Samuel Chandler Parkinson, son of Samuel Rose and Arabella Ann Chandler Parkinson, born in St. Louis, Missouri, 23 February, 1853. Of his father's three families, he was the oldest child.
Both of his parents were born in England, his father coming from Barrowford, Lancashire and his mother from Cheltenham, Glouchester. Samuel's father joined the Church in St. Louis, Missouri and it was here that he met Arabella Ann Chandler, who was a convert from England. Not too long after this meeting, they were married, (1 Jan. 1852.)
Like most of the Saints, Samuel's and Arabella's greatest desire was to make their home in Utah. By working hard, they had soon accumulated enough to make the journey. Not long after Samuel Chandler was born, they made plans to leave with the St. Louis Company.
Samuel's parents settled at Kaysville, Utah and there they stayed for several years, four children being born to them in this period. From Kaysville they moved to Franklin, Idaho, the first white settlement in the State of Idaho. Like most of the early settlers, they lived in a small log cabin with a dirt roof over their heads.
Because of lack of opportunity, Samuel had very little schooling. Life was not easy in those early Pioneer days.
When Samuel was nineteen years of age, he married Mary Ann Hobbs in the Endowment House, 9 Dec. 1872. Mary Ann (affectionately known as "Polly"), was a daughter of Charles William and Mary Ann Emms Hobbs of Franklin, Idaho. Thirteen children were born to them, twelve of the children reaching maturity. Samuel provided a good home for his family and they all had many happy years together.
In December of 1912, Samuel's wife, Mary Ann, was suddenly stricken with a cerebral hemorrhage and passed away. Two years later, Samuel married Lula Jane Carpenter in the Salt Lake Temple.
Samuel had always been taught to work and to earn an honest living. In his early years he assisted his father in the farming and mercantile business. As a young man, he homesteaded a farm for himself and family, which farm is still in the possession of one of his sons (1964). This homestead was in the bottom lands along the Cub River and was the camping grounds of the Indians. As the years went by, other land was accumulated.
In addition to his farming, Samuel also was in the sheep and cattle business. At times, he ran several thousand head of sheep. He had his own shearing and dipping corrals.
For many years Samuel freighted into Montana, using mule teams. It was a time when the animals had to be guarded from the Indians. As trips were made in all sorts of weather, it was a rugged job.
In his later years, Samuel became one of the founders of the Idaho State and Savings Bank of Preston, Idaho. He was also a director and vice-president, later becoming president. He was one of the largest stockholders in the bank as well.
Samuel was one of the first directors of the Utah-Idaho Hospital. He was also a director of the Western Livestock Company. Another interesting business venture of this remarkable man, --- at one time he owned and operated a meat market.
Samuel took an active interest in civic affairs and always supported them liberally whether of town, country or statewide importance. At one time he was Chairman of the County Commission. He was a staunch supporter of the county division movement and was a booster for good roads and good schools.
He was one of the first members of the Town Board of Franklin, being chairman of the board for one term. He was a member of the general committee and the chairman of the finance committee of the first Pioneer celebration in Franklin, the oldest permanent white settlement in Idaho.
Besides being a business and civic leader, Samuel always took an active part in the L.D.S. Church. He was a deeply religious man. From the time of his baptism and confirmation, 15 May 1864, he was active in the various organizations of the Church. Before he went on his first mission, he was the Y.M.M.I.A. Supt. for four years.
On 26 May 1884, Samuel was set apart to go on a mission to the Southern States, being a member of the 18th Quorum of Seventies at this time. Upon his return from his mission, he was ordained a High Priest by Francis M. Lyman, 21 September 1886.
Samuel served on the Stake High Council from 1886 to 1907. Following this, he was a Bishop of the Franklin Ward from 1907 to 1919. He also served a short term mission in the Oregon and North West Mission, being set apart by George Q. Cannon, 24 Jan. 1898. Samuel Chandler Parkinson gave a lifetime of devoted service to the Church.
After leaving Franklin, 2 Feb. 1921, to make his home in Salt Lake City; Samuel lived but a few months, passing away 20 May 1922. In the obituary found in the Deseret News, we learn that brief funeral services were held at the family home in Salt Lake City; President Heber J. Grant and Bishop Charles W. Nibley being two of the speakers. A second funeral service was held in Franklin, Idaho, the town in which he had lived most of his life, and it was in this home town that he was laid to rest.
We have thus far given the highlights of the life of a busy, prosperous, devoted man, Samuel Chandler Parkinson. Now let's consider in more detail some of his personal characteristics. What did he look like? What kind of a husband and father was he? What were some of his other interests? What interesting experiences did he have?
Samuel Chandler Parkinson was a fine looking man, walking erectly and with great dignity, always immaculate in dress. He had dark brown, curly hair and, as was the custom in those days, he wore a beard.
He was a model of neatness, not only in his personal appearance, but also in everything over which he had any jurisdiction. His farm was well-kept and his horses well-groomed. He had a place for everything and everything was kept in its place.
