John Farver was born January 11th, 1811, in the Shenango Valley, in Mahoning township, Mercer (now forming a part of Lawrence) county, Pa., where he resided on the farm, with his father, until he was twenty-nine years of age. He received the rudiments of a common education in a log school-house. It was customary in those days for the larger boys to cut the wood for the school fire, and many a log has young Farver prepared, with vigorous blows, for the huge fireplace, where the youngsters were wont to warm themselves.
He finally graduated with honor from the log school-house, and concluded to follow the profession of teacher, at least for a time, for we find him at the head of a common school, laboring faithfully, at nine dollars per month, for the first winter. He afterwards taught two additional quarters at thirteen dollars per month, and felt quite rich with the sum accumulated. In the spring of 1840, he migrated, with his brother, T. C. Farver, to French Creek township, Mercer county, which was then a comparatively new portion of the county.
They labored industriously, clearing land and making a farm, John, in the meantime, making his home at his brother's. On the 6th of December, 1843, he was united in marriage with Miss Margaret Streight, of Sandy Creek township, and in August, 1844, moved into the dwelling where he now resides. They have raised three children, viz. Cerilla, now the wife of A. S. Bailey, of Paxton, Ford county, Illinois; Emma, now the wife of Charles Stephens, of Cochranton, Crawford County, Pa.; and Orrin, still living with his parents .
In March, 1834, Mr. Farver espoused the cause of Christianity, and united with the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1836, he became an active advocate of temperance. Mr. Farver has held many offices of honor and trust in his township. As road commissioner, he took a lively interest in the laying out and improvement of public roads. As school director, which position he has held for several terms, he sought for the best good of the youth of the township, at the least possible expense compatible with the necessities of the situation. He also filled the honorable position of justice of the peace for ten years, and always bore himself in a manner worthy the confidence of his fellow-citizens, practicing the utmost economy in all public affairs, to the end that the people might not suffer from the burden of heavy taxation.
Like most men, Mr. Farver has not escaped accidents to life and limb. In March, 1861, he had an arm fractured and the elbow thrown out of joint, and in 1863, had one of his collar-bones broken.
In consequence of these casualties, he has been a cripple ever since, and unable to do hard work. Through the twin virtues, industry and economy, and by the assistance of the Great Giver, he has acquired a competency, and now, in the autumn of his days, without claiming to have accomplished anything great or wonderful, he feels that he has done his duty according to his best light.
History of Mercer County, 1877, page 135