NATHANIEL TAYLOR PARKINSON


From History of Dane County, Wisconsin, publ. by Western Historical Company, Chicago, 1880, page 527-528

NATHANIEL TAYLOR PARKINSON. Mr. PARKINSON was born on the 25th day of September 1815, in White County, West Tennessee, and was the second son of Daniel M. PARKINSON, so long and well known in that county and State.

In the year 1818, he came with his father and family to Madison County, Ill., and lived a few years twenty-five miles east of St. Louis.

In the year 1827, he came with his father to the Galena lead mines, amid the wild tumult and excitement incident upon the discovery and early occupation of that all-important mining district, where vice, corruption, and almost every species of immorality prevailed. Card-playing, horse-racing, drinking, quarreling, and fighting were the common order of the times; and, though he was but a stripling of a boy, without education, without experience, and without moral instruction or example, he steered his way clear and came out unscathed of all these vices and immoralities. He played no cards, ran no horse-races, drank no whisky, fought no fights, nor quarreled with those with whom he came in contact, but lived in peace and friendship with all.

In the winter of 1828, without the influence and promptings of temperance efforts, he became fully impressed with the terrible effects and pernicious consequences of whisky-drinking, and resolved never to drink any strong drink, which resolution, he most faithful maintained until the day of his death, never drinking a drop unless prescribed as a medicine.

In the year 1837, he removed to Madison, the new seat of Territorial Government, when he was appointed by Henry Dodge (then Governor of the Territory of Wisconsin), Sheriff of Dane County, which office he filled most acceptably for three years.

In 1841, he was married to Miss Louisa M. BRIGGS, of Jefferson County, Wis., and immediately upon this event he returned to his farm on Duke's Prairie, the same farm which he and his elder brother Peter commenced making in 1832, and on which they afterward lived for many years, when Nathaniel removed to the farm on which he died, it being the old homestead of his father.

While making a living on the Duke's Prairie farm, he and his brother Peter lived together and kept bachelor's hall for six years, the nearest woman (their mother) living five miles distant.

By his first wife (Miss BRIGGS) he had four children, two of whom still survive - Frank E. PARKINSON, Attorney at Law, Madison, Wis., and Mrs. Riley T. SCOTT, of Yellow Stone, Wis.

On the 3d of August 1851, he was married to Mrs. Ann STURSIKER, of Willow Springs, of which married there were born seven children, six of whom still survive.

About the year 1842, he embraced Christianity, and united with the Methodist Episcopal Church of Fayette, and was, from that time forward, one of its most zealous, persistent, straightforward and useful members.

His house and his table were always free to the hungry and needy.

As a citizen, friend and neighbor, he stood in the front rank. He neither lawed nor wrangled with any one, but was patient and forgiving of others' faults and imperfections.

He was no politician or office-seeker, but his upright and judicious character often caused his friends to confer public trust upon him. He was, therefore, often Chairman of the Town Board, and, as such, a member of the County Board, rendering full satisfaction to his constituents. His ability in these capacities induced his friends to seek his nomination as a candidate.

At the time of his death, he was, and for two years previous had been, President of the La Fayette County Agricultural Society. He was a member of the Board of Trustees that built the Methodist Church in the village of Fayette.

He was a soldier in the Black Hawk war, under Dodge, and distinguished himself for bravery in the battle of Bad Axe. In matters of business, he was practical and judicious, not speculative or adventurous, fully content with the slow but sure success of farm pursuits, which he followed with quiet diligence, and, in the end, acquired a handsome competence.

About three years previous to his death, he moved to the town of Willow Springs, on the old homestead of the family. There lived and died this good and just man.

To his immediate family, his loss was irreparable. He was a kind and affectionate husband, a considerate and indulgent father, a generous and obliging brother.

To the community at large, his loss could not well be estimated; his usefulness was valuable in all the departments of life.

He died as his residence, in the town of Willow Springs, on the 7th day of January, 1879.


Transcribed and contributed to this site by Carol

 

 

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