Herman P. Faris

Herman P. Faris was born in 1836.  He joined the Prohibition Party in 1884 and served for many years as the Treasurer for the Prohibition National Committee. In 1896 and 1908 he was the Party's candidate for Governor of Missouri.  In 1924 he was the nominee for President along side his running mate Marie C. Brehm, the first legally qualified female candidate to run for the vice-presidency of the United States.  They received 0.19% of the vote or 55,591 votes.  Mr. Faris was Treasurer of the Brinkerhoff-Faris Trust & Savings Company for more than 45 years.  He died in a car accident near Deepwater, Missouri in 1936

Herman Preston Faris was a banker, philanthropist, prohibition activist, and politician. He served as the treasurer of the Prohibition National Committee for several years, ran as a Prohibition Party candidate for several offices, and was the Prohibition Party candidate for president in 1924.
Herman Faris was born on December 25, 1858, on a farm in Belfontaine, Ohio. He was the seventh child of Samuel and Sarah Farris. His parents were farmers, and in the fall of 1859, the family moved to Lawrence, Kansas. Faris survived through a challenging childhood. Following a failed investment, the family struggled financially. Faris was sick throughout his youth. He nearly died of an unspecified illness when he was 2, and had been sick with malaria multiple times, until he was 20.

Adam Seaman


Herman P. Faris was born near Bellefontaine, Ohio on Christmas Day, 1858.  The family were farmers and moved about, from Ohio to Kansas, then to Missouri. 
          Faris obtained little formal education, but he had good business sense and was successful in printing and in real estate.
     He became active in the Prohibition Party early on, running for various offices in Missouri and serving for several years as Treasurer of the Prohibition National Committee.
       Faris died on 20 March 1936.

-- Gammon, 2007, p.100


During his early childhood, the state of Kansas was affected by period of violence between pro-slavery and anti-slavery forces in the state, known as Bleeding Kansas, and then by the American Civil War.  Lawrence had been a center of the abolitionist forces during the bleeding Kansas. One of Faris’ earliest vivid memories was witnessing the fires created when Quantrill’s Raiders (a group of Confederate guerrilla fighters, operating in Kansas and Missouri, and lead by William Quantrill) attacked the city and killed hundreds of residents.

Faris first started attending school in Lecompton, Kansas, at the age of 7. In 1867, his family moved to Clinton, Missouri. Due to his poor health, Faris attended school sporadically over the following several years. In January 1872, Faris started working at a printer’s office. He worked at it until it closed down in January 1873, and then went to attend his final 3 months of school.
In July 1873, Faris began working at the real estate, loan, and abstract office of Brinkerhoff & Smith, and did so until April 1878. He moved to Colorado for a short period, during which his health improved, and moved beyond the chronic illness of his youth. In April 1879, Mr. Brinkerhoff convinced Faris to return to Clinton and take the position of chief clerk at Brinkerhoff & Smith. In 1882, Brinkerhoff moved to Carthage, Missouri. Faris bought an interest in the business, and became a partner with Brinkerhoff, and business took on the name of Brinkerhoff and Faris. In 1887 the bank was incorporated as the Brinkerhoff-Faris Trust & Savings Company. Faris acted as Secretary-Treasurer, and as manager of the bank. In 1889, Brinkerhoff’s share was bought out by lawyer John H. Lucas. Faris and Lucas ran the bank together for at least the next 30 years. Faris’ bank ran into trouble during the Great Depression, and it went out of business 1933.
In April 1889, Faris married his first wife, Adda Winters in Trinidad, Colorado. They had five children: two sons, who died in infancy, and three daughters who lived to adulthood. Adda Winters Faris died in June 1909. In February 1911, he married his second wife, Sally A. Lewis of Dallas, Texas. Faris was heavily involved in his local Presbyterian church, and spent 40 years as a superintendent for a local Sunday school. He had a reputation as a philanthropist and had helped to raise money for the U.S. military World War I.

