NARRATIVE OF JOSEPH FRANCIS FARLEY (1885-1977)
Joseph Francis Farley was the grandson of William A.H. White
My father’s name was Francis Joseph Farley. His father was Patrick Farley; his mother was Catherine, she was from the Duffs, a wealthy family. The family was a large one. Uncle George Farley was in the civil war, for years was in a Washington, D.C. hospital, he was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Uncle Harry was a gardener, worked in Fairmont Park in Philadelphia. Uncle William stayed home with the parents at 760 N. 22nd St, Philadelphia. Uncle Jim left home when young man, was in Chicago, Ill. He had a business called Nite Watch. Francis J. (my father). Anna only daughter.
Grandfather Patrick died in the blizzard in Philadelphia. In 1898. Grandma Catherine was already gone . What happened to Harry and William? Anna married and passed away.
I believe my grandfather Patrick and his brother came from County Meath in Ireland
Francis J. Farley was my father. He was an entertainer in his early days, had a fine baritone voice and sang in various clubs in Philadelphia. He married later in life, about when he was 30-31 (Note: from census records, he was about 28). He was a big man – 6’- and was born in Philadelphia. After his marriage he lived in Camden, N.J. He told me that as a young boy his father Patrick took him to see Abraham Lincoln, whose coffin was taken around in different cities. One thing I remember, when I was a small boy he took me to see Billy Penn’s statue—it was in the courtyard of City Hall with a fence around it. Now Penn is on top of City Hall, Philadelphia., about 500 ft. or better high. Dad died in Philadelphia. where we all lived at that time. He was stricken on the street when he went walking and riding the trolley from Bywood, Upper Darby to 69th St. He was then living with daughter Lillie. He is buried in Arlington Cemetery, Drexel Hill, in our family plot. (Note: Arlington Cemetery is in Delaware Co., Penna.)
My mother’s name before her marriage was Isabelle White. She was one of four children of William A. White and Henrietta White. She had a sister Madge, these two young women were called ‘belles’ among their friends. All these lived in Camden, NJ. Lovely pretty girls. I loved my mother very much, but refuse to say how I proved it. As a young boy I worried her, being very active, full of mischief. We lived in Camden, NJ. (Note: later addition to the story: Joe didn’t do well in public school, so they put him in Catholic school. He was afraid of the building and refused to go. Finally he returned to public school but quit at age 11 to go to work, they needed money. He said he was 14 and got working permit.)
Dad worked hard. Rent was cheap, wages were low, food reasonable. You had to cook on a
gasoline stove or a wood burning stove. If you had a heater in the cellar coal then was $4.25
long ton, coke was $1.00 cart load. Where we lived we had no cellars. Toilets were in the
back yard. One thing I remember was that black stockings for me
When Grover Cleveland was President (2nd term) we had a depression—no work, soup houses everywhere. Friends took Mother, small sister and I in their home in SW Philadelphia. Dad went with friends. Then some better times came and we all went back and found a four room house in Camden, NJ. Got our things out of storage. This house had no cellar. $5.00 rent a month. Water was a hydrant in back yard. Toilet also. Heat was our wood and coal burning stove. For 10 cents we bought our coal. Sure it was cold to live there, especially upstairs.
Before this time Mother had twins. Lilly, my sister, and William, who died soon after birth. Mother passed away as near as I remember about age 65. (Note: these are approximate dates): born 1861 died 1926. We then lived in W. Philadelphia. So we buried her on a Sunday, and as Penna. Law did not allow that, the Whites had a family plot in Camden, NJ, at Evergreen Cemetery and we buried her there.
William A. White and Henrietta, her parents, had a good family. Children: William, Joseph, Madge, Ola, Isobell. Grandpa White told me how he, as a young man, worked in a foundry making cannon balls for the Civil War. This was in Camden, NJ, where all the Whites lived. He was a prominent man in Camden, interested in politics. (Note: He also was a policeman at the Centennial celebration in 1876.) Every Decoration Day he would take me out to Evergreen Cemetery where we would decorate the graves. I would find a water pump and carry it for our new plants. He and I always had a good time. On his birthday all his grandchildren would give him a 5 cent bandana handkerchief. At Christmas time he would dress as Santa Claus and present us with Christmas gifts. He died in his 70’s, but don’t know his birth or death dates. But I sure loved Grandpop White.
