Theron A. Farnsworth, Promiment Camden Citizen Since 1886,
Passes Away Last Evening at About 6:30
Today Camden mourns the passing of one of its old and leading citizens, Theron A. Farnsworth, whose death occurred last evening at about 6:30 o'clock at the home of his son, Almon M. Farnsworth, Union Street. Failing in health for some time, he had been in a coma for several days and the end came very peacefully.
Death Brings To Close A Most Active and Valued Life --- Gave Time Generously in Upbuilding of Village --- Served Community in Various Capacities --- Former Postmaster and Active Fraternal Man.
Mr. Farnsworth, one of the greatest civic workers for his home village, a man universally beloved and respected, was perhaps one of Camden's most widely known residents. During his active career - and that extended until very recently - perhaps no man had done more for his home town since he move his factory business here over 50 years ago.
Becomes Printer, Publisher
Theron A. Farnsworth was born in Herman, St. Lawrence County, NY, on September 13th, 1851. He was educated in the common schools of his native town and in Lowville academy. He learned the printer's trade in Lowville after which he worked in Rome until 1874 when he returned to Hermon and established the "Hermon Union," the first newspaper to be published in that town. One year later his plant was destroyed by a fire which swept the business portion of the village. In the Fall of 1875 he moved to Williamstown where he formed a co-partnership with G.A. Healy in the drug and printing business in which he continued for five years. After a brief experience in the railway mail service he received the appointment of postmaster in 1882. At this time he began the manufacture of post office equipment and in 1886 he removed to Camden where a new factory had been erected for his business on Mechanic street. He sold his business in 1890 to the Corbin Cabinet Lock Company whom he induced to locate in Camden in buildings formerly occupied by the Camden Knitting Co. For seven and a half years he was general manager of the plant and built the business up to the third largest industry in the village. After the removal of the plant to New Britain, CT, he became salesman for the Yale & Towne Manufacturing Company, selling post office equipment. With the advent of rural free delivery service he became general estern agent for the Signal Mail Box Company of Joliet, IL.
Appointed Postmaster 1909
During the spring and summer of 1906 he was engaged in the government service in Indian Territory after which he associated himself with the Inland Type Foundry in the capacity of traveling salesman. In 1909 Mr. Farnsworth became postmaster in Camden, his appointment being the first one to be made in the United States by President Taft. Following his term of four years as postmaster, he established himself in the ticket printing business which he conducted under the name of The Webb Press, and continued in this line of business for nearly twenty years, retiring in the 80th birthday.
In the year 1893 Mr. Farnsworth was elected to the Board of Village Trustees and served as president for two years. In 1896 he was again elected to the Village Board, this time serving three years, part of the time as president. Eighteen years later he became a member of the Board for the third time and served as a member, part of the time as president, for six more years. During the eleven years that Mr. Farnsworth served as a village trustee he gave most generously of his time and special talents. Under his direct supervision great imporvements were made in the streets, sidewalks and parks and to Mr. Farnsworth's efforts is due much of the reputation which Camden enjoys as the "Queen Village of Oneida County". For over thirty years he has acted in the capacity of village engineer and no one had a better knowledge of the street, water and sewer systems.
Eleven Years on Water Board
The water system was one of the village departments in which Mr. Farnsworth was particularly interested and in which he took great pride. For eleven years from 1917 he was a member and president of the improvements that have been made to the system. With the co-operation of his associates on the Board he caused the large acreage comprising the watershed on both sides of Emmons Brook to be planted to Norway spruce and pine and he lived to see a splendid forest of sturdy trees.
In addition to his years of public service for the Village he was a member for ten years of the Cemetery Association and for eight years served as secretary.
Mr. Farnsworth had long been prominent in fraternal circles. He was the oldest living member of the local Masonic order and the I.O.O.F. lodge. He was a memer of Darius Chapter and its present chaplain. He was a Sir Knight of Rome Commandery and a charter member of the Knights of Pythias. Oneida County Square Club and an honorary member of the Jefferson-Lewis County Square Club.
He was married in 1874 to Fontella S. Healy of Hermon. In 1934 Mr. and Mrs. Farnsworth celebrated their sixtieth wedding anniversary.
