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George C. Parkinson, president of the Oneida stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, with residence at Preston, Idaho, is a native son of Utah, his birth having occurred in Keysville, Davis county, July 18, 1857. His father is Samuel Rose Parkinson, one of the most prominent pioneer citizens of Oneida County, Idaho. President Parkinson is the fourth child and third son of the family. He was educated at Brigham Young College, in Logan, Utah, and was graduated with honor in the class of 1880. He entered upon his business career as a teacher in Logan, his first term of school being in 1877-8. He continued teaching until 1881, at which time he was sent on a mission to the southern states, where he remained for a year, doing a very successful work. He then went to England, where he remained for a year and three months, and the work he accomplished for the church there was also very satisfactory.
Upon his return, in the spring of 1883, he again resumed teaching and was appointed one of the presiding officers of the stake, making his home and headquarters at Franklin. Subsequently he removed to Oxford, where he resumed teaching and was elected county superintendent of schools on the Republican ticket. While at that place he was also superintendent of a cooperative store, and during that time a very unpleasant and unjust occurrence came into his life. An alleged polygamist hid in the cellar of his store without his knowledge, but the officers arrested President Parkinson for concealing a criminal. He was tried, James H. Hawley defending him, but the jury disagreed on the verdict. His trial was then set for six months later and Mr. Hawley then became the prosecuting attorney, and he was convicted and sentenced to one year in the state’s prison and fined three hundred dollars. He paid his fine and served eleven months in the penitentiary, being given one month of his time on account of his good behavior. He had no knowledge of the man who had concealed himself in the cellar, but the jury were all anti-Mormons, and the officer who subpoenaed the jury was heard to remark: “I have now a jury that would convict Jesus Christ.” Such was the justice that he received in the name of the law!
Returning to Franklin Mr. Parkinson engaged in the produce business, handling all kinds of produce and also dealing in cattle and sheep. On the 28th of August 1887, he received the great honor of being appointed president of the Oneida stake, his counselors being Solomon H. Hale and Matthias F. Cowley. President Parkinson has since served with great credit to the church and has largely advanced its interests. He is also successfully conducting several business enterprises and is a progressive and diligent man. While at Franklin, in connection with Franklin and Logan parties, they purchased all the stores in the former place and consolidated the business under the name of The Oneida Mercantile Union, with a capital stock of fifty thousand dollars. He became one of the stockholders and directors, and an excellent business was carried on. Some of these stockholders established a full roller-process flouring-mill at Franklin, with a capacity of one hundred and twenty-five barrels. Business is carried on under the name of the Idaho Milling, Grain & Power Company, and as a stockholder and director Mr. Parkinson was actively connected with its management. He is also a stockholder in and the manager of the W. C. Parkinson Mercantile Company, at Preston, where he carries a large line of goods, handling all merchandise used by the citizens of this section of the state. In addition he buys and handles all kinds of produce, and is conducting an extensive and profitable business. He is manager of the Studenberg Brothers Manufacturing Company, at Preston, which also handles a very large stock and is doing a successful business. Aside from mercantile interests he is connected with the sheep and wool industry and thereby adds materially to his income. He is a man of excellent executive force, of sound judgment, capable management and indefatigable energy, and carries forward to successful completion whatever he undertakes.
Mr. Parkinson takes quite an active interest in politics, as a supporter of the Republican Party, and for a number of years has attended all of the state conventions. In 1894 he was elected to the state senate, representing the district of five counties, which includes one-fourth of the population of the entire state. In 1895 he had the honor of being appointed by Governor McConnell a member of the board of regents of the State University, and in 1896 he was one of the presidential electors on the Republican ticket. He is now president of the board of education of the Oneida stake, and acted as superintendent of the building of the splendid academy erected by the stake at Preston, at a cost of fifty thousand dollars.
President Parkinson was happily married in 1 88 1 to Miss Lucy M. Doney, a native of Franklin, Idaho, and their union has been blessed with seven children, three sons and four daughters, namely: George D., Lucy Ann, John Leo, Vera, Samuel Parley, Elna and Aleida. Mr. Parkinson and his family have one of the most beautiful and attractive residences in this part of the state, and he is richly deserving of the excellent success which has attended his intelligent and honorable efforts.