Herman Faris was a strong supporter of the temperance and prohibition movement. He joined the Prohibition Party in 1884. At some point, ee served as the treasurer for the Prohibition National Committee for several years. He ran as a prohibition party candidate for several offices.
In 1888, he was the Prohibition Party candidate for Missouri Secretary of State. He received 4,399 (0.84%) votes and came in forth place. In 1896, he ran for Governor of Missouri. He received 2,588 votes (0.39%) and came in third place. In 1908, he ran for governor again. He received 4,169 (0.58%) votes and came in 4th place. In 1912, he ran for congress in Missouri’s 6th district. He received 488 (1.31%) votes and came in 4th place.

In 1920, Faris was a contender for the Prohibition Party nomination for president. He received 47 delegate votes and came in second place. D. Leigh Colvin was selected as the 1920 vice presidential nominee. In the same year, he ran for Governor of Missouri for a third time. He received 3,974 (0.30%) votes and came in 4th place.

In 1924, Herman Faris was nominated as the Prohibition Party candidate for president. His running mate, Marie Brehm, was the first legally recognized women candidate for vice-president following the passage of the 19th amendment. Faris campaigned on a platform centered on strongly enforcing national prohibition (which was in effect from 1920-1933). In contrast to Republican candidate Calvin Coolidge’s slogan, “Keep Cool with Coolidge”, Faris ran with the slogan, “Be Fair with Faris”.

In a speech, Faris contended that the Prohibition Party had been a leader in every great forward thinking policy since its founding in 1869: including the 16th Amendment, establishing the national income tax, the 17th Amendment, establishing the direct election of senators, the 18th Amendment, establishing national prohibition, and the 19th Amendment, establishing national women’s suffrage. He further stated that, “It is my candid conviction that if only one half of the good men and women in America will at the ballot box express their real wishes, the Prohibition candidate will be overwhelmingly elected”.

Herman Faris received around 55,000 votes and came in 4th place. After the presidential election, Faris continued to campaign for strong enforcement of national prohibition, and after the end of national prohibition, he argued that it should be reestablished.

In 1926, Faris for U.S. Senate in Missouri. He received 7,540 (0.76%) votes and came in third place. He ran for senate again in 1932. He received 3,147 (0.20%) votes and came in 4th place.
On March 20th, 1936, Herman Faris died in an automobile accident need Deepwater, Missouri.
Sources:

“Auto Crash Fatal to Former Dry Party Leader”. The Salt Lake Tribune. (Salt Lake City, Utah). March 21, 1936. Accessed June 19, 2019. https://www.newspapers.com/image/11614570/?terms=herman%2Bfaris%2Bprohibition

“Auto Crash Fatal to Former Dry Party Leader”. The Salt Lake Tribune. (Salt Lake City, Utah). March 21, 1936. Accessed June 19, 2019. https://www.newspapers.com/image/11614570/?terms=herman%2Bfaris%2Bprohibition

“Blames Coolidge and Newspapers for Failure to Enforce Prohibition”. The Petaluma-Argus Courier. (Petaluma, California). March 12, 1926. Accessed, June 19, 2019. https://www.newspapers.com/image/224125189/?terms=herman%2Bfaris%2Bprohibition

“Crash Kills Well Known Missourian”. The Daily Capital News. Jefferson City, Missouri. March 21, 1936. Accessed June 19, 2019. https://www.newspapers.com/image/2872817/

“Faris in Plea for Curb on Drinking”. The Sedalia Democrat. (Sedalia, Missouri). October 15, 1935. Accessed, June 19, 2019. https://www.newspapers.com/image/77912727/?terms=herman%2Bfaris%2Bprohibition

Gammon, C.L. America's Other Party: A Brief History of the Prohibition Party. 2007.
"Herman P. Faris." Prohibitionists.org. Accessed June 19, 2019. tp://www.prohibitionists.org/History/votes/Herman_Preston_Faris_bio.html

“Tells What He Would do in the White House”. The Pantagraph. (Bloomington, Illinois). July 5, 1924. Accessed, June 19, 2109. https://www.newspapers.com/image/69096989/?terms=herman%2Bfaris%2Bprohibition

Biography prepared by Jonathan Makeley

[BACK]