Henry James Farmer is widely and favorably known in insurance circles of Detroit. He deals in insurance and surety bonds, in which connection he has built up a business of extensive proportions, displaying sound judgment, energy and enterprise in the management of his interests. He was born in Lawrence county, Ohio, May 14, 1876, and is of Scotch descent, his parents being James Henderson and Naomi M. (Williams) Farmer. Representatives of the family patented the land upon which Trinity church in New York city now stands and in the early days the paternal and maternal grandparents came west over the mountains, traveling by means of wagons, and established their homes in southern Ohio and northern Kentucky.
In the public schools of the southern portion of the Buckeye state Mr. Farmer acquired his education, his boyhood being spent on his father's farm. On starting out in life independently he engaged in the insurance business at Portsmouth, Ohio, in 1904. He came to Detroit in 1908, where he entered the field of insurance as traveling representative of the Standard Accident Insurance Company. After four years of that service, he quit the road and became identified with William H. McBryan, as a department manager in the Detroit branch of the United States Fidelity & Guaranty Company. He remained in this connection for nearly six years, or until February, 1919, when he opened his present office in the Penobscot building and is now handling insurance and surety bonds, in which he has been very successful, developing a good business. He employs the most progressive methods in the conduct of his interests and his integrity and reliability have secured for him the confidence of the public, so that he has become recognized as one of the leading insurance men in the city.
Mr. Farmer was united in marriage at Portsmouth, Ohio, to Miss Susan M. Rhodes, a daughter of Captain George and Annie D. (Hicks) Rhodes, of that city. Captain Rhodes was an old time Ohio river steamboat captain and had numerous business interests in that section of Ohio. They have become the parents of two sons: Ray H., born June 23, 1898, at Portsmouth, Ohio who married Helen Cooper, a daughter of James H. Cooper, an old resident of this city, and they now have a son, Robert J.; and Harry R., born October 5, 1901, at Portsmouth, Ohio, who is associated with his father in business.
Mr. Farmer is a member of the Ohio Society of Detroit, of which he has been secretary for the past four years. He is a Mason, belonging to Aurora Lodge, F. & A. M., of Portsmouth, Ohio; Peninsular Chapter, R. A M.; and Detroit Commandery, No 1, K. T. of Detroit. He is also connected with the Masonic Country Club, the Wayfarers Club and the Board of Commerce, and is serving as a member of the board of governors of the Wayfarers Club He is a well known member of the Woodward Avenue Presbyterian church, wherein he has held numerous offices. He is a man of high personal standing, of marked business ability and enterprise, and in all matters of citizenship his influence is on the side of advancement and improvement.
Title: The city of Detroit, Michigan, 1701-1922;
Volume 3 of The city of Detroit, Michigan, 1701-1922, The city of Detroit, Michigan, 1701-1922
Authors: Clarence Monroe Burton, William Stocking, Gordon K. Miller
Publisher: S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1922