52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

52 Ancestors #25 John Farish

I thought I had posted this on Monday, but only just realized today that it was never published, so it’s a few days late.

This week, I am taking a break from writing about one of my ancestors, because I have already written about most of them.  Another reason is that my subscription to Ancestry is due to expire at the end of March, so I am trying to do as much research as possible on the American branches of the family, while I still have access to these collections.

Monday, I was researching the children of Thomas Farish and Ruth Whimpey.  Ruth was the daughter of Isaac Whimpey and Mary Lewis. Isaac was the brother of my 2x great grandfather Joseph Whimpey.  Joseph and Isaac had both been born in Frome, Somerset, England, and had gone to work in the coal mines in Wales before emigrating.  Joseph was married in 1840 in Wales, and he and his wife Margaret had migrated to Australia, with Joseph’s brother John and his wife Caroline, in 1841.  Isaac also married in Wales, in 1847, and his first eight children, including daughter Ruth were born in Wales.  Isaac migrated to the United States first, in 1866, and the rest of the family followed in 1867, and they lived in Tuscarawas and Stark Counties in Ohio.

Ruth married Thomas Farish in Stark County, Ohio, in 1879.  Their first 2 children were born in Ohio, and the rest of their children were born in Utah.

John Farish was their ninth child.  I don’t have a birth record for John, but I do have his death certificate, which I found on the Utah State Archives website

His death certificate shows he was born 19 October 1896 at Cleveland, Utah.  At the time of his death he was living at the Alexandria Hotel in Ogden, Weber, Utah. He was an unemployed miner.

John died 9 April 1929 from a knife wound thru upper left part of his abdomen, done by a person found by coroner’s jury to have been Mrs. Besares.

As part of my Ancestry subscription, I also have a subscription to Newspapers.com, and I found an article about John’s death in the Salt Lake Telegram, Wed. Apr. 10, 1929, page 2, col 6 – https://www.newspapers.com/image/288679663

The following is a transcription of the article.


Eye Witness of Fatal Stabbing Testifies Before Jury

   OGDEN, April 10-After police officers and one eyewitness to the fatal stabbing of Jack Farish, 32, by Mrs. Esther Besares, 45, early Tuesday morning had testified this morning, the coroner’s inquest into the man’s death was recessed until this afternoon. The inquest is being conducted before City Judge Simon Barlow.

   Max Pace, a guest at the party at which Mrs. Besares stabbed Farish because she objected to attentions he was paying to her married daughter, Thelma Bruerton, was the eyewitness who testified during the forenoon. He said he was staying with Farish at a local hotel and that Mrs. Bruerton, whose husband is in the county jail on a liquor conviction, frequently came to Farish’s room to visit.

   The fight between Mrs. Besares and Farish started, he said, during a drinking party at the Bruerton home when Mrs. Bruerton put on her coat about midnight and prepared to leave with Farish. The mother objected, and the daughter replied, “I love Jack and I’m going to have him.”

   Mother and daughter began fighting, according to Pace’s testimony, and during the scuffle Mrs. Besares suddenly broke away from her daughter and made a lunge at Farish. He said he did not know when or where the woman got the huge butcher knife which she thrust into Farish’s abdomen

I found quite a few more articles about the incident, but I have decided to share just one other article, which is from The Ogden Standard-Examiner Fri, Mar 14, 1930.  The article began on page 1, col 1 – https://www.newspapers.com/image/23687767


Gambler Had Defiled And was Luring Daughter, She Testifies


Defense Seeks To Show Rum Resort Killing Was Justified.

     Mrs, Esther Bezares, 45-year-old mother, charged with first degree murder, took the witness stand in second district court today and told Judge George S. Barker and a jury her story of the slaying of Jack Farish, a gambler, in a resort at 214 Twenty-fourth street on the early morning of last April 9.

     A large, plain, hard-working, matronly woman who came from Oxford, Idaho, to Ogden in 1910, Mrs. Besares told her story for the second time in a year. She was tried on the charge last June and found guilty of voluntary manslaughter. The supreme court ordered a new trial, which opened Tuesday.

     Between sobs, Mrs. Besares again related the events of the evening, after her attorney had asked her to attempt to restrain her emotions and not to cry.

