The name of Parkinson is so inseparably interwoven with the history of southeastern Idaho and its development that those who bear it need no special introduction to the readers of this volume. He of whom we write has long been accorded a place among the leading businessmen and progressive citizens of Franklin and Oneida County, where he has made his home since his boyhood days. His father is the honored Samuel Rose Parkinson, one of the founders of the town and a leader in the Church of the Latter Day Saints. A history of his life is given elsewhere in this work.
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Samuel Chandler Parkinson, his eldest child, was born in St. Louis, Missouri, February 23, 1853, and was less than two years of age when the father, with a mule team, crossed the plains to Utah. A youth of seven, he came to Franklin and was educated in district schools, conducted by various teachers. During the early days of the settlement of the town the families were in imminent danger of Indian attack and suffered many hardships and privations. When sixteen years of age Samuel C. Parkinson was sent by his father to Salt Lake City to learn the carpenter’s trade, remaining there for two years. After his return he followed the occupation for a time, but not finding it congenial he returned to the farm and assisted his father for a time. Later he engaged in freighting between Utah and Montana, carrying goods to the different mining camps in the latter state, and was engaged in that business when General Custer and his entire command were killed by the Nez Perces Indians. Mr. Parkinson continued to engage in freighting for some time and met with very excellent success, but later began raising high grades of horses and cattle, thus doing much to improve the stock in this section of Idaho. He made a specialty of Norman and English Shire horses, and was the owner of one fine horse which weighed two thousand pounds and was valued at two thousand dollars. He also introduced Holstein and, later, Durham cattle into the county, and thus greatly improved the stock in southeastern Idaho. For some years past he has been extensively engaged in the sheep industry, and has from ten to twelve thousand head of sheep, employing ten men in their care. They are fed upon a farm of six hundred acres, where he has excellent pasture land and meadows devoted to the raising of hay. Mr. Parkinson also owns one hundred and sixty acres of land adjoining the town of Franklin, on which lie has a large and commodious frame residence, surrounded by a fine grove of trees of his own planting. His business interests are well managed, and his industry and sound judgment have been the important elements in his very enviable success.
On the 9th of December 1873, Mr. Parkinson wedded Miss Mary Ann Hobbs, daughter of Charles Hobbs, an esteemed pioneer of Franklin. She was born in England, and when a little girl was brought by her parents to America. Their union has been blessed with eleven children: Nessy Estelia, wife of George Hobbs; Edith Arabella, who died in her second year; Samuel William, a very intelligent young man now on a mission in England; Mary, Albert H. and Leonard H., at home. The younger children are Theresa, Raymond H., Anetta, Bernice H. and Rowland H. Mr. Parkinson is giving all of his children good educational privileges, some attending the college at Logan, and others the Oneida Stake Academy. They are all members of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, in which Mr. Parkinson has served as elder, a seventy, and is now high priest. He went on a mission for his church to the state of Alabama and met with excellent success, leaving a very prosperous organization there. He also served in a mission in Oregon, spending three months in Portland and traveling all over the state. He likewise visited San Francisco, and in his work was associated with his brother William, their object being to open new fields. At present he is a high counselor in the Oneida stake.
In his political views Mr. Parkinson is a Republican and keeps well informed on the issues of the day. He attends various conventions of his party, and has frequently acted as chairman, but has never been an office-seeker, preferring to devote his time and attention to the interests of the church and of his business. In all his business relations he has met with excellent results, and his success is indeed creditable because it has come as the reward of his own efforts, honesty and enterprise. As a citizen he is highly esteemed and well deserves representation in this volume.