Henrietta, his wife, was a small woman; always sick as I remember. Typhoid then was
That about covers the Whites. Mother thought there was some relation in south NJ.,
William her son had a very large family. He married Minnie Lach, whose parents lived on Spruce St. They made pretzels. All this was in Camden, NJ. Uncle William had a great talent as an artist. One time he had work in a store. He made a lovely drawing of every street in Camden—it was a work of art. William sometimes did door-to-door advertising in Camden. His wife Minnie was the mother of 5 children; died after her last birth. That left a large family to care for later. The birth, death of these I don’t know, but all of them took place when I was 8 or 9 years old (Note: 1893-94).
Uncle Joe (mother’s brother) was a fine workman, paperhanger. He decorated in
Madge, whom I called Dadsey, married a friend of my Dad’s, John R. Rice. He was
Madge and John had one daughter, Mazie, and a small brother who had a soft spot on his head and who lived some 30 years. He was helpless, never spoke a word. Had to be cared for like an infant. Mazie had great talent as an artist – never married, helped to care for her brother John. She was a beautiful person, large blue eyes, had great sense of humor. Her father (John R.) bought up small homes in Camden—he was in real estate business. When he died he left all these run down places in Mazie’s care. (Her Mother is now dead). Taxes came every year, poor people could not pay rent, so she turned all these properties over to the city. She sold other house and one time had a large property in Cape May, NJ. They lived in Almonesson, NJ, a lovely place and home. As she grew older and sickly, she turned all these over to an Episcopal home in NJ. Helen and I visited her, found it a lovely place. We had lunch with them. Mazie played the piano, but she felt out of place, so many old people there. What a lovely cousin she was. There was 9 months between our birthdays. She was about 80 when she died. One good friend she had was a Senator of NJ. She was buried near her old home in Almonesson, this is near Woodbury, NJ. A sweet, dear person born 1886.
Comes to mind when both of us would go to her house. She had her Grandmother Wible’s organ. She would play the organ and I would sing ‘Sweet Sixteen’, was a favorite then. Her Ma would always call me Joey.
|Philadelphia Inquirer - April 19, 1871|
W. Curlis - John I. Smith - Charles M. Hay
Thomas E. Mason - James W. Ayers - Daniel Johntra
Charles Catting - William Chambers - Theodore W. Jones
Abraham Lower - William H. Hawkins - William D. Middleton
Thomas H. Coles - John W. Campbell - Samuel Mortland William A. White - John J. Brown - Jesse C. Chew
Cornelius M. Brown - Joseph Muinbaeck - Jacob Hefflenger
Miles Morgan - Henry L. Johnson - William Campbell
|Philadelphia Inquirer - August 5, 1872|
Philadelphia Inquirer - August 17, 1886
Pratt - Wiliam
White - William Smith
James Gibson - Cooley Smith - John Kelly
Kaighn Avenue - Mt. Ephraim Avenue
Philadelphia Inquirer * November 13, 1895
Joyce Sewell - John
R. McPherson - William
- March 11, 1907
WM. H. WHITE DROPPED DEAD
William H. White, aged 70 years, one of the best known men down town, died on Saturday at the residence of his daughter at Almonesson, N.J. where he had been living for about five months. About three years ago Mr. White was stricken with paralysis of the left side rendering his arm and leg helpless. He had finished eating his supper about twenty minutes, when he suddenly lifted both arms above his head, rose from his chair and fell back dead. A physician who was summoned said that death was undoubtedly due to another stroke of paralysis. The funeral will take place on Wednesday afternoon at 2 o'clock from the residence of his daughter Mrs. Joseph Farley, 834 Carpenter Street. Interment will be private. The remains can be reviewed Tuesday evening.
William H. White was born in Philadelphia and in his early life worked as a moulder for the Jesse W. Starr Iron Works, now the R.D. Wood Iron Works. During the Civil War Mr. White cast a number of bombs and shells for use in that deadly conflict. For years Mr. White kept a hotel at Mechanics Hall, now Washington Hall, then located in what was known as the South ward. He always took an active part in politics and during the days of George M. Robeson was one of the latter's foremost political friends. Mr. White served as a policeman under Mayor Gaul and was connected with the Water Department for over twenty years. He was a member of the Fifth Ward Republican Club and Shiffler Hose Company volunteers, both of which organizations and the R.D. Woods Iron Works Employees, will send delegations to the funeral.
When first stricken with paralysis Mr. White was visited by ex-Sheriff Calhoun and several other old-time friends who talked consolingly to him. "Don' t worry about me," was White's invariable reply, " I'll outlive all of you." His prediction came true.
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