|Birth: ||Jul. 19, 1895|
|Death: ||Jun. 8, 1991|
The Holden Progress, Thursday, June 27, 1991: Hometown girl spent last years in the Midwest - Scientist Farnsworth contributed to archeology: Marie Farnsworth died June 8 at the Holden Manor Care. Her contributions to archeology and chemistry are immeasurable and possibly unknown by those who grew up with her in Holden.
The 95 year-old Miss Farnsworth held a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Chicago that she earned in 1922. That was during an era when women were thought to be better off staying, home and raising children. She never did that. Instead, she spent her life traveling the globe, digging in the earth to recover the history of other cultures. She spent most of her 6nic in the ancient ruins of Athens, Greece. World War 11 interrupted he work and she went into teaching and then worked in chemical laboratories. She stood tall among men and excelled in whatever she did.
Farnsworth was born in Latour. She was the youngest daughter of prosperous banker and landowner. Her father Isaac was the president o the Farmers and Commercial Bank. She lived on a 1,200 acre farm with five sisters and three brothers. The farm was attended by sharecroppers, while the family cared for the stock.
According to Ruth Phipps, who graduated with William Farnsworth, Marie appeared to have had a very high IQ. "I didn't know Marie that well. She didn't live here very long, but she was smart " she said. Mrs. Phipps said that Marie Famsworth's interests were different than those of the other children.
According to a 1986 interview Farnsworth gave to the Kansas City Star, she was considered one of the first practitioners of archeological chemistry and she was one of the first chemists asked to join a dig. She cracked formulas of ceramic glazes and pigments used during the Athens' golden era. She identified the composition of a cement as beeswax and lime, metallographic examinations of ancient zinc, and studied clay sources to determine the origin of pottery.
Farnsworth told the Star that she considered her two major achievements as her research on the technique of black Attic glaze, the findings were published in 1941, and the fifth-century intentional red glaze, published in 1958.
In 1980 she was awarded the first Pomerance Award for Scientific Contributions to Archeology given by the Archeological Institute of America.
Miss Farnsworth lived most o her life in New York City before moving to Kansas City in 1979. She donated most of her collected ceramic objects to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D. C. She kept small pieces in her Kansas City home.
Miss Farnsworth took a job with M & T Chemicals in Rahway , NJ. during the l940s and retired in 1961. She continued to work on her archaeological digs part time, analyzing her data in her spare time.
Farnsworth visited Holden at least once a year and she usually stayed with her niece Susie Terrell. Mrs. Terrell is the daughter of Marie's sister Grace (Tevis).
"She always stayed with me or with mother," Mrs. Terrell explained.
Miss Farnsworth had always had an interest in reading since Mrs. Terrell can remember. "She read all of her life. She didn't learn housework like most women of he generation. She was brilliant and never forgot anything that she read," she said.
Farnsworth attended a small country school near Holden, and Terrell said she always commented on how good school was. After she finished there, she attended College High for two years in Warrensburg, then began serious studies in science while attending school at Central Missouri State University, which at that time was a teacher's college.
Terrell said when Marie visited she enjoyed playing with all her nieces and nephews. "She didn't buy them things, but spent time with them," she said.
Farnsworth traveled extensively but spoke little of her personal life or friends that she made. Mrs. Terrell said she often discuss world events. Farnsworth had boyfriend in New York, that the family believes was interested in archeology. "She never mentioned him for years and we think he may have died," she said "She never talked about herself."
Mrs. Terrell said her aunt had a great affection for her great grandmother and when she was, older, told her she wanted to be buried next her to great-grandmother in the Farnsworth Cemetery, although most of her relatives arc buried in the Holden Cemetery.
Farnsworth told Terrell that she preferred digging in Athens because it was a beautiful city and was the "most outstanding place to dig."
"Marie never had to pay for her trips. She always had grants," she said.
One of the most important things that Marie had consistently told Mrs. Terrell though the years is how important education is for everyone. "She always said all persons should receive some sort of education. If they are not scholarly, then they should go to a vocational school to learn a trade," she quoted her aunt.
"She loved nature and loved children," she said. 'Especially bright children."
"Marie was not shy. She didn't mince words. She always said exactly what she thought," Mrs. Terrell said.
Farnsworth lived in Greenwich Village. She moved to Kansas City when she found herself unable to handle the 30 steps in her apartment. Mrs. Terrell said she called them and asked for help to move here. She obtained an apartment on the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, where she resi(led for several years before moving to a retirement apartment. She was only at Holden Manor Care Center for two weeks before she died.
"Her mind was sharp to the very end," Mrs. Terrell said.
The family has been going through Miss Farnsworth's belongings and finding interesting articles on her. She has more than 1,000 books. Mrs. Terrell said at least three were authored by Marie' "They were chemistry books. She had a lot of these books-archeology and chemistry. But she did like to read mysteries," she said.
Mrs. Terrell said that Marie was not the only scholarly person in the family. Her aunt Goldena taught physics at Hollings College in Roanoke, Va.
"Fifty years ago people knew what they wanted to do," Mrs. Terrell said. Marie had set her goals early and followed her dream.
Received from Farnsworth descendant, Nov. 2011: Anna Marie Farnsworth, known to everyone as "Marie", was born July 19, 1895, the youngest daughter born to Frances Edna Davis and Isaac Girdner Farnsworth. Marie was well educated, and became a teacher and scientist. Her passion was archaeology, and she traveled from New York to Greece doing research. She led a very interesting life with her travels and studies. She never married. She died June 8, 1991, and was buried in the Farnsworth family cemetery, northwest of Blairstown.
Isaac Girdner Farnsworth (1853 - 1923)
Frances Edna Davis Farnsworth (1863 - 1928)
Goldena Cleveland Farnsworth (1888 - 1966)*
William Stone Farnsworth (1893 - 1957)*
Anna Marie Farnsworth (1895 - 1991)
Isaac G. Farnsworth (1904 - 1966)*
Created by: Dave Davidson
Record added: Sep 24, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 77037371
What a wonderful interesting woman you were. God Bless you.|
Added: Jul. 15, 2013
Added: Jun. 1, 2013