Probate Records for Salt Lake County: Part 2 – John B. Farlow, Druggist

Gina Strack Digital Archives, History

This post is the second in a series on the Salt Lake County Probate case files. See part 1.

The remaining case files from 1889 to the end of the territorial period  (numbers 1397-2689) for Salt Lake County are online. As the end of the 19th century approached, the process and documents continued to become more professional, uniform, and better developed than the earliest years of the new territory. Most still concern the settlement of estates, with a few for establishing the guardianship of minor children. As formal adoption processes are still fairly new, this is less common than in modern-day probate divisions.

As explained in the previous post, the probate of estates is the method by which property is transferred and then distributed according to a will or other relevant law.

While prominent names from history are plentiful in these case files, others may not be as well-known to this day. As one example, a druggist named John B Farlow died November 23, 1896. His estate generated enough documents during the probate process to fill 526 pages.

The papers appear to not be in a clear order in the case file, so here’s a list with some links to provide a brief tour:

  • Inventory Drug Stock Part III, pages 71-105
  • Inventory Drug Stock Part IV, pages 106-140
  • Inventory Drug Stock Part V, pages 141-169
  • Heir’s Consent to Partition property, as determined by appointed commissioners
  • Order Confirming Report of Commissioners
  • Decree of Distribution and Settlement of Final Account
    • The estate was settled with one-half going to John’s widow Maye and the remaining half divided amongst surviving siblings and their children (John and Maye had no children). 
    • The estate included about $10,000 in cash after all bills were paid, stock to various companies, a few personal items (gold watch, cuffs, and ring; books consisting of “26 volmes of Rushkin, 6 of the Century Dictionary,” and “Century Cyclopedia of Names”), plus six pieces of real estate property.
  • Request to sell property, specifically: “all or part of a general stack of merchandise, consisting of drugs, medicines, merchandise, and fixtures, situated in a certain store on the corner of Main and First South Street in what is known as the McCornick block of Salt Lake City”

The McCornick building, also known as the Crandall building, still stands today.

McCornick building around 1900, courtesy of the Utah State Historical Society.
McCornick building around 1900, courtesy of the Utah State Historical Society.
  • Inventory Drug Stock Part I, pages 1-35
  • Inventory Drug Stock Part II, pages 36-70
  • Order setting hearing for sale of personal property
  • Report of Commissioners for Partition, March 29, 1898
  • Notice and Order to sell personal property, January 11, 1897
  • Petition and Order to set aside enumerated property and $50/month for widow, December 30, 1896
  • Notice of final account of estate, January 9, 1897
  • Report and account of administration, December 22, 1896
  • Petition for Letters of Administration, November 28, 1896
  • Final account and petition for distribution, November 8, 1897
  • Order allowing account and fees, September 9, 1897
  • Petition for assignment of dower, October 23, 1897

Some bills that are filed with Barlow’s probate have interesting letterhead from businesses of the time, such as manufacturers of elastic for stockings.

Letterhead from C.W. White & Co. for a bill settled with the estate of John B. Farlow (Series 1621).
Letterhead from C.W. White & Co. for a bill settled with the estate of John B. Farlow (Series 1621).

An obituary for his wife Maye reveals that she spent time in Paris, France after his death and re-married in 1902 to W. Scott Crisman, with whom she had two daughters. It also calls Farlow a “pioneer Salt Lake City druggist.”

Thousands more records of individuals in Salt Lake County are available in this collection. The Archives also has probate records for other counties in Utah. For more information on probate records and where to locate them for research, please consult the Probate Research Guide

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Next: The complicated history of Brigham Young’s estate after he died.