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The Cyclopædia of American Biography/Farnsworth, William Hix

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FARNSWORTH, William Hix, lawyer, b. in Rockland, Me., 15 Aug., 1861, son of Theodore H. and Martha B. (Marston) Farnsworth. His father (1816-1912) was a sailor and soldier. His earliest American ancestor, Matthias Farnsworth, emigrated to this country from Lancashire, England, in 1603, settling in Groton, Mass. Matthias Farnsworth held a prominent position in the colony from the date of his arrival, and in 1675 participated in the war between the New England settlers and the Indians, known as “King Philip's War.” The line of descent is then traced through Benjamin and Mary (Prescott) Farnsworth; Isaac and Sarah (Page) Farnsworth; Isaac and Anna (Green) Farnsworth; William A. and Elizabeth (Rutherford) Farnsworth; Ezra and Elizabeth (Lakin) Farnsworth; Amos and Lydia (Longley) Farnsworth; Jonas and Jane (Delop) Farnsworth; Benjamin and Dorcas (Whittermore) Farnsworth; Jonas and Thankful (Ward) Farnsworth; Isaac and Martha (Barth) Farnsworth; and Levi and Margaret Farnsworth, who were the grandparents of the subject of this sketch. William H. Farnsworth was educated in the public and high schools of Blair, Neb., where his family had moved when he was an infant. At the age of twenty-one, he engaged in the practice of his profession as a lawyer, in association with Col. L. W. Osborn. He met with success from the start, and in a comparatively brief period had attained a high position in the legal profession through his ability and intellectual attainments. In 1884 he accepted an invitation to become city attorney for Blair, Neb., and discontinued his general legal practice. During his term as city attorney, he successfully prosecuted the Fairbanks Scale Company, and represented the city in the federal courts in Omaha. In 1890 he was chosen assistant county attorney for Washington County, Neb. Throughout his long career, Mr. Farnsworth has specialized in corporation law. He was the leading counsel in the case of Jant vs. C. C. C. and St. L. Railway, which was carried to the United States Supreme Court. Notwithstanding his active legal career, Mr. Farnsworth is a member of many exclusive clubs, among them the Hawkeye Club, of which he is president, and the River Side Boat Club. On 15 June, 1883, he married Eugene, daughter of W. S. Coe, and they had one son, Park Goodwin Farnsworth, deceased.