BRAXTON M. PARRISH, who carries on general farming on section 14, Vergennes Township, Jackson County, was born on the old Parrish homestead, on the 14th of October, 1833. His father, Thomas Parrish, was a native of North Carolina. He was born in 1799, and on arriving at man's estate he emigrated westward to Illinois, locating in Franklin County, and in 1823 came to Jackson County, settling near where the town of Murphysboro now stands. In 1826, he married Lucy Moss, and a year later removed to a farm on section 21, Vergennes Township, entering the land from the Government and transforming it from a wild tract into rich and fertile fields. The nearest postofflce was Brownsville, the county seat, then eighteen miles distant. In the family were the following children: Polly, who died at the age of twelve; Elizabeth, twin sister of Polly, and the wife of B. F. Porter; Lucinda J., wife of Eliphas Porter; Braxton M.; Margaret C., wife of Philip Davis; Lucretia, who died in childhood; Sarah Ann, wife of Frederick Buddenbaum; Thomas J., who enlisted in the Union army in 1861, and died in the service; William C., who also laid down his life on the altar of his country; John W., who was killed in the charge on Missionary Ridge during the late war; George W., of Jackson County; Joseph N., who resides on a farm adjoining that of our subject; and Frank P., who lives on the old homestead.
The parents were consistent and earnest members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and in their home church services were often held. Mr. Parrish long served as Class-leader. He was a Democrat until after the breaking out of the late war, when he became a stanch Republican. For some years he held the office of Justice of the Peace, and was County Commissioner one term. He died at the age of sixty-eight. His wife was early left an orphan, and was reared by a Mr. Garner, who lived south of Murphysboro, where there was a fort for the protection of the settlers against the Kaskaskia and Shawnee Indians. She was born in Jackson County, in August, 1807, and died March 15, 1887. For years before her death she was the oldest native resident of the county.
Upon the home farm Braxton Parrish remained until twenty-two years of age, when, on the 6th of May, 1856, he wedded Margaret Davis, who died January 16, 1873. Of their children Thomas was born September 1, 1859, and Lucy H. was born March 3, 1862, while Benjamin F. was born April 6, 1867. The daughter is now the wife of Warren Porter. Mr. Parrish was again married May 30, 1873, his second union being with Josephine, daughter of Jesse O. and Emily Dees. She was born in Perry County, May 24, 1852. Her father was a native of Tennessee, and came to Illinois with his father, Jesse Dees, Sr., who became one of the pioneers of Jefferson County. The father afterwards removed to Perry County, where he improved a farm and made his home for forty-five years, dying May 11, 1893, at the age of seventy-five years and six months. His widow is still living on the old homestead. Their children were, Edwin J., Eva Josephine; Anna B., wife of Louis Tuttle; Ella, wife of E. Rees; Byron W., Edgar R.; Hattie, who died at the age of eight years, and William. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Parrish were born nine children, Eddie B., who was born March 4, 1874, and died November 25, 1883; Annie C., born September 4, 1875; Harlan, January 3, 1877; Bertha E., September 5, 1878; Effie, March 28, 1880; Vida R., December 19, 1881; Eva May, May 28, 1883; Robert I., July 8, 1886; and Nora J., February 15, 1888.
With the exception of a few months spent in Carthage, Mo., Mr. Parrish has always lived in Jackson County. He has cleared and improved four new farms, and ten years ago removed to his present farm, which he has transformed from a barren tract into one of the most highly cultivated and best improved farms of the locality. He and his wife are both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In politics he has always been a stalwart advocate of Republican principles. He served as County Treasurer and Assessor in 1856-57, but resigned before the expiration of his term. He has been Township Assessor two terms, Justice of the Peace one term, and was re-elected, but refused to qualify. He is a man of sterling worth and strict integrity, who stands high in the community, having the warm regard of many friends.
Extracted 22 Feb 2017 by Norma Hass from 1894 Biographical Review of Jackson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, pages 549-550.
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