Farris Family History

The family of Young Y. Farris and Mary Polly Dunbar

In late April, 1860, a number of individuals and families; including Young Y. Farris, his wife and eight of his ten children, left Clarinda, Page County, Iowa, presumably by wagon train, headed for Colorado. Their departure was chronicled in two newspaper articles....

From the Clarinda (Iowa) Herald, April 27, 1860

"Gone to Pike's Peak"

A number of our citizens have started to Pike's Peak, and more of them are preparing to go. Among those who started this week, were the following gentlemen: Lewis Neff, three sons of Andrew Morrow, Lewis Fritz, David C. Ribble, Newton Ridenour, B. Hinds, Chas. Hinman, jr., A. S. Reed, Beecher McAlpin, Geo. Westheffer, John Buckingham, Joshua Buckingham, James Hawley, ___Hammond, Benj. Tanner, ___Murphy, Thomas B. Chamberlain, Henry Dorsey, Young Farris and family, Wm. Scarlet and family, and Wm. Stockton and family. These three families will go on to Oregon if they are not suited in the Pike's Peak region. We hear that several are prepairing to start from Amity, but are not posted as to who they are or when they will start. We wish them all, individually and collectively, a safe and speedy trip, and an abundance of the "root of all evil."

From the Nebraska City Press, May 1, 1860

"Oregon Emigrants"

A Company from Clarinda, Page Co. Iowa consisting of Wm. Stockton, Y. Farris, Wm. Scarlet, Mr. Fraley and their families arrived here on Saturday on their way to Oregon. While they were encamped on the opposite side of the river, a little boy, about three years old, son of Mr. Scarlet, who had been ill previous to starting grew worse and died. The bereaved parents deposited the body of their little one in Wyuka Cemetery yesterday and this morning with saddened hearts will pursue their way toward the setting sun."

Notes on the Farris Family

The three families noted in the newspaper articles above included Young Farris, his wife Polly Dunbar, and all his children with the exception of Elizabeth Farris Pace (who was already married to Charles W. Pace, Sr. in Iowa) and Laura Farris who was born later in Oregon. The William Stockton family were William, his wife Nancy Ann Farris (daughter of Young Farris) and their daughter Mary. Wm. Scarlett was an inlaw of the Pace family.

The party evidently decided quickly not to stay in Colorado, as they were not found in the census for either Colorado or Oregon in 1860 (taken from June to August of that year), so they were presumably on their way to Oregon in the late summer of 1860. They settled in southern Oregon (exact location as yet not found, but somewhere around Medford). In 1863 the Farris family left Oregon for California, and evidently spent some time in the gold mines around the Auburn-Colfax area, as Young and several of his sons are found in the Placer County voter rolls for 1866, but eventually settled in Lower Lake, Lake County, California. Young Farris was a farmer and rancher, and farmed 80 acres just north of the town of Lower Lake. He and his wife Polly both died in Lower Lake in 1886, and are buried in the Lower Lake Cemetery along with other members of the family.

The Stockton family evidently stayed another year or so in Oregon (Nancy Farris Stockton's son Charles was born in Oregon in 1864), then went to Winnemucca, Nevada, and then to Boise, Idaho where they remained the rest of their lives.

Our research on the descendants of Young and Polly Farris:

Regarding the Farris surname:

Of Young Farris' six sons, three, John, James, and Samuel never married. Of Nathan's three sons, one died in infancy, one never married, and one married but had no children. Joseph had two children, a son and a daughter, but son Carl never married. So, the possible remains of the Farris surname lay at the hands of William Wilson Farris.

William W. Farris had two sons, Fred Ogden Farris and William Burns Farris. Fred had one son, Francis O. Farris, who died in 1970, leaving two sons, Thomas and Neil. Thomas and Neil have recently been located in the San Jose area. William B. died in 1969 in Cotati, also leaving two sons, Earl and George. Earl's daughter Susan has just been located and will share information on her family as soon as she finishes moving.