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Posted By: Jean Kramer (email)
Date: 11/13/2003 at 14:05:28

Biography reproduced from page 470 of Volume II of the History of Kossuth County written by Benjamin F. Reed and published in 1913:

Marcus De L. Parsons, who came with his parents to Iowa when eighteen years of age, began his career, which has been a prominent and honorable one, as a school-teacher. He has for many years been a township official and is operating a fine farm of four hundred and fifty acres in Cresco township, Kossuth county, known as "Cozy Grove." He was born in Marcellus township, St. Joseph county, Michigan, June 26, 1848, a son of Alanson C. and Harriet (Woodruff) Parsons, both natives of the state of New York. In 1835 the father emigrated to Michigan and was for many years engaged in the practice of medicine at Flowerfield. As his children grew to maturity he retired to the farm and with their assistance operated it until 1866, when he sold the Michigan homestead and came to Iowa, himself and wife journeying by rail while the two sons came with a team and wagon. The family settled in Cresco township, where the father bought a forty acre timber tract, upon which he erected a log house, which was replaced after five years by a frame house, making his residence there until his death. Before coming here he had entered one hundred and sixty acres of government land north of Algona and later purchased one hundred acres near Irvington. He later purchased eighty acres adjoining the first forty acre timber tract which he bought in Cresco township. He continued to operate his land in Iowa until his death, which occurred in April, 1879, the mother surviving him until November, 1884, both dying of paralysis.

Marcus De L. Parsons was reared and educated in the public schools of Michigan, being eighteen years of age when the family removed to Iowa. The first winter that he was in this state he taught school and during the following winter attended school at Algona. Then for several years he taught in the district schools during the winter seasons and assisted his father with the farm work during the summer months. After his marriage he took charge of the farm of his father, however, he had received as a present from the latter one hundred and fifteen acres of land and to that he has added until he now has four hundred and fifty acres. This large place he has finely improved and has it practically all in a high state of cultivation. Of his farm Mr. Parsons has twenty-three acres in orchard, the largest in Kossuth county, where he grows fancy apples and other kinds of high-grade fruit. He might well be called a leader in horticulture in this district and his success has not only brought him financial results of a most gratifying nature but has been the means of emulation for others to follow in his steps. For seven successive years he took first premium at the Des Moines state fair for fruit grown in the northern district of Iowa and at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, held in St. Louis in 1904, where were exhibited the finest kinds of apples from all over the country, he was awarded a silver medal as prize of a barrel of his apples. By Mr. Parsons' work the attention of a number of horticulturists has been drawn to the fact that Iowa soil is suitable for these purposes and in that way he has been of inestimable service to the state.

On May 24, 1874, Mr. Parsons was united in marriage to Miss Augusta H. Johnson, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A. M. Johnson. The parents came to Kossuth county in 1865. The father was a blacksmith by trade and conducted a business of that kind for many years. He is now living in Algona at the venerable age of ninety-two years, the mother having passed away some time ago. To Mr. and Mrs. Parsons has been born one child, Rosie L., who is the wife of M. J. Jones, a farmer of Cresco township. Mrs. Parsons passed away in September, 1879, and on September 11, 1881, Mr. Parsons wedded Miss Ella A. Baker, a daughter of William and Rachel (Barker) Baker, both natives of New York. The father passed his entire life in the pursuit of agriculture, his death occurring in New York in 1863. In 1866 the widow came to Kossuth county, Iowa, where she entered government land which she operated for some time and then removed to Missouri. After a residence of a few years in the latter state she returned to her farm in Kossuth county, upon which she continued to make her home until her death, in January, 1891. By his second marriage Mr. Parsons became the father of nine children, namely: Stanley, who is operating the home farm; Mabel, who is the wife of W. H. Shackelford, a harness dealer of Whittemore; Olive, who married Will Gress, Jr., and resides in North Dakota; Edna, who is engaged in teaching school; Florence and Sumner, both of whom are attending school; Virgie, at home; and Leslie V. and Ezra, both of whom died in infancy.

Politically Mr. Parsons is independent. He has served as township clerk and secretary of the school board for nine years, being an influential man in the neighborhood. The family affiliates with the Congregational church, being active in their support of that denomination. Mr. Parsons is widely known as one of the successful farmers and heavy landowners of his county. He has always been active in business and as his efforts were well directed his success has been far in excess of that of the ordinary farmer. He justly merits the regard and esteem which he enjoys, as he is one of the pillars of the community, being a recognized leader in business as well as public affairs.


Kossuth Biographies maintained by Linda Ziemann.
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