Pages 806-807, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




Joseph Parks, whose residence in Kansas dates from 1868, is now the owner of a fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Neosho Falls township. The place is surrounded by well-kept hedge fences and a large residence stands in the midst of a maple grove so that the house is seen through the vista of the trees and makes an attractive feature in the landscape.

Mr. Parks, its owner and occupant, was born in Warren County, Ohio, November 6, 1833, a son of James and Grisella (McMeen) Parks, both of whom were natives of the Keystone state. The father was one of the pioneer settlers of Ohio. His home was erected in 1800, and in 1803 he built a barn which is still standing. He died in Ohio, in 1836, and his wife, surviving him until 1848, passed away at the age of fifty-eight years. Of their family of seven children only two are now living, the sister being Mrs. Martha Hayden, the wife of John Hayden, of Joliet, Illinois.

Our subject, the youngest of the family, was the only son. He acquired an academic education and in 1854 went to Des Moines County, Iowa, where he remained until 1860. He was married there to Miss Sarah E. Colby. They subsequently removed to Chicago, Illinois where Mr. Parks was engaged in the provision business till 1868, when he came to Kansas. Arriving in this state he first located at Leavenworth, and


was there in the employ of the same firm with which he had been connected in Chicago. He aided in packing the first cattle ever thus prepared for the market in this state. Well pleased with the country, the climate and the people, he decided to remain in Kansas and took up his abode in Woodson County, purchasing a farm of one hundred and sixty acres two miles south of Neosho Falls. To this place he removed with his family in 1869, and erected a commodious residence. Mr. Parks has given considerable attention to the raising of stock, and has resided continuously upon his farm with the exception of a period of four years during which time he resided with his family in Indianapolis, Indiana, in order that his children might enjoy better educational privileges. During that time Mr. Parks worked for his old employers in the packing house, but after four years he returned to his Kansas home and resumed his farming operations, his labors being crowned with a merited degree of success.

The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Parks has been blessed with four children: Frank, who resides upon a farm near his father; Nellie and Edward, at home, and Belle, wife of Charles Williams, of Arkansas. Socially Mr. Parks is connected with the Masonic lodge at Neosho Falls, and in politics he is a stalwart Republican. For four years he served as trustee of Neosho township, proving a capable officer. His life indicates the power of industry in the business world, for without influential friends or pecuniary advantages to aid him he has steadily worked his way upward and now stands among the men of affluence in his adopted county.

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