William Farr worked as a Great Northern Railway signalman, initially in his home county of Hertfordshire and later in Titley, Herefordshire. In 1882 he emigrated to Australia with his wife, Ellen, and their four young sons. They disembarked from the Almora in Townsville, Queensland on 15 January, 1883.
William and Ellen lived in the Ingham area north of Townsville for many years. They had a store at Gairloch. Later, they moved to Townsville where William died in 1907.