L. Fuller Farnham, Early Settler

   Lavius Fuller Farnham settled on his farm on the edge of what is now the village of Warren, as a "squatter, in May 1840, which was three years before the coming of Alexander Burnett and five years ahead of Freeman A. Tisdel.  Farnham turned the first furrow and built the first fence in Warren Township.  L. F. Farnham was the son of Lavius Farnham and Sarah Fuller, his wife.  The father was a farmer and shoemaker; born at Lisbon, Conn.  The son was born in New London Co., Conn., on Dec. 22, 1819, being one of three children.  The father died in 1835, while yet in middle life, and the widowed mother joined her son, Fuller, in Warren, where she died in 1846.  On June 6, 1844, L. Fuller Farnham married Mary M. Earl, at Gratiot, Wis., she having been born in 1826 in Lancaster Co., Wis.  She died on October 27, 1852, the mother of Martha and Henry E. Farnham.  The bride has sometimes been spoken of as Mary Fleharty, but her real name was Earl.  L. Fuller Farnham married Fidelia Allen, of New Hartford, Conn., on December 22, 1853. She was a sister of Nelson Allen, who later owned a small farm adjoining the Farnham land on the south-east, and of Lucrettia Allen, the wife of Albert Charter, later of Warren.  This Albert Charter was the father of Erastus, Jennie, and Francis Charter.  The second Farnham marriage resulted in the birth of three children, two being twins, and all dying in infancy.  The Farnhams moved into town, Warren, in 1884.   L. Fuller Farnham died on April 25, 1893, and his second wife died on Nov. 19, 1912 at the age of 92 years.

Martha, the first child of Fuller Farnham, was born in Warren. She died on Sept. 7, 1885, aged 40 years, 6 months and 9 days.  She married Erastus Allen Charter and lived in Warren.  He was a son of Albert Charter, of Warren, and a nephew of the second Mrs. Farnham.  The children of this marriage are-Grace Charter, the first child of Martha Farnham, married Charles Ward Morton, of Warren.  She died without issue.  Chester Charter, the second child, married Alice Conrad, and lives in Lake Benton, Minn.  Lilly Charter (deceased), the third child of Martha Farnham, married Merene Bolta, and lived in Chicago.  Earl Charter, the fourth child, married Caroline Little and lives at Hampton, Ia.  Edward Charter, the next child, married Pauline Brown and lives at Vinton, Iowa.  Abbie Charter, the sixth child, married John H. Merkey, and lives in Warren.  Leone Charter, the youngest child of Martha Farnham and Erastus Allen Charter, married Charles Gardner and lives in Warren.  Henry E. Farnham, son of L. Fuller Farnham, by his first wife, married Matilda Tear, daughter of John Tear, of Warren.  The couple died at Hampton, Iowa.  Henry on Oct. 20, 1926, and Matilda on Feb. 17, 1929.  They had six children as follows:-Bessie Farnham married E. E. Alexander, and lives at Galchutt, N. Dak.  John Fuller Farnham (deceased), married Alta Crawford.  His son, Henry Farnham, of Hampton, carries on the family name.  Hattie M. Farnham married Charles Penaluna, and lives at Daughtery, Ia.  Adelbert H. Farnham died during the World War as the result of an operation which he hoped would permit him to engage in that conflict.  Effie Farnham married E. L. Whitney and lives at Charles City, Ia.  

L. Fuller Farnham was a farmer, school director, deputy sheriff, assessor and tax collector, at various times.  He was a Baptist.  During the California gold craze he went to the coast and so well succeeded that upon his return, he increased his land holdings to 320 acres.

Fuller Farnham was universally respected by Warrenites, and was a man of force, influence and character--a useful citizen.

Jay M. Whitham.

The Warren Sentinel-Leader, December 24, 1930.

Submitted by Kathy Kuroda