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Biographical Review: Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York
Arthur Henry Farquher

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[This information is from pp. 385-388 of Biographical Review Volume XXXIII: Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens of Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York (Boston: Biographical Review Publishing Company, 1899). It is in the collection of the Grems-Doolittle Library of the Schenectady County Historical Society at 920 BIO.]

Arthur Henry Farquher, late a well-known furniture manufacturer and dealer of Schoharie, N. Y., was born in the town of Berne, in Albany County, this State, on October 27, 1840, and died at his home in Schoharie, a few weeks since, August 9, 1899. He was a son of James and Margaret (Clark) Farquher. His paternal grandfather, John Farquher, was a butcher by trade, and was engaged for a time in the market business in Ireland. In 1830 Grandfather Farquher came to America and settled in Berne, N. Y., where his son James had preceded him.

James Farquher was born in Ireland, and remained in that country until after his marriage. He was educated in the public schools there, and subsequently engaged in the market business until he purchased a farm. Believing that the New World offered great opportunities to the industrious and enterprising, he came over to this country with his wife and one child, and eventually met with the success he had hoped for. At first, however, it was an uphill road to climb. When he arrived in Albany he found that his money had given out, and he was obliged to walk from that city to Rensselaerville. After prosperity came to him, he bought a farm, and there lived until his death, at the age of eighty-two. He made many friends in his adopted country, being highly respected by his fellows on account of his industry and honesty. He was at first a Whig and later a Republican; and he was warmly interested in the Presbyterian church, of which his wife was a member. Mrs. Margaret Farquher was born in Ireland, being the daughter of a farmer and one of a family of five children. She lived to be seventy-six years of age. She was the mother of thirteen children, of whom nine grew to maturity, namely: John; William; Joseph; Jane, who is the widow of Daniel Carey; Elizabeth; Arthur H.; Thomas; Mary, who is the wife of Rensselaer Taylor; and Francis.

Arthur H. Farquher spent his boyhood years in Berne, attending the public schools, and during vacation time assisting his father on the farm. In 1857, at the age of seventeen, he left home and went to Gilboa, where he served three years' apprenticeship at the cabinet-maker's trade, and subsequently remained a year as journeyman.

On September 25, 1861, Mr. Farquher enlisted in the military service of his country, and on the first day of the succeeding October was assigned to the United States Lancers. On November 2 of the same year he was transferred to Company B of the Fourth New York Heavy Artillery, and while a member of that company saw some of the hardest fighting that occurred in the whole course of the Civil War. The following are among the engagements in which he took part: battle of the Wilderness, on May 6, 1864; Todd's Tavern, on May 8; Hart's Farm, May 9; Spottsylvania Court House, May 12; North Anna River, on May 23; Sheldon Farm, on May 30; Cold Harbor, on June 3, 1864; Petersburg, on June 18 and July 30, 1864; Deep Bottom, on August 14; Ream's Station, on August 25; Mile Run, on December 9, 1864; Hatcher's Run, on February 5, 1865; assault on the lines, on March 25; opening the campaign, on March 28, 29, and 30; South Side Road, on April 2. He was at Appomattox at the time of the surrender of Lee, April 9, 1865. Mr. Farquher went into the service as a private, and came out of it as a Sergeant. The Colonel of his regiment was Colonel John C. Tiddball, and the Lieutenant Colonel, Thomas Alcott. D. F. Hamlin was the Major. The detachment of which Mr. Farquher's company formed a part left Washington for the front with twenty-two hundred men, and in five months' fighting, from March 23 to August 25, lost eighteen hundred. In one engagement of an hour's duration sixty men of his own company fell. Mr. Farquher was one of those who escaped unhurt. He seemed to bear a charmed life, and was not even wounded. The terrible slaughter at Petersburg he never forgot. It stood out among many other scenes of horror as the most direful of all.

Returning to Gilboa, after being discharged in October, 1865, Mr. Farquher worked for his old employer until the fall of 1866, when he came to Schoharie, and began working for a man who was located in the same building in which he, Mr. Farquher, subsequently carried on business. In 1874 he became a partner, and a year later the firm changed and became Farquher & Settle, which was in business for two years and a half. Mr. Farquher then took his first partner, who remained with him for some seven years. At the end of that time Mr. Farquher became full proprietor of the business, and henceforth he continued it alone. Occupying the four floors of his large building, he carried a very large stock of furniture, and had an extensive trade. After 1893 his manufacturing of furniture was confined mostly to custom work of the highest grade. The business has been established here for over fifty years, and has always merited the full confidence of the public. As a consequence its fair reputation has spread, and its patrons have come from long distances. The undertaking department has also been long established here, and is the only one in town.

Mr. Farquher was married to his first wife in 1865. She was Maria C. Benjamin, daughter of Ebenezer Benjamin, a farmer of Gilboa. In religious faith she was a Methodist. She died at the age of thirty-one, having been the mother of three children; namely, Fred R., Minnie E., and Benjamin J. Fred R., who married Mary R. Larkins, is a furniture dealer and undertaker at Central Bridge. Minnie married Robert A. Dewey, cashier in one of the Schoharie banks, and she is the mother of one son, Arthur. Benjamin J. was his father's assistant. He is an enterprising and able young man, and bids fair to equal his father in business ability. Mr. Arthur H. Farquher married for his second wife Ida M. Schoolcraft, who was born in the town of Wright, being one of a family of five children of Peter P. Schoolcraft, a farmer. She died at the age of thirty. She was a member of the Lutheran church. The present Mrs. Farquher was before her marriage Amanda Wright. She is a daughter of Ezra Wright and a native of Albany County.

In politics Mr. Farquher was a Republican. He was a trustee of the village for eight years, and at the time of his death was still serving as president, having held the office for four years. This is a strongly Democratic town. Mr. Farquher usually refused public office, but at one time, in order to gratify the wishes of the party leaders, he permitted his name to be used on the Republican ticket for Supervisor, and thereby reduced the Democratic majority from three hundred and sixteen to thirty-five. He was a member and for three years was treasurer of Schoharie Valley Lodge of Masons, No. 491, having held also numerous other offices in the lodge. For twenty-nine years he was a member of the fire department, and much of the time either foreman of the company or chief engineer of the department He took an active part in all movements affecting the interests of the town and was one of those foremost in securing the incorporation of the village. He was a member and had been Commander of Hoosick Mix Post, No. 134, G. A. R.; also a member for many years of the Schoharie County Historical Society. He was an attendant of the Lutheran church of this place, and his son is Deacon of the church.

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