John A. O'Farrell:
John A. O'Farrell was born in 1823 in County Tyrone, Ireland. In 1836, he entered Naval School and in 1838 sailed to Calcutta, India. What an exciting life lay ahead for a 15-year-old boy!
In 1843, he arrived in New York City after sailing the "Seven Seas." He then sailed around the Cape to Monterey, California where he automatically became a United States citizen when California was admitted to the Union in 1850. In 1847, he met John Sutter and began his long love affair with mining. However, his sailing days were not over. He sailed back to England and fought in the Crimean War and was awarded the Crimean Medal of Valor.
By 1857, he was in Colorado prospecting for gold at Pike's Peak. In 1859, he traveled to Louisville, Kentucky where he married Mary Ann Chapman Lambert, who had a daughter, Mary Ann Lambert, who was later adopted by John O'Farrell.
John and Mary started across the plains from Colorado to their final destination in Idaho. This group of 14 wagons traveled for four months and three days before arriving in the Boise Valley. O'Farrell built his cabin in 1863 across the street from the present site.
From 1871-1878, John O'Farrell and his family lived in the Salt Lake City area where he mined in Park City, Utah. While in Utah, they suffered the loss of four children.
The O'Farrell family donated a block of land for the first Catholic Church in Boise, St. Patrick's. He was one of the original supporters of the New York Canal and was also politically active, serving a term in the Territorial Legislature.
John O'Farrell passed away October 29, 1900, five months after the death of his wife.