IAGenWeb Project

Audubon County


1915 Bios Index


The Parkinson family is of English descent, the parents of George J. Parkinson, George, Sr., and Anna (Annable) Parkinson, having been natives of Hull, Lincolnshire, and Liverpool, England, respectively. George J. Parkinson, the subject of this sketch, was born in 1861, in Davenport, Iowa. His parents were born in England and came to the United States at different times, the father when twenty-one years old and the mother when eight years old. The latter came with her parents, and the former came alone, having been the only member of the family ever to come to the United States.

After locating in Illinois, George Parkinson, Sr., moved from one place to another until he finally obtained work in the shops of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific railroad, in Davenport, Iowa. After working for this company for some time, he came on west to Audubon county, where he purchased a hundred and sixty acres of land, located in section 25, in Audubon township. This was many years ago when land was very cheap and he obtained a bundred and sixty acres for five dollars an acre. Beginning in 1876 with a farm that already had some timber on it, he continued to improve the farm in various ways, and here he lived until 1902, when he and his wife removed to Adair. They had nine children, of whom George J. was the eldest.

George J. Parkinson attended the school in Davenport, and after completing the course of instruction there, lived at home until his marriage. After his marriage he rented his uncle's farm for ten years, and in 1896 had been able to save enough with which to purchase a hundred and twenty acres in section 23, of Audubon township. Here he lived for six years, until his parents retired and moved to town, when he moved to the home place. Of all the children born to his parents he is the only farmer, all the other sons being blacksmiths.

On February 8, 1886, Mr. Parkinson was married in Audubon county to Christina Bain, who was born on August 24, 1869, in Cayuga county. New York, the daughter of George and Elizabeth (Wey) Bain.

George and Elizabeth (Wey) Bain were natives of Scotland and England, respectively, the former having been born near Edinburgh, and the latter having been born in Lincolnshire. Mrs. Bain was nine years old when she was brought to the United States by her parents. Her husband was sixteen years old at the time he came to America. Although he came alone, he had grandparents living in New York state. Eventually, Mr. and Mrs. Bain came west, locating near Genoa on the Pawnee reservation in Cass county, Nebraska, in 1879. After living here only six or eight months, and after the destruction of their crops, they moved to Audubon county, where they purchased eighty acres of land in Audubon township. Later they purchased two hundred acres more and here they lived until 1909, when they retired and moved to Menlo, Iowa.

Mr. and Mrs. Parkinson have been the parents of twelve children, as follow: Edna, born on June 30, 1888, married Clarence Johnson, and they have two children, Lucy and Grace; George, February 26, 1890; Roy, January 5, 1892: Bert, January 23. 1894; Anna, March 4, 1896; Grace, June 13, 1898; Paul, June 24, 1900; Clara, October 17, 1902: Mildred, December 6. 1904; Rachel, May 11. 1906; Robert. July 24, 1909. and Philip. December 12, 1911. Philip, by the way, who was the twelfth child, was born on the twelfth day of the twelfth month of the year.

Mr. Parkinson is engaged in general farming and stock raising. He feeds about seventy-five head of cattle every year and about a hundred head of hogs. He is comfortably situated and has been able to make farming pay him handsome returns. A Democrat in politics, the only office he has ever held is that of school director. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias lodge at Adair. Mr. Parkinson's parents were members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and Mrs. Parkinson's parents were members of the Christian church. They, however, do not belong to any church, but they are active in the work of the Oak Ridge Sunday school, of Audubon township.

By his enterprising methods as a farmer, his fair and square dealings with all his relations with his neighbors, Mr. Parkinson has won the respect and esteem of the people of Audubon township, most of whom he knows personally, and most of whom he can count as his friends. He is a man of strictly moral habits, devoted to his home, his family and to his farm.

Transcribed from History of Audubon County, Iowa Its People, Industries and Institutions With Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens and Genealogical Records of Many of the Old Families, by H. F. Andrews, editor, Indianapolis: B. F. Bowen & Company, 1915, pp. 620-622.
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