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Farrar Family Papers

Identifier: Mss. Acc. 2008.71

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

The collection includes letters, contracts, deeds, wills, St. Luke Penny Bank medallions, cemetery plot receipts, plans, blueprints, photographs, birth and death certificates relating to members of the Farrar family of Richmond, Virginia. Daniel James Farrar (1862-1925) had a profound effect on the architecture of the city of Richmond. Daniel followed the example of his father, Joseph who was the son of a free black. Farrar was involved with at least 14 buildings in the 1890’s as designer, builder or both. Daniel’s siblings included Leah Farrar, and Alma Rachel Margaret Lucas who are represented in the collection. The collection is divided into seven folders containing 90 pieces of ephemera relating to one or another Farrar family member, family real estate transactions, a folder of miscellaneous documents, and 236 photographs of family members and friends, scenes and groups of people.


  • Creation: 1875-1964


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access:

Collection is open to all researchers. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use:

Before reproducing or quoting from any materials, in whole or in part, permission must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.

Biographical Information:

Daniel James Farrar was born in Richmond on October 17, 1862. He joined his father in business after attending public schools in Richmond until he was 18 years old. He completed training by his father in three years. The 1910 United States census lists his occupation as a contractor and homebuilder.

Daniel married Leah Belle Holmes on May 17, 1888. She was the daughter of George Washington Holmes and Mildred Holmes. He died in March, 1923 leaving his wife, two sons Joseph H. (b. 1892) and Daniel J, Jr. (b. 1897) and two daughters, Leah Belle (b. 1894) Alma R.M. Lucas (b. 1890) and one grandchild, Yvonne Lucas.

He designed, remodeled and built the Smallwood Memorial Institute in Claremont VA, the Mechanics Bank Building (where he maintained his office), the Second Street Bank as well as a number of dwellings, apartments, businesses, schools and churches. He was prominently connected with the Masons, IBPOE, Lincoln Republican League and the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows. He served as secretary and treasurer of the Evergreen Cemetery Association. Daniel died in March 1923.

Further information about this individual or organization may be available in the Special Collections Research Center Wiki: .


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Acquisition Information:



Guide to the Farrar Family Papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository