August 10, 2005

Addendum to Farris family history.

One of the more frustrating individuals I have attempted to research is the father of William Wilson Farris's wife Harriet (Hattie) Ogden Squires. Her father, Ogden Squires, was a prominent figure in El Dorado County, California, from 1851 until his death in 1880. Ogden, among other public posts, was elected to the State Legislature in 1857 and served from 1858 to 1864, and elected County Judge in 1863, term from 1864 until 1868. His portrait hangs in the El Dorado County Courthouse and a short biography is in the El Dorado County history books. About all I was able to find out about his family history was that he died in Napa in 1880 and the first initials of his wife were “A. M.”. The only child I could find was Hattie.

Several weeks ago I received a surprise e-mail from Sue Silver who had noticed our website and contributed her knowledge of the Squires family. Based on the many facts and clues she provided, I was able to locate more particulars on the Squires family and have updated the files.

Ogden's father was Zachariah Squires, a farmer from New York and later a harness dealer in Aurora, Illinois (Near Chicago). Ogden’s mother was Harriet Ogden. I haven't attempted to trace their ancestors. We know that Zachariah had at least three children; Ogden (b. abt 1831), Zachariah Jr.(b. abt 1833), and Charles (b. abt 1836), all born in New York. Zachariah moved in about 1845 from Cortland County, New York to Aurora, Kane County, Illinois.

Ogden (and possibly Zachariah Sr.) went to California in the early days of the gold rush and settled in Placerville (then Hangtown) where Ogden is listed as a Deputy Sheriff in 1851. He probably traveled in the summer of 1850 since he is not found in any census for that year. He must have received his legal training in California since he was only 20 years old when he arrived, and he later was an attorney and judge in Placerville. He worked in the County Clerk's office until he successfully ran for the legislature in 1857.

In 1859 Ogden married Anna M."Nettie" Jackson, and they had four children according to census pages; Harriet "Hattie" (1860), Adella (1862), Chipper (1863) and Ruth (1865). After his one term in the legislature, Ogden successfully ran for County Judge and served from 1864 to 1868 when he lost his bid for reelection.

Ogden's life appears to have taken a turn for the worse following his failed reelection bid in 1867. In July, 1870 he is found with his wife and children (less Adella) back in Aurora, Illinois, in the home of his father, and in the same year's census, October – California, Ogden's wife and two of his children are listed in the home of C. L. Wilson in Lower Lake, California. Ogden returned to Placerville and practiced law. He and his wife divorced in 1877. Ogden died in 1880 at the Napa State Hospital for the Insane at the age of about 48 from tuberculosis (then "consumption"), and his wife died in 1885 at the age of 42, cause unknown.

After Ogden's death in 1880, his remains were returned to Aurora, Illinois where he was buried in the Spring Lake Cemetery alongside his mother who died in 1875. Also buried there are his father who died in 1894 and his brother Zachariah, Jr. who died in 1905.

With regard to Ogden's daughters:

Hattie's life is well known to Farris researchers. She married William Wilson Farris and had a number of children, but also died young at age 39. Her descendants are known, and several of them are interested in our Farris genealogy project and have contributed information and old photos (see the Farris section on

Adella married Charles Albert Bamber, Sr. and had three sons and two daughters. Neither of the two daughters have living descendants. Son Robert O. Bamber joined the military in WWI and is listed as single-37 in the 1930 census. No other record of him has been found. The descendants of the other two sons are mostly known but have not been contacted. I have posted the Bamber ancestors to my website ( and the WorldConnect system so if any of the Bamber descendants get interested in genealogy they will easily find us there.

Ruth married Seymour Hill and had two daughters, neither of which had children.

Questions and comments regarding the Squires family and descendants: