Biography of Thomas J. Farris
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Thomas J. Farris, fourth vice president of the One Hundred Thousand Dollar Club and agency supervisor with the Missouri State Life Insurance Company at St. Louis, was born in Ireland, June 22, 1886, a son of Michael J. and Katherine (Campbell) Farris, who were also natives of Ireland, in which country they were reared and married. In 1894 they came to the United States, settling in Iron county, Missouri, where the father, who was a stonecutter by trade, worked in the quarries at Graniteville. About 1910 he removed to St. Louis, where his death occurred in 1916. His widow survives and now resides at No. 5025 Raymond avenue.
Thomas J. Farris was educated in the parochial school at Graniteville and also in the St. Louis University, from which he won his Bachelor of Arts degree as a member of the class of 1908. While a student there he worked during his vacation periods at telegraphy and did stenographic work and thereby met the expenses of his college course. In 1910 he became associated with the Missouri State Life Insurance Company in the capacity of a stenographer and a year later was placed in charge of the medical department of the company. In 1915 he was made agency supervisor and thus won rapid advancement, due to his close application and ready adaptability, combined with his power to recognize and grasp an opportunity. He possesses, too, excellent qualities of salesmanship and of organization. He entered upon his position as agency supervisor in the middle of the year 1915 and closed that year with about two hundred and eighty thousand dollars worth of insurance written. Each year thereafter the increase of insurance written by him was about one hundred thousand dollars and in 1919 his sales amounted to seven hundred and sixty-one thousand dollars of insurance, placing him among the most successful insurance solicitors in the country.
Mr. Farris resides with his mother in St. Louis. He is a member of the Catholic church and is a fourth degree member of the Knights of Columbus. He is also identified with the St. Louis University Alumni Association. His social interests and his business activities have brought him a wide acquaintance and he is highly esteemed for his sterling worth, while his qualifications as a business man have brought him to a high and enviable position in insurance circles in his adopted city.