McFarland Family History

J.B. as a young man in Ohio

James Boyd McFarland

Grandpa Mac and J.B., as he was known to his grand children and friends, was a bigger-than-life figure. He was born in the farming community of Woodsfield, Monroe County, Ohio, December 26, 1861 to Andrew and Catherine Harmon McFarland. He would eventually co-found the San Joaquin Valley farming town of McFarland, 45 minutes north of Bakersfield, California.

J.B., along with his wife Martha Loretta Hart McFarland, had an adventurous life from beginning to end. The parents of 12 children, J.B. and Martha would move the family from Ohio to Nebraska to Oklahoma, at that point still Indian territory, on to Kansas out to Colorado springs (birth place of Jerry’s father, M.B. McFarland, Sr.) to Anaheim California and finally to found the town of McFarland in 1908 where both lived until their passing.

J. B. was truly the salt of the earth. His story in California agriculture began in 1904 in Anaheim (yes on a portion of the very same land that Disneyland is on today) growing walnuts, citrus, grains and Percheron workhorses.  It is in honor of J.B., our original founder, that our company uses the majestic Percheron as our symbol to honor the hard work and dedication of  American farmers like J.B., his son M.B. McFarland, Sr. and his grandson Jerry McFarland.

Because of J.B., the McFarland family was honored by the State of California in 2012 for our 100 plus years in California agriculture, and inducted into the California Agricultural Heritage Club. J.B.’s great granddaughter and Jerry’s daughter, Lisa McFarland Farnsworth, was on hand to receive the award for the family.

Top Left, above J.B. is their only son, Myron Boyd McFarland, Sr. who would go on to pioneer cotton growing in the San Joaquin Valley.
J.B.’s family home, McFarland, California. J.B. built this same house in Colorado Springs, Colorado on El Paso Street and also in Anaheim, CA.