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Joseph E. Farrar was born to free parents in Charlottesville, Virginia in 1830. He worked as a carpenter under George W. Spooner, Proctor of the University of Virginia until 1858. Joseph married Rachel Willis Hill (d. 1908) of Charlottesville and moved to Richmond, Virginia. They had four children John E.C. Farrar, Daniel James Farrar, both contractors and builders, Maggie H.M. Farrar, the wife of Dr. S.H. Dismond and a teacher of music at the Hartshorn Memorial College, and Dr. Arthur W.G. Farrar, who studied medicine at Shaw University in Raleigh, NC. Joseph was deacon clerk and trustee of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Richmond. He was elected to the Richmond City Council in 1885 as one of the first African Americans to hold a position with the Richmond City Government. He was treasurer and a director of the Friends Orphan Asylum, director of the Virginia Baptist Seminary, a founder and Director of the Colored Young Men's Christian Association. At one time, he was the largest black contractor of Richmond. He accumulated a good amount of real estate in Richmond.

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A note about the contents of this site

This website contains the best available information from known sources at the time it was written. Unfortunately, many of the early original records of William & Mary were destroyed by fires, military occupation, and the normal effects of time. The information in this website is not complete, and it changes as we continue to research and uncover new sources.