Gen. Bernard Gaines Farrar Jr., the third son of Dr. Bernard Gaines Farrar and Ann Clark Thruston, was born on 5 August 1831 in St. Louis. Bernard was the first person educated at the Norwich Military Academy in Vermont, after which he then attended the University of Virginia. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on 29 October 1862 in St. Louis. Bernard organized the 30th Regiment of the Missouri Volunteer Infantry, served under General Grant in the Mississippi campaign, and was in command of General Frank Blair’s brigade at the siege of Vicksburg. He was appointed Brigadier General in the U.S. Army on 9 March 1865. Later in his life, on 1 March 1891, President Benjamin Harrison appointed Bernard a federal sub-treasurer.

Bernard and Isabella Jerdone Mitchell were married on 14 June 1855 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. Isabella, daughter of Alexander William Mitchell and Joanna Bain, was born on 5 May 1835 in Philadelphia. She died of angina pectoris (heart failure) on 2 April 1916 at the age of eighty in St. Louis.

Bernard Gaines Farrar and Isabella Jerdone Mitchell had the following children: Anne Clark, Alexander Mitchell, Frank Jerdone, and Bernard Cecil “Bertie” Farrar.

Gen. Farrar died of arteriosclerosis on 6 June 1916 at the age of eighty-four in St. Louis. An area newspaper reported on his passing:


Gen. Bernard G. Farrar, 85 years old, who was brevetted Brigadier-General of the United States Army at the close of the Civil War, and who twice occupied the post of Federal Subtreasurer here, died at 2 o’clock this morning at his home 3435 Franklin avenue . . . He was appointed subtreasurer by President Harrison and later by President McKinley. He had a considerable private fortune, but he lost this, and a few years ago he was appointed a city sewer inspector at $85 a month. He continued this work, so far as his health would permit, until within the past year.


Written by Ted Steele
February 2021

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