Marie Julia Farly
Marie Julia Farly was born on May 30, 1878, in Belle River, Rochester, Ontario. She was the 7th child of Valerie Allard, who had babies in 1870, 1871, 1872, 1873, 1874, 1876, and 1878. All of these children lived to adulthood. Julia's oldest sibling, a boy, would have been only 8 when she was born so would have not been able to help Valerie with the babies. Laura, born in 1872, was only 6 years old. Can you imagine the amount of diapers that would have been washed - the three youngest would still have been in diapers and in those days they didn't have disposables. Valerie Allard is surely a Saint!
The next baby to come along was Frank, born in 1881, so Adam must have been away during this four-year period. This was a good opportunity for Valerie to catch her breath and get her body back in shape. She had another girl in 1882, then another in 1883. Valerie died in 1884, probable as a result of the pregnancy because the baby died two months later.
In 1882, when Julia was 4 years old, the family moved to Polk County, Minnesota. They settled on a tree claim surrounded by Sioux and Chippewa. In June 1871 settlers travelled into the region in wagon trains driving any livestock they had. Most of the settlers were Norwegians and Swedes, but there was a cluster of French Canadians in the Eldred area not far from Crookston. Valerie, Julia's mother, was raised in a convent, refined and well-educated, so this rustic lifestyle must have been extremely hard for her. Adam's next purchase was a newer and larger farm about a mile away from the tree claim. It was very modern, with water and a large barn. This would have made it more comfortable for Valerie and the children. The boys would have worked with their father on the farm, and the girls would have helped inside the house with housework and child care.
Julia was the baby for awhile so she was luckier than her siblings. She would have played with her two older sisters, Laura and Flora. The family was very close and have happy memories of growing up so Valerie was obviously a good mother.
In 1885, Adam married again, and he and his wife, Alice, had four children, with three surviving. Alice is remembered as a good stepmother and took good care of her stepchildren. However, she died in 1891 when Julia was 13. Adam wasn't home much after his wives died, and the raising of the children fell on Joe, the oldest boy in the family. He was only 8 years older than Julia, so it must have been a hardship for him to take care of the farm and the family. It was a hard time for all the family, with days full of hard work, little or no education and limited socializing with friends. The girls may have received a limited education, but the boys would have been needed on the farm.
Julia's older sister, Laura, has an especially sad story. She was very pretty - all the Farley girls were. She married Edward Lanctot and after having her babies she suffered from postpartum depression which grew worse with each pregnancy. Finally she had to be hospitalized, and she spent her final years in the state hospital at Anoka, Minnesota, where she died in 1933. Laura had 9 children, the last born in 1904, which is probably when she was admitted to the hospital. Fortunately Laura's sister, Cordelia, who had become a nun but had left the convent, was able to care for Laura's and Edward's children. She acted as Edward's housekeeper for many years, and she and Edward married in 1934. Cordelia was 50 when they married, unfortunately too late for her to have her own babies.
Julia was very young when she was courted by her second cousin, Joseph Boucher. He was 12 years older than she was and at first she wasn't interested in him. He was a handsome man, though, and she could have done much worse! Julia's brothers liked Joe and knew he would be a good husband for Julia so they encouraged Julia to consider Joe's marriage proposal. Julia and Joseph were married in 1897.
This marriage brought the family line closer together again.