RICHARD A. FARRIS was born in Gloucester City, New Jersey. He was the third of five children born to William and Addie Harris. He grew up for the most part in Gloucester City, although his family lived in Philadelphia for a time in the 1880s. The 1880 and 1910 Censuses indicates that he was born in 1878. When he registered for the draft in September of 1918, he told the registrar that he was born on November 3, 1878. However, the 1930 Census and his draft card, filled out in the spring of 1942, says he was born on November 3, 1886. This may have had to something to do with his obtaining employment as a fire fighter. By April of 1930 he had been appointed to the Camden Fire Department.
Richard A. Farris and his family are not listed in Camden in the 1900 Census or the 1906 Camden City Directory. He appears to have moved to Camden along with his mother and younger siblings in the late 1900s. The 1910 Census shows Richard A. Farris boarding at 721 Penn Street and working as a railroad flagman. His mother, younger brother Charles Paul "Paul" Farris and younger sister Loretta were living at 520 Ray Street in North Camden. By 1914 he too was living at 520 Ray Street.
In the summer and fall of 1918 Richard A. Farris was living at 494 Newton Avenue in South Camden. He worked at the New York Shipbuilding Corporation shipyard as a railroad brakeman. He was appointed to the Camden Fire Department at some point after September of 1918. The 1924 Camden City Directory shows him living at 498 Newton Avenue.
Richard A. Farris married his wife Anna around 1925. The 1927 Camden City Directory and the April 1930 Census show Richard and Anna Farris living at 3014 Mickle Street in East Camden. Also living there in 1930 was Richard Farris' widowed mother Adeline. Richard Farris by this time had begun to report his birth year as 1886.
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