     Thelma Bruerton, her daughter by a former marriage, she said, is 27 years of age. Al Bruerton, Thelma’s husband, was in jail at the time on a liquor charge. Wayne, her 11-year-old adopted son, was asleep in another part of the resort which had been operated by the Bruertons.


     She told the jury she returned from a visit in Wyoming and, being informed of “carryings on” between her daughter and Farish, she appealed to Deputy Sheriff D. F. Steele to ‘do something about it.” She said she went to the Bruerton resort that night to take care of Thelma, she said, because her daughter had been drinking.

     She played cards with three others, she said, and there was considerable drinking in progress. Mrs. Besares said she touched several drinks to her lips, when they were forced on her, but did not drink them.

     Mrs. Besares declared she begged Thelma to “put them out” and go home with her after she had seen Farish paying attentions to the daughter.

     Finally, when everything was quiet, Mrs. Besares related, she went itno [sic] the kitchen and saw Farish defiling her daughter. She called him a “dirty home-breaking dog,” she testified, and told him to get out of the house.

     Speaking to Thelma, he said, “Come here, Tony,” and she attempted to leave with him.

     “Did you stab Jack Farish?” her attorney asked.

     “I might have done,” she replied.

     “With a butcher knife?” he continued.

     “Yes,” she sobbed.

     The defendant said she feared Farish, knew he had a reputation as “a cutter” and would not have stabbed him except for her fear and what she saw in the kitchen.

     At this point the noon recess was taken and court was adjourned until 2 o’clock. Mrs. Besares had been on the stand 30 minutes


     The state rested its case at 11:21 o’clock. Its first witness was Dr. N. H. Savage, city physician, who told of a post mortem examination of Farish’s body. He said the gambler died from a stab wound.

     Samuel E. Blackham, county attorney, who handled the preliminary investigation, the inquest into Farish’s death and the preliminary hearing, was the next witness.

     The county attorned said Mrs. Bruerton at first declared, she did the stabbing and on cross-examination he admitted that many stories of the affair were told by different witnesses.

     Detectives C. E. Noble and C. K. Keeter corroborated his testimony. They also attempted to show that Mrs. Besares could not have seen into the kitchen from where she said she was sitting in the living room. J. W. Carlson, an employe of the Lindquist 7 Sons undertaking establishment was the only other state witness.


     After the testimony of the two investigating detectives Thursday morning, Robert Field was the next state witness. He said he went to the Bruerton resort at 214 Twenty-fourth street on the night of the

(Continued on Page Two)

The article continued on page 2, col 3 – https://www.newspapers.com/image/23687796


(Continued from Page One)

killing for a drink, but was disappointed.

     When he went in, he said, he saw Mrs. Besares and her daughter fighting, the altercation progressing from one room to another. The mother was protesting against her daughter’s leaving the place with Farish, who was watching the fight.

     Mrs. Besares finally ran into the kitchen, coming out with a butcher knife, he testified. She and Thelma scuffled again and the mother finally pushed her daughter aside and “run at Jack with the knife and stuck him.”

     On cross-examination Mr. Woolley spent considerable time recalling testimony given by Field at the inquest, the preliminary hearing and at the previous trial.

     Field told him he knew Farish well and that Farish and he at one time played cards for a living. He admitted to the attorney he is “living in the Weber county jail” and has served 80 of a 90-day liquor sentence.”

     He admitted he had been in jail much of his life, beginning at 12 when he stole a barrel of beer. Fields declared he was “doing life on the instalment plan.”

     Sheriff R. D. Pincock and Deputy Fred M. Tout took the stand and aid they were unable to find Max Pace, the state’s star witness at the last trial. On their showing the district attorney was successful in reading into the record the transcript of Pace’s testimony at the previous trial. His version of the fatal stabbing was much the same as that of Field.

     He told of visits by Thelma previously to Farish’s room ina hotel and declared the daughter, in the altercation with her mother, was doing most of the fighting. The mother continually accused Farish of perversion, she said, and called him a home-breaker while the daughter loudly protested she would go with Farish if she desired.

     R. L. White, 2341 Madison avenue, a food packer at a mill, who was a taxicab driver last April and took Farish, Field and Marsh to the hospital, testified concerning the ride.

Background of featured image is a photo from Unsplash – https://unsplash.com/photos/1x9ribJrlYg Photo by unsplash-logoadrian

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