Biography of Samuel C. Parkinson

By his son B. R. Parkinson*

Bishop S. C. Parkinson was born in St. Louis, Missouri, February 23, 1853. He is the oldest of 32 children born to Samuel R. Parkinson. He was a babe in his mother’s arms when they crossed the plains in 1854, and settled in Franklin in 1860, one of the first families. In his boyhood days he worked on his father’s farm and in the store. He never liked working in the store and soon quit and started for himself, buying and selling livestock. Later he became a breeder of fine horses, dairy cattle and sheep on one of the finest stock ranches in Southern Idaho at Franklin.

In December 1872 he married Mary Ann Hobbs, daughter of Charles R. Hobbs and Mary Ann Hobbs, also early settlers of Franklin. At the time he asked for Brother Hobbs’ daughter in marriage, he was told that he could have her if he would pay $85.00 then due on the emigration fund; this he agreed to and the deal was closed. At the time of the marriage, Father had only a $5.00 gold piece in money, which he lost a few days later when he got off his horse to lie down and get a drink in Bear River. So he started his married life with a wife worth a million dollars and $85.00 due on her.

He served as bishop of the Franklin Ward from 1907 until 1919. He was county commissioner for four years, vice president of Idaho State and Savings Bank, vice president of Federal State Bank of Preston; director of Great Western Livestock Company, and a director of the Utah-Idaho Hospital at Logan.

Thirteen children came from this union, 6 boys and 7 girls. One girl died in infancy and the others were reared to manhood and womanhood. Five sons were sent into the mission field, and all the children but one attended college. He himself had one mission to the Southern States and one to Portland, Oregon (on this mission his brother William went with him also their wives).

Bishop Parkinson was always active in the Church and was considered a liberal donator for all worthy projects. For many years he distributed beef or coal to the widows in the Franklin Ward.

Shortly after he was married, he homesteaded a piece of land on the outskirts of the village of Franklin just across Cub River. At that time it was a hunting and camp ground for the Indians. At an early date when Mother had three small children, she was left alone with her family while Father hauled freight from Corinne, Utah, to Butte, Montana, and would be gone about six weeks. The Indians would take down the bars and pull in by the side of the house and camp. They would say, “This is our camp ground.” Father liked the Indians and he got along well with them. The floors of the house were always covered with beautiful Navajo rugs, and buckskin gloves were common among the boys.

Father’s philosophy was: never be late to a meeting or a train; to live within your means; if you make a dollar save fifty cents; go to bed early and get up early.

He never went to bed at night without first taking the lantern and going to the barn to be sure that none of the livestock were in distress or needed more feed.

I remember one morning just before we boys went out to haul hay that Father said, “Now boys, I don’t want you to work too hard to-day, but I expect you to get in at least twenty big loads of hay.”

In 1912 Mother died, being the first of our large family to be called by death. Later Father married Lula Carpenter of Salt Lake City, daughter of Ezra Davis Carpenter and Jane King Carpenter of Logan. They were living in Salt Lake City at the time of Father’s death in May 1922.


* This handwritten biographical sketch lists no author but was found among the possessions of B. R. Parkinson’s widow Karma. Preston Parkinson’s sketch of Samuel C. Parkinson lists similar details and attributes them to B. R. Transcribed February 2006 by Ben Parkinson (spelling and punctuation somewhat standardized.) The title is part of the original.