The subject of this sketch, J.J. McFarland cast his destiny with the future of Clyde oil the afternoon of St. Patrick's day, 1871. He is of Irish parentage but of English birth and emigrated to America when a lad of less than a dozen years and settled in the vicinity of Poughkeepsie in the state of New York. After having lived a short period in several of the New England states, Judge McFarland removed to Michigan in 1854. The state militia was organized under Captain Gibbons and after an effort to enter the ranks of the 10th, 12th and 13th regiments, they were taken into the 13th Michigan.
Judge McFarland was appointed lieutenant through service rendered but the Governor was desirous of bestowing special concession upon the son of an old friend, and our subject surrendered his papers that the young recipient of the Governor's favor might be commissioned to the office of lieutenant. Judge McFarlaiid was then assigned to the Quartermaster's department where he remained until the close of the war. They were captured twice having their horses confiscated and their wagons burned. Their movements were confined to West Virginia and the regiment witnessed the surrender of Lee at Appomattox. After this event took place Judge McFarland entered the employ of the Government and was stationed at Richmond, Virginia, until coming to Clyde in 1871. In the meantime he had read law in the city of Richmond and was admitted to the bar of Cloud county in 1876, and during his professional career has managed many technical cases with dexterity and skill.
Judge McFarland was married in 1869 to Mary Frances Dandridge, a cultured southern woman who traces her antecedents in a straight line to the ancestors of Martha Washington. Judge and Mrs. McFarland are the parents of eight sons and one daughter, all of whom are living except one. Their eldest son served in the Philippine war. Two are residents of Saint Louis and two in Chicago. Claude, the youngest son, lives at home. The Judge and Mrs. McFarland live with their widowed daughter, Mrs. Mary Bechard, who is one of the most charming and accomplished young women of Clyde and a popular favorite with her associates. Mr. Bechard died in 1901, leaving his young wife and one little daughter, a remarkably bright and interesting little girl, Mary Frances, named for her grandmother.
Judge McFarland has been a life long Democrat and has been elected to several local offices: Mayor of his town, a member of the council several times and police judge. He was appointed postmaster under Cleveland's administration and Mrs. Bechard as his assisstant[sic] made a very efficient clerk.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
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