business of these institutions Mr. Farrar demonstrated, in his executive capacity, financial ability to a marked degree, and to his progressiveness, energy and resourcefulness was due in great measure the high reputation they attained. He became known to the banking fraternity as an able and discriminating financier and as one who had brought the administrative policy of his bank up to the point of highest efficiency. In 1885 he was active in organizing the Johnson Loan & Trust Company, of which he was made president. The business of this corporation was liquidated in 1892, and the Hill Investment Company was organized with a capital of $325,000, and of this institution Mr. Farrar has been continuously president and manager. The company does a general loan, investment, insurance and real estate business. The field covered comprises southern Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, and the business has been of sound and continuous growth. As regards volume, the transactions of the company place it among the leaders in the Southwest. As the controlling owner and executive head of this organization, Mr. Farrar has realized a substantial financial reward and has won a recognized place among leading Kansas financiers. He has, in addition to this interest, important stock holdings and valuable realty investments, is president of the Arkansas' City Gas & Electric Light Company, and is vice-president of the Arkansas City Water Power Company and the Land & Power Company of Arkansas City. With a multiplicity of business interests, sufficiently varied and extensive to demand the constant vigilance of the usual man of affairs, he has found time to take an active part in practically every movement and enterprise affecting the development of Arkansas City. He has been a lifelong Republican. Essentially a business man, he has neither the time nor inclination for office, though he never neglects in the least his civic duties and obligations and has taken an active and influential part in the councils of his party. Mr. Farrar has attained to the Knights Templar and Scottish Rite degrees in Masonry, is affiliated with Midian Temple Shrine of Wichita, and is a member of Arkansas City Lodge No. 956, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.
On March 18, 1875, Mr. Farrar married Miss Celia H., daughter of James A. Foss, a well known merchant of Portland, Me., and a member of the Foss family of early Colonial history. Mr. and Mrs. Farrar are the parents of four children: Arthur, a graduate of Thornton Academy, Saco, Me., class of 1900; Foss, who attended the Kansas Agricultural College at Manhattan, and is assistant treasurer of the Hill Investment Company; Pearl; and Lucile, a graduate of Principia School of St. Louis, Mo. Mrs. Farrar is a member of the Church of Christ, Scientist; is a woman of broad culture and refinement, and is popular in the social circles of Arkansas City, in which she is a leader. To do justice to the many phases of the career of Mr. Farrar within the limit of an article of this order would be impossible, but in even touching the more salient points there may come objective lesson and incentive, and thus a tribute of appreciation. As a man among men, bearing his due share in conviction with activities and responsibilities of a work-a-day world, he has been successful; but over all and above all, he has gained a deep knowledge of the well springs from which emerge the stream of human motive and action. He has gained a clear apprehension of what life means, of its dominating influences, and possibilities, and is every ready to impart to his fellow men the fruits of his investigation, contemplation and mature wisdom.Pages 1276-1277 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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