Galena Weekly Gazette
July 30, 1896


Veteran Employee of the Illinois Central Passes Away

John B. Parkins, agent of the Illinois Central railroad at Council Hill station, died last Wednesday at 8 o'clock after a lingering illness, with a tubercular disease. He was hopelessly ill the last eighteen months and frequently seemed on the verge of death, but he showed wonderful vitality and railed time and again. He was a veteran in the railroad service and for thirty years was the station agent at Council Hill. He was a member of the Wildey Lodge, I.O.O.F. of this city, which gave him all fraternal aid in his last trying illness. He was widely known in Galena, and among railroad men all through the West. Mrs. Parkins was 59 years of age. He was born in Hamilton, Ont., Oct. 18, 1836, and was married to Miss Thomisina Cragg in Detroit, Mich., in 1859. Their surviving children are Mrs. W. R. Bierce and Miss Mary Parkins, Charles and John. In a small station the duties of agent and telegraph operator are combined. Mr. Parkins was a veteran at the electric key and it has been often said of him that he schooled more telegraphers than any other man in the country. He always had at least one student, and frequently several at a time in his office, and there was not a railroad system in the west without its quota of employes in high and low station who graduated in the telegraphic art under his tutorship at Council Hill.

Contributed by:
Susan Wilson