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ANDREW J. FARMER (deceased). When a citizen of worth and character has departed from this life, it is meet that those who survive him should keep in mind his life work, and should hold up to the knowledge and emulation of the young his virtues and the characteristics which distinguished him and made him worthy the esteem of his neighbors. Therefore, the name of Andrew J. Farmer is presented to the readers of this volume as a public-spirited citizen and a man well and favorably known throughout the county. He was born in Roane County, Tennessee, in 1824, and at an early date came to Missouri, being the first of the family to settle in this county. This was about 1845 and he made his home here until his death in 1862. He was a son of Archibald Farmer, who was also a native of Tennessee, the family being an old and prominent one of that State.
Our subject grew to mature years in his native State, received his education there, and was there married to Miss Nancy (Preston) Farmer, a native of the Big Bend State, born in Roane County in 1826. As above stated, Mr. and Mrs. Farmer came to Missouri in 1845, making the trip by wagon, and took up land near the present site of Sparta. Mr. Farmer was a prominent man of this county, held a number of local offices and was county assessor at the time of his death, being elected to that position by the Republican party. Active and enterprising, upright and honorable, he was universally respected, and became one of the substantial men of the county Mr. Farmer made agricultural pursuits his life work and was classed one o the best farmers of his section.
Mrs. Farmer was the daughter of James and Jane (Ellison) Preston, both natives of Tennessee, where they passed their entire lives. Mr. and Mrs. Preston raised a family of eight children, but only Samuel, Robert, Mrs. Farmer and Moses are now living, all but the latter in this county.
To Mr. and Mrs. Farmer were born five children, four of whom are now living: Lorena J., who is the mother of Dr. Hedgpeth (see sketch); Margaret A., who was the wife of J. J. Bruton, died in 1885; James W., a farmer living one-half mile north of Sparta on the old home place; A. V. is also living on the home place, and J. N., druggist of Sparta. The mother is still living and resides on the old home place. The early members of the Farmer family were members of the Baptist Church, and most of them adhered to the principles of the Republican party. The old home place is within sight of Sparta and was one of the first farms of the county to be opened up.