With four members from the Farnen family combining for 54 years of public service to Audrain County residents, the county commissioners voted to name the Community Room in the basement of the courthouse in their honor.
Last Tuesday, an official dedication ceremony was held for the Farnen Family Community Room.
Jane Farmen, who was the Audrain County Public Administrator from January 1969-January 1977 and who was appointed by Governor Joe Teasdale for a term from 1978-January 1981, said it would have been good for her late husband Kevin Farnen to be present for the ceremony.
The late Kevin Farnen served as the Audrain County Coroner from January 1977-January 2001.
“I’m just certain that his interest in government and politics and being completely involved in personal and public improvement were inspiring to our sons in their determination to do what they have done as far as service to other people is concerned. So he was and I am very proud of them for what they have done.”
Kevin and Jane’s son Patrick Farnen served as Audrain County Coroner from January 2001-January 2013. Meanwhile, Ted Farnen served as a State Representative from January 1995-January 2003.
Jane shared a fun late Summer of 1968 story involving her husband.
She said one day Kevin came home and noted that no one was going to run for public administrator.
“What are you doing?,” is what Kevin asked Jane.
Jane later checked on what the requirements were of the position and shared how she was concerned that nobody new her though they knew her husband.
She was told “don’t worry about it, you’re a democrat, just file and you’ll have it.”
Jane said it was a very frightening experience for her but it was very good for her as well.
“I hope then and hope now that it was good in regard to helping people and being of service to Audrain County,” she added.
At the time, Jane Farnen said she was only responsible for about 15 people, much different than what is required of the position today.
Jane Farnen shared several stories from her time serving as the county’s public administrator to a Community Room packed of friends, past and present county officers, and more.
Her son Ted was also appreciative of the honor. He also gave praise to his parents for what they were taught about public service.
Former Audrain County Presiding Commissioner Richard Webber made a few brief remarks as he talked about his relationship with the family that dates back some 60 years to attending school at Community R-VI.
Western Commissioner Tom Groves presented the family an official proclamation for the dedication.