Charles Benjamin Farwell (1823-1903)

Senator Charles B. Farwell, of Farwell & Co., Chicago & Lake Forest, Illinois

Associated Houses

Charles B. Farwell House


Fairlawn I

Lake Forest

He started life at Mead Creek in Painted Post, New York, before coming to Chicago on a wagon of wheat with $10 in his pocket. He found work in the county clerk's office and then as a teller in a bank before establishing a dry goods business with his brother, John V. Farwell, that made his fortune. By 1870, sales of Farwell & Co. had reached nearly $10 million and that figure doubled by 1883 when the company employed 600 staff from their 8-story headquarters at Monroe and Market Streets. In 1887, the Farwell brothers became major shareholders in the 3 million-acre XIT Ranch in Texas, with 150,000 head of cattle. Only four of his children lived to adulthood.
Contributed by Mark Meredith on 11/10/2019 and last updated on 13/10/2019.