Lee County Biography

Richard S. Farrand

Richard S. Farrand, County Judge of Lee County, has risen to his present distinguished position as a member of the judiciary of this State while yet a comparatively young man, by the force of an invincible will, a strong character, and untiring devotion to his profession, and through rare personal merit. He was born in St.. Joseph Twp., Allen Co IN Oct 1, 1852. His father, who bears the same name as himself, is a native of Oneida County NY. When a young man he left his early home and cast his lot with the pioneers of Indiana. He bought a tract of partly improved land in St. Joseph Twp., and lived there some years. He then sold that place and bought property in Perry Twp. of which he is still a resident. In 1888 he was bereft of the companionship of his wife by her death. She was also a native of Oneida County NY and her maiden name was Delilah Cook.

Richard Farrand left the parent home at the early age of 11 years, and from that time earned his own living, displaying an independence of character and a reliance upon self far beyond his years. He worked on the farm by the month in the summer season, and in winter did chores for his board while he attended school and devoted all his spare time to his books, as he was ambitious to secure an education that would enable him to win a name and a place for himself. He remained in his native county until he was 15 years old, and he then came to this State and has ever since been a resident of Lee County. He continued his old employment as a farm laborer in the summer and devoted his winters to attending school until he was 18 years old. At that age he began teaching in Viola Twp. and taught school for seven years. In 1877 he was called to public life by his appointment as Deputy Sheriff by J.N. Hill.

He came to Dixon to assume the duties of his position, and soon commenced the study of law with A.C. Bardwell. He was admitted to the bar in 1879 and formed a partnership with Mr. Bardwell, with whom he practiced until 1882. He rose rapidly in his profession becoming in a few years a leading lawyer of this section and in 1882 he was elected County Judge, was re-elected in 1886 and again in 1890, and is now serving his third term. He was selected for this position, as a lawyer possessing an accurate knowledge of the common law, and as being richly endowed with those elements of character that peculiarly fit him to preside over a court of justice. And thus when he was scarcely thirty years of age he had won his way to the bench, and has since gained recognition as one of our ablest judges. Other honors have been conferred upon him and at one time he was elected Mayor of Dixon. Politically he is a Republican. In his social relations he is a member of Brooklyn Lodge A.F. & M.; Nachusa Chapter 56, R.A.M; Lodge 137 A.O.U.W; and of Camp 56, M.W.A.

Judge Farrand and Miss C.J. Marsh were married in 1873. They have an attractive home and one son living, Ernest W. Their son Wilbur A., died at the age of ten years. Mrs. Farrand is liker her husband, a native of Indiana and the daughter of Harry Marsh.

Source: Portraits & Biographical Lee County 1892 Pg 319


Judge Richard S. Farrand is now serving for the third term as circuit court judge, following five terms' service as judge of the county court of Lee county, and the history of the bench of this section of the state contains the record of no man who has been more loyal to duty, honorable in purpose, fearless in conduct and stainless in reputation. Judge Farrand was born in Allen county, Indiana, October 1, 1852, and is a son of R. S. and Delilah (Cook) Farrand, who were natives of Oneida county, New York, and at an early day became residents of Indiana, settling there at a pioneer epoch in its history. Their son, Richard, left home when but eleven years of age to earn his own livelihood, working as a farm hand and in other humble capacities, but actuated at all times with the laudable ambition of preparing for and entering upon better things. When fifteen years of age he arrived in Lee county, where he worked and also attended school. Diligence and close application enabled him not only to master his studies but also to qualify for teaching, which profession he followed with success for seven years. His worth and ability became recognized and when twenty-five years of age he was made deputy sheriff of Lee county. While acting in that capacity there developed in him an interest in the profession of law and resolving to enter upon its practice, he began studying under the direction of A. C. Bardwell. It has been said that when in the matter of life the city boy crosses swords with the country lad, the odds are against him. The early rising, the daily tasks, and the economical habits of the country boy prepare him for the struggle that must precede ascendency. Such had been the training of Judge Farrand, who when he entered upon his studies was found ready to apply himself with that diligence and determination that must constitute the source of success with the law student. That his good qualities were recognized by his preceptor was indicated in the fact that he was admitted into partnership following his admission to the bar in 1880. The firm of Bardwell & Farrand then existed until 1882, at which time the junior partner was elected judge of the county court for a term of four years.

Public endorsement of his service came in a reelection in 1886 and again in 1890, 1894 and 1898, and he retired from the office of county judge in 1902 mid the high encomiums of those best qualified to comment upon his service. In July, 1902, he was elected judge of the circuit court to fill out the unexpired term of Judge Crabtree ; was reelected in 1903 for a term of six years and again in 1909 was elected for a six years' term, so that he is now upon the bench.

In 1873 Judge Farrand was married to Miss C. J. Marsh and they have one living son, Ernest W., while another son, Wilbur A., died at the age of ten years. Judge Farrand is a Royal Arch Mason, thoroughly in sympathy with the teachings and principles of the craft. In politics he has always been a republican and aside from strict professional paths has filled office, having been elected mayor of Dixon. Duty and honor have ever been his watchwords and justice one of his strong characteristics. The legal profession demands not only a high order of ability but a rare combination of talent, learning, tact, patience and industry. The successful lawyer and a competent judge must be a man of well balanced intellect thoroughly familiar with the law and practice, of comprehensive general information, possessed of an analytical mind and a self-control that will enable him to lose his individuality, his personal feelings, his prejudices and his peculiarities of disposition in the dignity, impartiality and equity of the office, to which life, property, right and liberty must look for protection. Possessing these qualities Judge Farrand justly merits the high honor which has been conferred upon him by his election to the circuit bench. .

History of Lee County, Illinois By Frank Everett Stevens


RICHARD S. FARRAND, lawyer, Dixon, Ill., was born in St. Joseph, Ind., Oct. 1, 1852; left home when a boy of eleven years and afterwards was dependent upon his own resources, earning his livelihood by his own efforts and improving all available opportunities to acquire an education. In 1877 he came to Dixon, and soon after began the study of law with A.C. Bardwell, was admitted to the bar in 1879 and in 1882 was elected County Judge of Lee County, serving continuously until 1902, when he was chosen Circuit Judge for the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit to succeed the late Judge Crabtree. Judge Farrand has also served one term as Mayor of the city of Dixon. January 30, 1873, he was married to Miss Catherine Jane Marsh, daughter of Harry and Catherine (Smith) Marsh. Judge Farrand is a Republican in politics and is fraternally associated with Brooklyn Lodge, A.F.&A.M.; Nachusa Chapter, No. 56; R.A M. Lodge, No. 137; the A.O.U.W. and Camp No. 56, M.W.A.

Transcribed by Karen Holt - 1904 History of Lee County Illinois edited by Mr. A.C. Bardwell

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