Page 791-792, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


J. W. Parsons, a prominent farmer and stockman of Sycamore township, is one of the very earliest settlers of Butler county, now living within its borders. Mr. Parsons is a native of Ohio, born in 1848, and is a son of Amos and Ruth G. (Barnes) Parsons, natives of Maryland. They were the parents of the following children: Josiah Barnes Parsons, Cassoday, Kans.; B. A. Parsons, Potwin, Kans.; and J. W., the subject of this sketch.

J. W. Parsons came to Kansas in 1866 and settled in Butler county and homesteaded 168 acres of land in Sycamore township. This was a very early day in the settlement of that section of the county and at that time the settlers had to haul their supplies from Westport where Kansas City is now located. Mr. Parsons made two trips there with an ox team, the round trip requiring more than a week, and during these trips he has frequently slept alone on the plains with howling wolves


about him during the night. When Mr. Parsons came to Butler county the native wild animals of the plains were here in abundance. The buffalo disappeared from this section of the State, going farther west, about the time that Mr. Parsons settled here. However, he saw one herd of buffalo in Butler county after he came. Indians frequently roamed over the plains and the noble red man was noted for stealing pigs, chickens, etc., an inherent trait of his character usually overlooked by American historians. Atfer[sic] coming here Mr. Parsons broke prairie with six yoke of oxen. He built a small log cabin and only had enough roofing to cover one corner of it. However, this sufficed for his residence for three or four years. He was in poor health when he first came to Kansas, but recovered shortly after coming here.

Mr. Parsons was married in 1881, to Miss Bessie Davis and three children were born to this union: Mrs. Elsie Grant, Rosalia, Kans.; Mrs. Irene Hunn; El Dorado, Kans.; and Mrs. Ruth Diller, Burns, Kans. The mother of these children died in 1891, and in 1894 Mr. Parsons married Ella Miller, daughter of Robert Miller and Catherine (Kyle) Miller, the former a native of Dublin, Ireland, and the latter of Scotland. The Miller family came to Butler county in 1876. Robert and Catherine (Kyle) Miller were the parents of the following children: James, a Presbyterian minister; Robert, Jetmore, Kans.; Allan, Jetmore, Kans.; Mrs. H. W. Hinkle, El Dorado, Kans.; Mrs. James Teter, El Dorado, Kans.; Mrs. Glick Scribner, El Dorado, Kans.; and Ella, the wife of J. W. Parsons, the subject of this sketch. Mrs. Parsons' father died in 1914 and the mother is still living. To Mr. and Mrs. Parsons have been born the following children: Esther, Wesley, Russell, Katherine and J. B.

Mr. Parsons is a Republican and his wife is a member of the Presbyterian church. The Parsons family is well and favorably known in Butler county where they have a broad acquaintance and many friends.

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