Thomas P. Parrott
THOMAS P. PARROTT, an intelligent and public-spirited citizen of Buena Vista township, is a pioneer of 1831, since which time his interests have been identified with those of his favorite county. He is a native of Kentucky, having been born in Glasgow, that State, on September 3, 1825.
His father, Josiah Parrott, was a native of Maryland, having been born in Talbot county, that State, on July 20, 1800. He had no school advantages, but acquired an excellent business education in Glasgow, Kentucky, to which place he early removed. He was possessed of unusual financial ability, and had a remarkable aptitude for mercantile pursuits. In time he became the owner of three stores, one at Glasgow, one at Thompsonville, and another at Gainesboro, Tennessee. He was married in Kentucky, to Nancy G. Bransford, a native of Rockingham, Virginia, in which place she was born on July 27, 1807. She was a daughter of Thomas Bransford, a prominent citizen of that place.
In 1830 Mr. Parrott came to Rushville, Illinois, which was then a new and sparsely settled country, and opened a store at that place. He had at that time $60,000 and a large stock of goods. After starting his store, he returned to Kentucky, and in the spring of the following year, 1831, he removed his family to Rushville, where he continued in business for more than forty years, being the oldest merchant of that place. He also started several other stores at the same time, in different towns, one at Beardstown, and another at Princeton, while he had still another at Pulaski. All were general stores and all carried large stocks of goods. He possessed very great energy and excellent financial ability, and was eminently successful in business. He invested largely in land, and became the owner of thousands of acres of the richest land of Schuyler county. He voted with the Whig party, and later with the Republican, but never desired to hold office. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity, being one of the charter members of the lodge in Rushville. He was a prominent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he was a liberal supporter. He helped to build the first Methodist church in Rushville, and contributed toward the erection of the present handsome edifice.
Mr. Parrott's first wife died on July 26, 1835, leaving four children to the care of her husband, and many friends to mourn her loss. She was a woman of intelligence and many charms of character, a faithful wife and fond mother, and was much lamented by all who knew her. The children were: Thomas P., subject of our sketch; James H., now a real-estate man of Omaha, Nebraska; John B., who died in Buena Vista, unmarried; and Susan, who died unmarried.
Mr. Parrott was subsequently married again, his second wife being Catharine Scripps, a native of Missouri. They had twelve children: George, deceased; Maria, who married Colonel William McAlister, and died in Rushville; Lydia, married; Sarah, who married Albert Clark, and died in Kearney, Nebraska; Josiah, a traveling salesman; Catharine, deceased; Charley, a resident of Lincoln, Nebraska, and was for many years a banker in Omaha; Walter, a wholesale dealer in hats, caps and notions, in Chicago; Frank, deceased; Marcus, a resident of Omaha; Ellen, deceased; and Lewis, a real-estate man of Omaha, Nebraska.
The father died at his home, surrounded by his family and friends, on May 29, 1881, aged eighty-one years, much lamented as a faithful friend and fond husband and father.
The subject of our sketch was but a mere boy when the family came to Rushville in 1831. He attended school in Rushville, and when young began to assist in the duties about his father's store, and when grown, became a partner. The confinement of indoor work, however, did not agree with his health, and consequently, during the war he located on a farm in Buena Vista township. He is now the owner of 320 acres of highly cultivated land. Besides his farming interests, he is largely engaged in stock-raising, being a breeder of shorthorn and red-polled cattle, and of Morgan and Clyde horses, and has some of the finest specimens of the various breeds to be found in the country.
On January 25, 1848, he was married to Sarah Wright, a daughter of E. M. and Sarah Wright. She was born in Syracuse, New York. Their happy married life was doomed to be of short duration, for, after little more than a year, on November 12, 1849, his wife died, leaving to his care one child, Sarah G., now the wife of Insco Marine, and resides at Beatrice, Nebraska.
On October 10, 1860, our subject was married again, his second wife being Emma Window, born in Macomb, Illinois, a daughter of Rev. William H. Window. Her father was a Methodist Episcopal minister, widely and favorably known in Illinois. They had eight children, two sons and six daughters: Susan, wife of E. H. Lugg, of Warsaw, Illinois; William; Grace; Harry; Catharine; Ida; Blanche and Margaret. The faithful wife and devoted mother died on July 22, 1890, much mourned by her family and friends. April 13, 1892, Harry married Miss Carrie McCormick, of Buena Vista.
Our subject affiliates with the Republicans in politics, and though averse to office has, at the earnest solicitation of his numerous friends, served in some local positions of trust, to the entire satisfaction of his constituents. He is, like his father before him, a liberal supporter of the Methodist Episcopal Church, which denomination has found in him an earnest and sympathetic friend.
Of high integrity and morality, of rare ability and warm impulses, he enjoys the confidence of his fellow citizens, and the esteem of his family and a host of friends.
Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois, Biographical Review Publishing Co., Chicago, 1892, pages 227-228.
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