Well past eighty Mr. Farnsworth was remarkably active, driving his own car, showing a keen interest and participating in village affairs. He loved the society of his fellowmen, and was gifted with a generous nature and was always ready to lend a helping hand in the promotion of any worthy enterprise. He possessed many and varied talents.
Besides his wife he leaves a son, Almon M. Farnsworth, Camden, a daughter, Fontella, wife of Attorney George B. Smith, Schenectady; five grandchildren, Almon G., George L., and Theron A. Farnsworth, Donald Smith and Helen Smith; one great-grandchild, David G. Farnsworth, Camden; and a brother, O.H. Farnsworth, Canton, NY.
Masonic funeral services will be held at the home of his son, A.M. Farnsworth, 54 Union Street, Saturday afternoon at 2 o'clock.
Arrangements in charge of Undertaker J. Floyd Smith.
REPRINTED from the "Camden Advance-Journal", Camden, NY, Thursday, February 24, 1938, Volume 65, Number 35.
T.A. Farnsworth Dies at Age of 86
Camden, Feb. 24 - Theron A. Farnsworth, 86, retired businessman and civic leader in this village for many years, died Wednesday night at the home of his son, Almon M Farnsworth, 54 Union St. He had been in poor health for some time and confined to bed the past week.
Former Postmaster and Village President Stricken
Was Leader in Many Civic Improvements
Member of Masonic and Other Fraternal Groups
Mr. Farnsworth had served this village and Williamstown as postmaster, was an honorary president of the Square Club of Oneida County and an honorary member of the Lewis-Jefferson Square Club, and had been probably this village's most outstanding citizens for many years.
He was born in Hermon, St. Lawrence County, September 13, 1851. After being graduated from Lowville Academy, he learned the printer's trade in Lowville and then worked a few years in Rome. In 1874, he returned to Hermon and established the first newspaper there, The Union. The following year, fire destroyed the plant and Mr. Farnsworth removed to Williamstown where he became associated witht the late G.A. Healy in the drug business. In 1881, he entered the railway mail service, resigning a year later to become postmaster at Williamstown.
Came to Camden In 1886
In 1886, Mr. Farnsworth came to Camden and engaged in the manufacture of postoffice equipment. After selling the business to the Corbin Cabinet Lock Company, Mr. Farnsworth became general manager for the company serving seven years. Later he traveled for the Yale & Towne Manufacturing Company and with the event or rural mail delivery, he became general eastern agent for an Illinois concern making rural mail boxes.
Civic Leader Many Years
Mr. Farnsworth was named a member of the village board in 1893 and served two years. He was again named in 1896 and served four years. In 1918 he was named again and served six years. He was a member of Forest Park Cemetery Association for many years, being secretary for eight years.
Many improvements in village streets, parks and sidewalks were wrought through the efforts of Mr. Farnsworth, making the village known as the "Queen Village." One of the improvements in which he took great pride, was the establishment of the present village water system. In 1917 he was named a member and became president of the Board of Water Commissioners, serving for eleven years. He, with his associates, was responsible for the purchase of many acres along Emmons Brook which were planted with Norway spruce to preserve the water area.
Mr. Farnsworth was the first Republican president of the village, having been elected on a party ticket.
He was the oldest living member of Philantropic Lodge, F. & A.M., and Camden Lodge of Odd Fellows. He was also a member of Rome Commandery, Knights Templar, and was a charter member of the Knights of Pythias.
On December 23, 1874, he married Miss Fontella S. Healy, of Hermon, the ceremony taking place at Hermon. In 1934 they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.
Surviving besides the widow and the son at whose home he died, are a daughter, Mr. George B. Smith of Schenectady; five grandchildren, Almon G. Farnsworth and T. Albert Farnsworth of Camden, George L. Farnsworth of New York City, Donald F. Smith and Harold E. Smith of Schenectady; and a great grandson, David Farnsworth of Camden.
Members of Philanthropic Lodge F. & A.M., will conduct the Masonic ritual following services conduced by the Rev. B. A. Walton, pastor of the United Church, at the A.M. Farnsworth home on Saturday at 2 p.m. Burial, in charge of J. Floyd Smith, will be made in Forest Park Cemetery.
REPRINTED from the "Daily Sentinel", Rome, NY, Thursday, February 24, 1938.
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