Mary Elizabeth Farnsworth

Name: Mary Elizabeth Odell Farnsworth
Born: 3 February 1836 / Carroll County, Indiana
Died: April 1895
Parents: John Odell & Sarah Holman Odell
Arrived in Ore.: 26 September 1851
  • Sarah Blandena Farnsworth (1859–1863)
  • Eri Dempster Farnsworth (1863–1936)
  • Levi Albert Farnsworth (1867–1958)
  • Mary Belle Farnsworth Clarkson (1872-1951)
  • Eva E. Farnsworth Haines (1873–1971)

Mary Farnsworth was born on February 3rd, 1836, in Carroll County, Indiana.  In 1851, Mary emigrated via the overland route to Oregon with her parents John and Sarah Odell, and 9 other siblings.  She was 15 years old when she arrived in Oregon.  Two years later, at the age of 17, she married Morgan L. Rockhill.  While there is limited information available about Morgan Rockhill, he likely travelled on the same wagon train as the Odells.  Morgan Rockhill died less than two months after their wedding, and is also buried in the Odell Pioneer Cemetery.

In 1858 Mary wed James Haven Farnsworth, a pioneer of 1852.  The couple had five children, four of whom survived.  Their first child, Sarah, died at the age of four.

James died in 1891, and Mary in 1895.  Mary and James, as well as their daughter Sarah, are all buried at the Odell Pioneer Cemetery. All three of the Farnsworth graves are missing headstones, and are presumably stolen. If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of the Farnsworths’ headstones, please contact us at

Oregon, Biographical and Other Index Card File, 1700s-1900s


Mary Elizabeth Odell Farnsworth was born in Carroll Co., Ind. on Feb. 3, 1836. She was the daughter of John and Sarah (Holman) Odell and the granddaughter of James and Sarah (Martindale) Odell and George and Elizabeth (Fisher) Holman. In 1851 when Mary was 15 she crossed the plains to Oregon with her parents. She told her daughter, Eva Farnsworth, that she traveled in the wagon but her mother, Sarah Odell, rode a horse named “Old Fly” all the way from Ind. to Or.

Mary’s first husband was M.L. Rockhill who lived for only a year after they were married. She married second James Haven Farnsworth, son of Dr. Freeman and Sarah Farnsworth. The Farnsworths had five children. Three of them born at Webfoot.

  • Sarah Blandena, about 1859 – 1863.
  • Eri Dempster, b. 5 Mar 1863; married Lettie Gates of Portland; died 1936 in McMinnville. He was a carpenter.
  • Levi Albert, b. 21 Feb 1867; married Annie Gates, a sister of Lettie. He had a bulb farm at Canby, Ore.

James and Mary took a homestead at Silver Lake near Castle Rock, WA. There the two youngest children were born.

  • Mary Belle, married Joseph Clarkson, a lumberman of Ferndale, WA.
  • Eva Elizabeth, b 15 Nov 1873; married Rev. Oliver Smith Haines of Brooks, OR. They were married in Lafayette on Dec. 14, 1892 by Rev. C.C. Poling. Eva died on June 29, 1971 in Okanogan, WA, aged 97.

James H. Farnsworth, who was a carpenter, died in Portland in the fall of 1888. Mary died at Eastertime 1895.

– Biography prepared by Eva A. Calhoun of Seattle, great granddaughter of James and Mary Farnsworth

Do you have any information about Mary Elizabeth Odell Farnsworth? Or, do you love researching and would be willing to donate your time to the Odell Pioneer Cemetery Research Project? If so, please contact:

Reference: 1850, 1860, 1870, & 1880 United States Federal Census; Early Oregonians Index, Oregon Secretary of State; Oregon Historical Society, Index Collection: Pioneer Index, Portland, Oregon;; Washington State Archives, Washington Marriage Records, 1854-2013, Olympia, Washington; Washington, Select Death Certificates, 1907-1960 [database on-line], Operations, Inc., 2014; Biography: Genealogical Forum of Oregon, Odell Cemetery Biographies, p.40