Being a man of order, this involved hard work not only for himself but for everyone who worked for him. When daylight came, his voice boomed through the house, "Everybody up! It is time to take care of the horses, it is time to milk the cows." In summer, there was planting to do, grain and hay to haul and all the work that goes with the planting and harvesting of crops. Before Samuel went to bed at night, invariably he took a lantern, going outside and walking down around the barns to see if everything was in order, to be sure the animals were fed and safe for the night.
Speaking of horses, Samuel was noted all over the country for his fine horses. Many of these animals were sold to the Salt Lake City Fire Department which at this time used horse-drawn fire equipment.
Samuel loved to ride into the hills and over his farms, always taking great pride in his own riding horse and saddle. He had a surrey and a cutter which he used a great deal driving around with this wife, also for his Church work. At one time Samuel gave Joseph F. Smith, President of the L.D.S. Church, a span of driving horses.
Besides the beautiful horses and fine herds of dairy cattle on his place, Samuel had deer, elk, antelope, peacocks and wild geese in an enclosure in the front of his home. This was a great attraction for people passing by. As the highway passed by his place at this time, it was not uncommon to see tourists park their cars and watch these animals.
Samuel also was a great lover of nature. He planted many trees of different varieties around his home and to this day most of these trees are still standing.
Samuel was an admirer of the Indians and he had many dealings and experiences with them. He was good to them and he learned to understand their language. He had many choice Indian blankets in his home. His father reared an Indian boy who was left on the battlefield after the Battle Creek skirmish, the boy's parents being killed during the fighting. While Samuel was on his first mission, his wife was visited quite often by the Indians who were camped in the bottoms near their home.
Samuel not only went on two missions himself but he encouraged his boys to go, all of his sons going with the exception of one. Samuel and Mary Ann taught their children to be humble, to be prayerful, to keep the Word of Wisdom. Many of the children have stated that the family prayers are some of the most beautiful memories they have of their childhood.
Samuel was very frugal and he always advised his children to save fifty cents out of every dollar they earned. His word was as good as his bond.
At one time he borrowed ten thousand dollars without signing any papers, his credit being unquestioned. In his patriarchal blessing he was given this promise "Thou shalt be blessed in thy basket and thy store. Be prudent and all shall be well with thee." Because of this prudence, Samuel accumulated a goodly portion of the material things of this world. All his life he paid an honest tithe.
Samuel was most generous to the wives of the missionaries and to the windows and poor of the ward. At Christmas time he would butcher sheep and beef and take a sizable portion around to each home. Often he and his sons delivered coal to those in need.
Although Samuel was a loving father and grandfather, he believed in the strict discipline of his family. He believed in doing things on time and he expected the same of his family. If those who were going with him were not ready on time, he would start out without them.
It was Samuel's desire that his children should have a good education and he encouraged them to take advantage of all the opportunities he never had.
Samuel enjoyed sports. When he was young he like to box and wrestle and in the fall he usually went hunting for deer.
Samuel liked to dance and he especially enjoyed good music. He encouraged his girls to take music lessons and he had the first phonograph player in the neighborhood.
A keen sense of humor was another trait of Samuel's. He loved a good joke and a good laugh. He owned one of the first cars around that country and he used to laugh and say that he always wanted to take a car full of people when he went places so that if he had to get out and push, he would have plenty of help. He had a habit of telling people who were riding with him that he would slow down so they could jump out and he would not have to stop and change gears.
While Samuel was content at home, he took great delight in traveling to various places. Many time he accompanied the sheep trains to Chicago and to other markets in the East. He also visited the World's Fair in St. Louis, Missouri.
Following his second mission to the North West, his wife joined him in Portland, Oregon, and they spend a few happy days in Vancouver, Canada (his brother William and wife Nellie, accompanying them) and from there they all went by boat to San Francisco where they met another brother Frank and his wife. While in San Francisco, and earthquake caused a great deal of excitement among them all.
Twice a year before leaving for Conference, Samuel took out his little red book and asked each member of his family what they would like him to bring them from the city. His wife usually said she would like "two wrappers" (Mother Hubbard dresses). It was always a great day when Samuel returned with all the gifts, usually a bunch of bananas and a box of oranges included with the other gifts. (A rare treat in those days.)
Summarizing the character of Samuel Chandler Parkinson, one can say that he was a man of faith, a man with a deep testimony, a man who cherished his wife and children, a man of integrity. By his side stood the mother of his children, a woman who likewise had a quiet strength of character. Nothing could better illustrate that faith and devotion of these two than when Samuel left for his first mission leaving his wife with six children and a farm to take care of.
In his patriarchal blessing Samuel was told that his posterity would be numerous. This numerous posterity today holds his name, with that of his wife, in high esteem. They can say, as did Nephi of old, that they have been born of goodly parents.
Information obtained from:
1. Family sources.
2. Index Bureau of the Genealogical Association of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
3. L.D.S. Missionary Record (Church Historian's Office) Book A&B page 78 Book C page 64.
4. Encyclopedic History of the Church (Church Historian's Office) - Andrew Jenson.
5. L.D.S. Biographical Encyclopedia Volume 2:178 - Andrew Jenson.
6. Franklin Ward Records Book D - 1.
7. Patriarchal Blessings (Church Historian's Office) Volume 46 Page 637.
8. Obituary notice (Church Historian's Office) Deseret News, 22 May 1922.