Samuel C. Parkinson, of Franklin, Idaho, who has done excellent work for the community in helping to build homes, conduct good mercantile enterprises, raise the standard of stock in cattle, horses and sheep, and to spread the influence and beneficent activities of the great church to which he belongs, is almost a product of the community, having come here with his parents to live when he was but seven years of age. He was born on February 23, 1853, at St. Louis, Mo., the son of Samuel R. and Arabella (Chandler) Parkinson, extended mention of whom appears elsewhere in this work. When he was but a year old his parents crossed the plains from his native city to Utah and settled at Kaysville, and six years later they came with the first body of settlers to what is now the town of Franklin in Oneida county, Idaho.
There the subject of this writing grew to manhood and has since made his home. He received his first school instruction in the little log schoolhouse which his father helped to build in 1861, the first building erected for educational purposes within the limits of the present state of Idaho, and when he was sixteen years old he was sent to Salt Lake City to learn the carpenter's trade. After an apprenticeship of two years he returned to Franklin and worked there at the trade for a time, but not liking that sort of employment, he returned to the paternal farm and for a few months was occupied with its duties. Within the same year, 1871, he went to freighting between Corinne, Utah, and Montana points, daring great danger, for the Indians were troublesome, and enduring great hardships, for frequently the weather was bad, supplies were scarce and the toil incident to the business very hard.
Mr. Parkinson was engaged in this hazardous occupation at the time of the Indian uprising which culminated in the Custer massacre in 1876, and continued to pursue it until 1882. He then accepted a place as purchasing agent for the Cooperative Store Co., of Franklin, but gave it up after a short tenure, and, in company with his brothers started a meat market in the town, which he managed until 1886. At that time, wishing for a larger field, he was also engaged in the stock business, still continuing to manage the meat market, however, until 1890. He was the first stockman to breed throughbred cattle in this country, purchasing a small herd of Holsteins about 1885, later introducing the Durham stock, and was also the introducer of thoroughbred horses in this section of the country, bringing in a valuable imported Norman stallion about 1888, and two years later purchasing at Topeka, Kans., and bringing to Franklin, an imported horse of thoroughbred Englishshire stock. Since that time to the present he has kept in pace with the demands for improved breeds, introducing to his neighborhood many valuable and costly animals, including jacks, for he is paying attention to the raising of mules. He was a firm believer in the best stock, and by his example and his efforts greatly raised the standard throughout the whole region.
His wisdom is fully sustained by the condition of his own stock, and by the extent and renown of his business, he being considered the most successful and progressive stockbreeder in this part of the country. In 1889 he added the raising of sheep to his stock industry, and he has made a great success in that line also. His residence is a little west of Franklin, and is the homestead on which he located in 1876, and which he has occupied continuously since that time. On this fertile and attractive place he has a fine modern dwelling, beautifully situated in a large grove of trees, and commanding a comprehensive view of the surrounding country. It is a model rural home, one of the most admired places in the southern part of Oneida county. It was a favorite resort of the Indians and during Mr. Parkinson's earlier occupancy they used to make themselves very much at home.
Mr. Parkinson also has land in different parts of the county on which his stock ranges, his holdings amounting to some 800 acres. His success is alike beneficial to the community and creditable to himself, for its advantages flow out generously all around him, and it is direct result of his own enterprise, thrift, and business capacity. In politics he is a staunch Republican, but he has always declined office, except in a representative capacity, having consented at times to go as a delegate to the state conventions of his party. To the educational interests of the community he has given special attention, manifesting a breadth of view and energetic diligence in advancing them and in increasing the volume and efficiency of the forces that have them in charge; and in church matters he has also been an active and zealous worker.
On December 9, 1873, Mr. Parkinson was joined in marriage with Miss Mary Ann Hobbs, the ceremony being performed at Salt Lake City. She is a native of England and a daughter of Charles and Mary A. (Emms) Hobbs, of that country, both parents being esteemed pioneers of Franklin, where they settled in 1861 and still make their home. The Parkinson household comprises thirteen children, all but one of whom are living. They are Nessy Estella (Mrs. George Hobbs), Edith A. (who died in her second year), Samuel W., Mary, Albert H., Leonard, Teresa, Raymond H., Annetta, Bernice H., Rowland H., Myrtle and Roma. A number of these children are college graduates and all have received and are receiving their education in the public schools of Franklin, the Oneida Stake Academy at Preston, the Brigham Young Academy at Logan, Utah, and the State Agricultural College, also at Logan. They promise in their turn to worthily maintain the high standing of the present generation of the family.
Mr. Parkinson has been and elder and a member of the Council of the Seventy in the church, and is now a high priest and a high counselor of the Oneida stake. In 1885 he performed a mission in the Southern states, and has also been on missions in all sections of the Pacific states and has also efficiently worked with his brother William in organization duties. He is one of the leading men of southern Idaho in business and church circles, in agricultural and stock industries, and in the possession of all the attributes of elevated citizenship.