John A. Farrell

Godfrey, Illinois

John A. Farrell was born in Edgar County, Illinois, on February 27, 1929. He passed away August 26, 2015, after a lengthy legal career.

John was a Korean War Veteran obtaining the rank of Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army. He trained as a radio operator in the Signal Corps and served as a company clerk in Eritrea, North Africa. His service ended in 1952.

He is an alumnus of the University of Illinois with a BS in Accounting. After graduating in 1955, John served in the Civil Service for the IRS working as a field agent and later as an estate examiner. While John continued his civil service, he attended law school at St. Louis University, earning his degree in 1961.

John was at Farrell, Hamilton & Julian, P.C. in Godfrey, Illinois, for 48 years and a longstanding member of the Illinois State, Madison County and Alton-Wood River Bar Associations. John’s writing appeared in publications related to continuing legal education and estate planning. He was Treasurer of the Fosterburg Fire Department, a member of the Board of Directors for Mid-America Bank of Alton, and an active member of his local community. He was an active member of 12th Street Presbyterian Church for 40 years where he served as an elder and treasurer. After the church closed, he became a member at Evangelical UCC Church in Godfrey, Illinois.

John lived a principled life grown out of the Great Depression; he strongly valued personal responsibility and commitment, service to society, education and the practice of law. John delighted in the subtleties and aesthetics of language and regularly told stories to illustrate ideas; he was known to recite favorite passages of poetry and literature, sometimes with great emotion. John regularly attended a weekly Bible study group. He grew a vegetable garden and stomped through briars to pick blackberries.

John retired in 2013, but was always interested in discussing cases. He sent a weekly mailing of jokes to friends and family, wrote letters, was consulted regarding the practice of law and mentored with the SCORE Program. He left a lasting impact on his family, friends, associates, clients, and the legal community.

Year Joined Firm

  • 1965

Areas of Practice

  • Business
  • Class Action Litigation
  • Tax Law
  • Real Estate
  • Bankruptcy
  • Estate Planning and Probate

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois, 1961
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Illinois, 1968
  • U.S. Tax Court, 1965


  • Saint Louis University School of Law, St Louis, Missouri
    • J.D. - 1961
  • University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois
    • B.S. - 1955
    • Major: Accountancy

Published Works

  • Chapter, Income Taxation of Estates, Illinois Continuing Legal Education Program, 1976
  • Estate Planning Illustration, C1976, Illustrating Various Aspects of Estate Planning


  • Instructor, Federal Income Taxation, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, 1962
  • Income Taxation of Estates, Illinois Continuing Legal Education, 1976
  • Participating Lecturer, Dental Practice Management Lecture Course, Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine, Alton, Annually, 1985 - 2012

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Madison County Bar Association, Member
  • Illinois State Bar Association, Member, Corporate, Real Property and Probate Sections
  • Mid-America Bank of Alton, Director, 1979 - 1983

Past Employment Positions

  • United States Internal Revenue Service, Estate and Gift Tax Examiner, 1962 - 1965
  • United States Internal Revenue Service, Agent, 1955 - 1962
  • United States Army, Sergeant, 1949 - 1952