William Maxwell Farr
Born: September 29, 1915
Hometown: Allentown, PA
Class: 1939 – USMMCC Cadet Officer
1938 – Pennsylvania Nautical School
Service: Merchant Marine
Position / Rank: Deck Cadet Officer
Date / Place of death: November 16, 1941 / Allentown, PA
Date / Place of burial: Unknown / Union-West End Cemetery, Allentown, PA
William M. Farr was accepted into the U.S. Merchant Marine Cadet Corps Cadet Of ficer
program as Deck Cadet Officer on June 8, 1938. According to the U.S. Coast Guard
he was issued a license as Third Mate at Philadelphia, PA on May 25, 1938. On June
9, 1938 he was assigned to the SS Capulin which was loading cargo at Baltimore, MD.
However, on June 15 he was re-assigned to the SS Sarcoxie which was also loading
cargo in Baltimore. He signed on aboard the SS Sarcoxie on June 21, 1938 and sailed
aboard that ship until he left the ship on February 23, 1939. On June 7, 1939 W illiam
Farr signed on as Able Bodied Seaman aboard the SS Exermont. He signed off on
August 10 after completing a voyage to the Mediterranean. There are no records that
William M. Farr served at sea again, although the 1940 U.S. Census lists his
occupation as “Seaman” and the 1940 / 1941 Allentown City Directories list his
occupation as “Cadet Officer”.
William M. Farr was the youngest of Jacob L. Farr and Mabel L. Farr’s five children.
William, known as “Bill” to the family, had two brothers, L. Donald and Harvey. His two
sisters were Elizabeth and Louise. The Farr family owned a shoe factory and several
shoe stores in Pennsylvania, which did business as Farr Brothers. He is listed in the
yearbook of Lehigh University as studying Arts at the University in the class of 1938.
However, at some point he began his nautical education. His residence in 1941
indicates that he is living with his father, the President of Farr Brothers Company, and
his mother. According to surviving family members the cause of William M. Farr’s
death was suicide.
Although the Farr Building, the company headquarters for Farr Brothers Co., still stands at the corner of 8th and Hamilton Streets in Allentown, PA the Farr family sold the business in 1980.
No Photograph of W.M. Farr is Available
Photo of William M. Farr Headstone