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Percival Farquhar in Brazil

Percival Farquhar
Percival Farquhar

Arthur Briggs (A.B.) Farquhar is a familiar name in York County history, mostly because of his huge agricultural equipment manufacturing establishment. Son Francis stayed in York, an attorney and businessman. But have you heard of another son, Percival Farquhar (1865-1953)? He also gained enormous success in business, but not on this continent. With eyes focused on Brazil right now, this is a good time to share the article below. It is from the July 23, 1951 Gazette and Daily and gives a quick overview of Percival’s endeavors. It reads:

Percival Farquhar Subject of Article in National Magazine

An 87-year-old native Yorker and brother of a prominent local industrialist is cited in a national magazine as “the most fabulous American south of the border today.”

He is Attorney Percival Farquhar, president of the Brazil Railway company and brother of Attorney Francis Farquhar, chairman of the board of directors of A.B. Farquhar company, founded by their father, Arthur B. Farquhar.

In their article, “Master Builder of South America,” which will appear in the July issue of Reader’s Digest, Charles A. Gauld and Michael Scully describe the activities of Percival Farquhar, who went to Cuba just after the Spanish-American War and stayed there to electrify the mule cars. He then built a railroad in Guatemala. He recently completed a $30,000,000 steel mill in coastal Brazil.

Farquhar, who has an engineering degree from Yale, as well as his Columbia law degree, also founded the biggest chain of cattle ranches in the world prior to World War I.

Recently the Brazilian government awarded Farquhar the Order of the Southern Cross, the highest honor it can bestow on a foreigner. He received the medal for his “major role in every phase of the nation’s economic progress since 1906.”

Farquhar, who maintains his United States citizenship, last visited York about five years ago, his brother said. The two brothers saw each other last fall in New York City. The industrialist makes his home at a beach residence in Rio de Janeiro.”

Farquhar’s biography, The Last Titan. Percival Farquhar, American Entrepreneur in Latin America by Charles Anderson Gauld, was published in 1964 by Stanford University. He was also featured in many other publications. His business papers are at Yale, his undergraduate alma mater.