ROBERT J. McFARLAND. - The present able incumbent of the office of clerk of the Twenty-ninth Judicial district court of Kansas, Robert J. McFarland, is a representative citizen and business man of Kansas City, Kansas, where he has resided for fully a score of years and where he is recognized as a man of unusual loyalty and public spirit. He has served in a number of important offices of public trust and responsibility and in all of them has acquitted himself with honor and distinction.
Mr. Robert J. McFarland is a native of the fair Emerald Isle, his birth having occurred in county Tyrone, Ireland, on the 29th of April, 1851. He is a son of Samuel and Sarah (Robb) McFarland, both of whom passed their entire lives on their native heath and both of whom are now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Samuel McFarland became the parents of six children, of whom the subject of this review was the fifth in order of birth. He received his preliminary educational training in the public schools of his native land and when he had attained to the age of seventeen years he decided to seek his fortunes in the New World. Accordingly he severed the ties which bound him to home and native land and immigrated to America in the year 1868. He first located in the Dominion of Canada, and for two years after his advent in that country he was enrolled as a student in Queen's College. Being possessed of an adventurous disposition and being anxious to see the country, he subsequently made the trip to Kansas City, Missouri, by boat. From here he went on the Buffalo range, hunting buffalo for their skins and living the real frontier life in all its interesting yet difficult and dangerous phases.
In 1873 Mr. McFarland took up a homestead in Ness county, Kansas where he engaged in farming and stockraising for a number of years and was an extensive land holder. In 1880 he was honored by his fellow citizens with election to the office of county treasurer. He had no desire for the office of county treasurer but accepted it at the earnest solicitation of his numerous friends and discharged the duties connected therewith with such conscientious vigor that his own individual business enterprises were entirely neglected. During the session of 1881-2 he represented the one hundred and sixteenth district in the state legislature of Kansas and in 1891 he came to Kansas City, Kansas, as meat inspector for the United States government. In politics he is a stanch supporter of the cause of the Republican party and he has served as election commissioner for a number of terms. In 1910 he became candidate for and was elected to the office of clerk of the Twenty-ninth judicial district, assuming charge of the affairs connected therewith in January, 1911.
On the 8th of June, 1876, Mr. McFarland was united in marriage to Miss Ida M. Bell, who was born and reared at Hagerstown, Maryland. This marriage has been prolific of two children, concerning whom the following brief data are here recorded: Claude M. is a veterinary surgeon by profession and is serving as United States inspector of stock at St. Joseph, Missouri; and Harry M., who is a dentist, is successfully engaged in the practice of his profession in this city. Mrs. McFarland is a woman of most gracious personality and she is a potent influence for good in the community where she resides.
Mr. McFarland is a prominent Mason and his affiliations with that organization are as follows: Kaw Lodge, No. 272, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, of which he is secretary; and Caswell Consistory, No. 5, of the Scottish Rite branch, in which he has attained to the thirty-second degree, and in which he is also serving as secretary.
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