Marshall County


William H. PARKINSON, a thorough and skillful farmer and a business man of more than ordinary capacity, is a representative of the agricultural interests of Evans township. There he is recognized as an important factor in preserving the reputation of Marshall county as being one of the best counties in this section of the state. His fine farm is located on section 20.

His father, William PARKINSON, Sr., was born in England, in 1800, and when six years old crossed the Atlantic with his parents to the new world. Locating in Licking county, Ohio, he there grew to manhood and married Miss Jane MILLIKEN, whose birth occurred in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, in 1801, but she was reared in Licking county, Ohio, where their wedding was celebrated. In 1856 they emigrated to Illinois, making their home upon a farm near Ottawa, in La Salle county, until the father’s death, in November, 1860. The mother then moved to Marshall county with her children, residing on a farm four miles west of Wenona, where she died in December, 1877.

In the family of nine children, five are still living, namely: Martha, who lives near Garfield, Illinois, is the wife of J. J. WINTER, by whom she has five children, three sons and two daughters; Margaret is the wife of Clark DOWNEY, of Wenona, and they have two children; Sarah E., who also makes her home in Evans township, is the widow of Aaron G. MARTIN, and is the mother of three children: Catherine R. is the wife of William TRUMBO, of Linn county, Missouri, and they have five children, three sons and two daughters; William H. completes the family. The mother was an earnest member of the United Brethren church.

Born in Licking county, Ohio, August 9, 1842, our subject was fourteen years of age when he accompanied his parents to La Salle county, Illinois, and there acquired his education. At the age of nineteen he commenced the battle of life for himself and has always turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, at first caring for the home farm. Coming to Marshall county in 1865, he settled on a tract of wild land on section 29, Evans township, which he at once began to improve and cultivate, but in 1872 purchased his present place which was partially improved. The farm comprises one hundred and six acres of rich and arable land, which he has placed under a high state of cultivation and thereon erected his comfortable residence and good barn in 1881.

In 1866, Mr. PARKINSON led to the marriage altar, Miss Isabel GIBSON, daughter of James and Lucy (GAYLORD) GIBSON, the former a native of Scotland, and the latter of Pennsylvania. Her maternal grandfather, Lemuel GAYLORD, become a resident of Marshall county as early as 1831. He was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, in which struggle his father, Lieutenant Aaron GAYLORD, was killed at the battle of Wyoming. The parents of Mrs. PARKINSON were married in Marshall county, settled upon section 8, Evans township, where they spent the remainder of their lives, the father dying in 1855, and the mother in 1891. In their family were tow children – Isabel and James, of Benton county, Indiana. Previous to her marriage with Mr. GIBSON, the mother had been the wife of George MARTIN, who first came to Marshall county about 1830, and who participated in the Black Hawk war. To them were born two children – Aaron G., deceased, and Sylvia, widow of James KIRKPATRICK, who became a member of the One Hundred and Fourth Illinois Volunteer Infantry during the civil war, and died in the service.

Mrs. PARKINSON was born on section 8, Evans township, December 10, 1843, and was educated in the district schools of the neighborhood. By her marriage with our subject she has become the mother of six children, all of whom have been given good educational privileges. James W. completed the business course and graduated at the Northern Illinois school at Dixon. He also graduated at the Chicago Veterinary College and is now practicing his profession. Ginson is deceased. Lucy J., who was also a student at Dixon and later became a teacher, is now the wife of James HAMILTON, of Evans township. Edgar G. also took the business course at Dixon, and is now a student in the Normal at Valparaiso, Indiana. May E. is attending the Normal at Normal, Illinois. Grace A. completes the family.

The parents are both members of Evans Grange, No. 35, in which for two years he served as master. Mr. PARKINSON has always supported the republican party and is a strong silver man. Himself a well-informed man, for over twenty successive years he has served as school director, for the same length of time has been secretary and treasurer of the Cumberland Cemetery association, for two years was president of the Marshall County Farmer’s Institute, and is its present secretary and treasurer. When he began life for himself his only property consisted of a fifth interest in one hundred acres of land which sold for twenty-seven dollars per acre, but he has steadily worked his way upward until he is now the possessor of a good farm, which yields him a comfortable income. He has made many friends throughout the county, and all who know him have for him the highest regard.

Under the auspices of the Katherine Gaylord Chapter of the Daughters of the Revolution, in 1896, a beautiful monument was erected over the grave of Katherine GAYLORD, the wife of Lieutenant Aaron GAYLORD, and the great grandfather of Mrs. PARKINSON. In the erection of the monument, contributions were made by descendants of the worthy heroine, Mrs. PARKINSON being among the number contributing. The following inscription was placed on the monument:

“Katherine Cole Gaylord, wife of Lieutenant Aaron Gaylord, 1745-1840. In memory of her sufferings and heroism at the massacre of Wyoming, 1778, this stone is erected by her descendants and the members of the Katherine Gaylord Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.”

Extracted March 2011 by Norma Hass from The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois, 1896.

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