Name: William Parry 1 2
Birth: 16 JUN 1822 in Tuscarawas Co., Oh. 2 3
Death: 11 NOV 1910 2
Burial: Oak Grove Cem., Astoria Twp., Fulton Co., Il.|
Father: Caleb Parry b: 8 FEB 1784 in Va.
Mother: Rebecca Engle b: 29 DEC 1793
Miranda Walker b: 12 JAN 1824 in Md.
10 AUG 1840 4
1908 HISTORY OF FULTON COUNTY ILLINOIS
PARRY, William.—With his noble head touched by the snows of eighty-five wi nters and his strong face and capable hands bronzed by the sun which has b eat upon almost as many harvesting seasons, William Parry is today the per sonification of a life well lived, of energies well directed, of a mind tu ned to the harmony of his surroundings and of a heart which has lost nothi ng of its warmth and sympathy in its journey from the log cabin to the aff luence of the twentieth century. This vigorous personality, outlined again st the background of events in Fulton County since 1837, command the confi dence and respect of as large a following as any who have helped to rede em the wilderness in this part of the State. He has built up charact er as well as fortune and has supported the substantial and fundamental pr ocesses of civilization.
Born in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, June 16, 1822, Mr. Parry in 1836 acc ompanied his parents, Caleb and Rebecca (Engle) Parry, to Sangamon Count y, Ill., and the following year to Fulton County, where the father di ed at the age of eighty-three and the mother at the age of ninety-three, l acking eighteen days. Caleb Perry was born among the picturesque mountai ns of Wales, and as a boy came to America with his parents, locating presu mably in Virginia, where he married and farmed for several years. After co ming to Fulton county and taking up land in Astoria township, he beca me an important adjunct to the neighborhood, and his industry, thrift a nd integrity gave him lasting place among the good and purposeful men of t he community, His wife, at the remarkable age of ninety, could thread h er needle without the aid of glasses, and her constitution remained stro ng and her faculties alert until almost the end of her life journey. Her l ongevity was a tribute to moderation and an all-around development of powe rs, for she was idle only when she slept, and in the early days spun the y arn and knit the stockings for her children, also wove the cloth and ma de their garments for the entire household. It was her mission to rock t he cradle of twelve little ones, two of whom died in infancy, ten attaini ng maturity. Of the latter Mary married William Crawford, moved to Knox Co unty, Ill., and with her husband died at an advanced age; Hannah became t he life of George Sayers, and both now are deceased; Rheuam married Sherm an Wycoff, who, since her death, has lived near Redfield, Iowa; Rebec ca is the deceased wife of Charlie Turner, and Nancy spent her last yea rs in the home of her brother Enoch, who, with William, are the sole livi ng representatives of this large family.
William Parry, though only fourteen years old when he arrived in Fult on County, already was an independent toiler, having in his native Sta te of Ohio worked by the day for eighteen and three-fourths cents. He w as well developed, had strong muscles and could plow, reap and chop as mu ch wood in a given time as a full-grown man. In Astoria Township he attend ed the district schools for a few terms and after his evening tasks were c ompleted, studied in front of the fireplace, which, with candles, constitu ted the only means of heat and illumination with which he was familiar unt il purchasing his first iron heater during Lincoln’s second administratio n. August 10, 1840, he married Miranda Walker, a native of Maryland, and d aughter of Jesse Walker, the latter a pioneer of Ohio and Illinois, arrivi ng in the latter State about 1838. Mr. and Mrs. parry settled on the fa rm now owned by Mr. Parry’s brother Enoch, living in a log cabin for a num ber of years. He then bought the farm now owned by George Schuman, a son-i n-law, and in all has improved several hundred acres of land, at the prese nt time owning the 320 acres upon which he located in 1864. He has a beaut iful home, reflecting his thoroughgoing character and regard for detail a nd method, and also evidencing his love of nature and the joy he has exper ienced in collaborating with it.
To Mr. and Mrs. Parry were born the following named children: Isaa c, Caleb and Rheuam, who died young; Catherine, deceased, wife of Willi am Dupree; Jesse; John, a resident of Normal, Ill.; William, who died in 1 906; Stephen, residing in Astoria, and Belle, wife of George Schuman, on t he old homestead in Astoria Township. August 10, 1892, Mr. and Mrs. Par ry celebrated their golden wedding, the guests at that time numbering 30 0, and all participating in the noonday dinner provided by a generous hos t. They came mostly from Astoria, but other towns and townships were repre sented, and the gifts took the form of a gold-headed cane for Mr. Parry, u pon which was inscribed “1842” and “1892,” and the wife who had shared h is hardships and prosperity was given a silver cup and saucer with gold li ning and a plush spring rocker. In the opinion of the oldest inhabitants w ho participated in this festive occasion, it was the most enjoyable they e ver had known. Mrs. Parry survived her golden wedding nine years, her dea th occurring March 26, 1901. She was an exceptionally noble and agreeab le woman and lived to see herself surrounded by nine children, nineteen gr andchildren and fifteen great-grandchildren.
That the years have dealt kindly with Mr. Parry was proved during h is sixtieth year, when he cradled forty acres of heavy wheat, accomplishi ng on an average seven and a half acres a day. In the early days he w as a stanch Whig, but later espoused the principles of the immortal Lincol n, of whom he is an intense admirer. During the Civil War, while not a sol dier in the field, he did much to aid the wives and children left behi nd in the county, and no night was too dark or storm too severe to interfe re with is self-imposed errands of mercy. This spirit of self-sacrifice a nd desire to be of actual use in the world has kept his heart young and h is hopes high; has drawn to him innumerable friendships and boundless grat itude. To hear him talk of the early days is like reading from an old roma nce. He has always looked on labor as the salvation of the race and has we lcomed physical weariness as part of the great developing process of hum an kind. He recalls that in June, 1836, he helped clear the timber from t he ground where now stands the Cooper Brothers’ store in Astoria. At th at time the tract was the finest blackberry patch Mr. Parry ever had see n. The ground was b lack with the delicious wild berries. Although the Ind ians long since had departed, they still came back to the old haunts, f or there still were hundreds of deer and thousands of wolves to make the n ight mournful. The returned redman was a peaceful being, with the lig ht of other days in his eyes and a dead hope in his heart. And thus is ins cribed upon the history of Fulton County the life and labor of a good a nd capable man, one with a broad catholicity of view, of great generosi ty and wisdom of heart, and one who is greatly beloved for what he has bec ome, as well as for what he has accomplished.
- Catherine Parry b: in Fulton Co., Il.
- Isaac Parry b: in Fulton Co., Il.
- John Parry b: in Fulton Co., Il.
- Rheuam Parry b: 10 JUN 1841 in Fulton Co., Il.
- Caleb Parry b: 10 MAR 1849 in Fulton Co., Il.
- Jesse Parry b: 13 JAN 1851 in Astoria Twp., Fulton Co., Il.
- William Walker Parry b: 29 OCT 1855 in Fulton Co., Il.
- Stephen Parry b: 1 JUL 1858 in Fulton Co., Il.
- Flora Belle Parry b: 23 DEC 1861 in Fulton Co., Il.
- Title: Murphy-Sedgwick Memorial Home Canton, Fulton Co., Il. Vol 1
- Title: Cemetery Inscriptions of Fulton Co., Il. vol. 12
- Title: 1908 Historical Encylopidea of Fulton Co., Il.
- Title: 1908 History of Fulton County Illinois