Silas D. Parkinson



Among the active and progressive farmers and stock-raisers of Jo Daviess County, the subject of this sketch, who resides on section 5, Berreman Township, occupies a prominent place. He is a native-born citizen, his birth having occurred in this place Aug. 27, 1852. His parents, James and Christina (Hoy) Parkinson, were natives of Pennsylvania, born, respectively, April 6, 1806, and Aug. 31, 1812. After their marriage they remained some years in the Keystone State, then came to Illinois, in 1839, by way of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, as far as Savanna, and thence to Jo Daviess County. Mr. Parkinson took up a tract of wild land in Berreman Township, consisting of 500 acres, and in company with his brother, Isaac W., built a house, and began to improve the land. He was very successful in his undertakings, and remained a resident of the place until his death, Oct. 9, 1875. His excellent wife, who shared with him the labors of building up a home amid the pioneer scenes, resides in Savanna. Mr. Parkinson was a man of rare energy and stability of character, and his memory will ever be cherished as one of the noble pioneers of this county, who, coming here while the country was in a wild, unsettled state, expended their time and strength in developing its resources, and were the originators of its prosperity. To him and his wife were born twelve children, seven of whom are living: Isaac W., .George W., Josiah B., Jane, Fanny, Chrissie, and Silas D. Isaac, a farmer in this county, married Maggie McLenehan, and they have seven children: Minnie, Fanny, Warden, James, Frank, Sylvia, and John; George, a music-teacher in Berreman, married Julia Wise, and they have five children: W. Bliss, Fred, Georgia, Albert, and an infant; Jane married Jacob Klump, a farmer and stock-raiser of Custer County, Neb., where he owns 2,500 acres of land, and large herds of cattle; they have nine children: Sophia, Herman, Julia, Fred, Mary, Ruby, Hardy, Olive, and an infant. Fanny married Adam J. Lopshire, of Fort Wayne, Ind., now a farmer of Lincoln Centre, Kan., and they have four children: Florence, Clarence, Janet, and a babe; Josiah owns a farm in Berreman Township, and is the editor of the Savanna Times. He is finely educated, being a graduate of Mr. Morris Seminary, and of Knox College, of Galesburg, Ill; Chrissie married A. C. Van Bebber, an engineer, who was formerly captain of a river-boat, and they have one child, Edith.

Silas, the subject of this sketch, was reared to manhood on his father's farm, and attended the common schools of his native township, where he received the elements of an excellent education. He early became initiated into the mysteries of farming; selected that as his life occupation, and is now skilfully (sic) managing his farm of 160 acres, which is under a good state of cultivation and well improved. His fine fields, herds of cattle, horses and hogs of good grades, are evidences of the ability and good judgment with which he carries on his business, and give promise of continued success and advancement in the future.

The marriage of Mr. Parkinson with Miss Florence Chambers, of Chicago, Ill., was celebrated Sept. 23, 1877. She was born in Minnesota, June 3, 1859, and is the daughter of Robert A. and Mattie (Downer) Chambers, who were natives of Pennsylvania. The father is residing in California, but the mother is deceased. The pleasant household circle of our subject and wife is completed by the presence of five of the six children born to them: Edward J.,. Rolla Elmer, Silias D., Robert A., and Florence. Their son John is deceased.

Our subject has identified himself with the interests of his native township, and by his probity of character and rectitude of purpose has won the trust and esteem of his fellow-citizens, who in times past have honored him by electing him to the various township offices, and whom he is now serving as Justice of the Peace. In politics he is a straight Republican, and is a zealous worker for his party. Socially, he is a member of the Masonic fraternity, being Master Mason of Plum River Lodge No. 554, located in Mossville. He is now Supervisor of his native township.

Source: Portrait and Biographical Album of Jo Daviess Co., IL (1889)