Pages 648-649, 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.




MALEN PARRISH, who is engaged in farming in Center township, Woodson county, has been a resident of this locality for a quarter of a century and his entire life has been passed in the Mississippi valley, his birth having occurred in Scott county, Illinois, on the 7th of January, 1840. His father, Henry Parrish removed to that state about 1830 from Tennessee, his home having previously been near Nashville, where he was born about 1811. He carried on agricultural pursuits throughout his business career and died in 1846. His wife bore the maiden name of Arminta Bennett, and after the death of her first husband she became the wife of John Redshaw. By her first union she had three children, but Henry and Nancy, the eldest and the youngest, died in Scott county, Illinois, leaving our subject the only survivor. The mother passed away in Woodson county in 1896, at the age of seventy-seven years, and her second husband died in the same county in 1899.


The boyhood days of our subject were fraught with toil performed under the direction of a stepfather who was very exacting in his remands, but after acquiring a fair English education in the public schools and attaining his majority Mr. Parrish left home and began the battle of life unaided. His possessions consisted of a cow and a team of horses which he had borrowed and which he continued to use until he was able to purchase a team of his own. He has always carried on agricultural pursuits and is an energetic farmer. As a companion and helpmate on the journey of life he chose Miss Harriet Marden, a daughter of Colby Marden, a Canadian, who settled in Illinois at an early day and married Lucy Moore, a native of Vermont. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Marden were: Ann Cumby, of Scott county, Illinois; Sarah, the wife of George Cunningham, of the same county; James, of Pope, Arkansas; George, of Jacksonville, Ill., and Mrs. Parish. The marriage of our subject and his wife was celebrated on the 1st of January, 1862, and was blessed with four children; Mary E. Reed, of Gunnison, Colorado, and Dora, wife of James Dawson, of Springdale, Washington; Harriet F., wife of Frank Wagner, of Iola, Kansas, and L. B., who is with his father.

Ill health was the immediate occasion of Mr. Parrish becoming a resident of Kansas. He visited the state on a prospecting tour, and being pleased with Woodson county and its prospects he located on section twenty, township twenty-five, range sixteen. He sold his property in Illinois, purchased this tract and has since been identified with the farming interests of Woodson county, carrying on his work in an energetic manner that finds its reward in the gratifying success which has crowned his consecutive endeavors. For twenty-five years he has been an exemplary member of the Masonic fraternity and his son has taken the Royal Arch degrees. Since casting his first presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln in 1864 he has never failed to support the leading candidates of the Republican party with the exception of the year 1884. He is a citizen of worth, giving a loyal support to measures of public benefit and the integrity and fidelity of his chaacter[sic] have made him a man whom to know is to respect and honor.

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