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J. E. Farber, M. D., physician and surgeon, at Cordell, is eminently connected with the medical profession of southwestern Oklahoma. He is a native of Georgia, born April 3, 1863, and reared in Florida, where he had the advantages of the public school system, gaining a good elementary education. Later he attended a branch of the State University of Georgia, after which he returned to his home in Florida and there assisted about the orange groves. He had decided on a professional career and chose that of medicine, beginning the study of that science with Dr. J. D. Starke, who was his stepfather, who lived at Enterprise, Florida. By such tutorship and the frequent visits he made with the doctor, as he practiced in the surrounding country, young Farber gained much insight into the profession. He continued his study there until 1885, when he entered the Atlanta Medical College, where he graduated in 1887. He then practiced a year at home, with his old preceptor, during which period there came an epidemic of yellow fever, and he was appointed by the governor head of the board of health for his home county, which position he held as long as he remained there. He next located in practice at Green Cave Springs, Fla., but remained but a short time, and in 1889 went to Texas, locating in Clay county, where he remained until 1896, then sought a wider field. He went to St. Louis, Mo., and assisted in organizing a fraternal insurance company. He then, having had sufficient experience in that direction, resumed his medical profession and in the autumn of 1896 went to Oklahoma, leaving the cars at El Reno, the nearest point of railroad to Washita county, of which Cloud Chief was then the seat of justice. He was then a single man and located with a farmer and there set up his practice, having but little, if indeed any, competition.

His medical services were soon in demand and appreciated, after which the financial problem which had been confronting him was solved. His practice widened out until it covered a territory of about sixty miles. Practicing in that section at that day meant much hardship and exposure. There were but few roads and fewer bridges. The nearest cut across the open prairie was usually the direction taken by travelers. The streams usually had to be forded by swimming the horses, and all was yet one "green, glad solitude." However, the doctor's practice increased and he had to employ a man to drive for him and care for certain portions of his practice. He had in his service eight horses. His collections were always goad and both his practice and finances were a complete success.

In his political views the doctor is an avowed Democrat. He received the appointment from a Republican administration as superintendent of the board of health for his county, serving six years. He possesses a good library, and is a constant reader of medical publications, and has an office fully equipped with all modern appliances. He is the examiner for all of the old-line life insurance companies, as well as for many of the fraternal companies. He is public spirited and charitable and among his praiseworthy enterprises was the establishment of a sanitarium for unfortunate victims of the liquor and drug habits, at Oklahoma City. The doctor is a member of the American Medical Association, the Southwestern Medical Society, as well as the medical societies of the state and county in which he lives.

Cordell was platted in 1901, by A. J. Johnson and J. C. Harrel, each owning land which came to the section line, which they made the main street of the new townsite. Cordell postoffice had been established a mile and a half to the east, before this, and when this place was platted the first house was moved over from Texas, and the postmistress brought the mail over from the old town in her apron. Soon the old town was all moved over, and stores and shops were soon provided in the new place. The postmistress kept a small lodging house and the travelers had to rustle for something to eat elsewhere. From this pioneer beginning, the town has increased to one of more than twenty-five hundred population and contains a graded school and two academies, churches and all that goes to make a town desirable. Banking and merchandising are abreast with the times and all do a thriving business. When the Frisco railroad was heading toward the place, donations and local encouragement were sought, and the doctor was active in securing the line, and with other public-spirited men organized the Cordell Improvement Company, of which he was made president. They purchased the required land and gave it to the railroad company, which induced the company to build into the town. At each and every call the doctor has responded with material aid and with the aid of such enterprising citizens the place has taken on its present proportions. He also assisted in organizing the Otter Creek Irrigation Company, with a million dollars capital, with a plant near Mountain Park, Oklahoma, on the Frisco line of railway. The doctor was elected vice president and was a stockholder in this corporation. He is also vice president of the First National Bank of Cordell; bought and now owns a large block of stock in the Cordell Milling and Gin Company. Aside from such enterprises, he owns lands and farms of much value. He is truly a busy, successful worker in the great hive of industry, at the same time taking care of the excellent medical practice he has built up.

Regarding Dr. Farber's parentage, ancestry and domestic affairs, let it be stated that he is the son of Charles Julius Farber and his wife, Salima (Kendall) Farber. The doctor's mother was born in Alabama and the father in Strasburg, Germany. The doctor's grandmother was left a widow, when her son was fourteen years of age, after which she emigrated to America, locating at Erie, Pennsylvania, where he grew to manhood and completed his education in art and science. He followed artistic painting and drifted to the south, marrying in Georgia, where he also followed his profession. Later he worked at it in Florida. When the great Civil war brake out, he enlisted in the Confederate cause, doing valiant service. He was made prisoner of war, and later exchanged and joined his old command, continuing until the end of the strife. From the exposure and hardships growing out of that long war he died. He was well pasted in matters of history concerning his adapted land. He was a devoted member of the Presbyterian church. His children were: Dr. J. E., of this biography; and Charles M., an attorney-at-law of San Diego, California. Later the doctor's mother married Dr. J. D. Starke, of mare than ordinary ability, and who became the subject's tutor in medicine. He raised a company far the Confederate army and was its captain. He was also captured and finally exchanged and joined his old command, serving until the close of the war. Prior to the Civil war, he had held a commission in the Florida Indian wars. He was a brave and capable man and an eminent physician of his day and school. He owned an extensive orange grove in Florida, and before the war was a large slaveholder. He removed to Gainsville, Georgia, far the better education of his children, but subsequently returned to Florida and there died. His widow still survives. He was a staunch Democrat and filled numerous offices of honor and public trust, including that of county treasurer and state representative.

Dr. Farber was united in marriage in September, 1902, to Miss Lodie E. Bryant, born at Sardis, Tennessee, in 1883. She is the daughter of J. K. Bryant, a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian church. His children were: Dr. F. V., a physician of Gage, Oklahoma; F. B., a dentist, at Davis, Oklahoma; Amanda, Mrs. Hopper, now deceased, leaving one son. Dr. Farber and wife have the fallowing children: J. E., Jr., died aged seventeen months; Charles M., born October, 1905. The doctor and his estimable wife are members of the Reformed Church of America, he being an ex-deacon. He is also identified with the Masonic fraternity and has advanced to the Shriner's and thirty-second degree, and is also a member of the order of Knights and Ladies of Security, of which he is medical examiner.

Source: Hill, Luther. A History of the State of Oklahoma, Volume II. New York: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1908, 530-531.

Contributed by Marti Graham, August 2003. Information posted as courtesy to researchers. The contributor is not related to nor researching any of the families mentioned.


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