Biography of Charles H. Parkhurst
Famous American Biographies

CHARLES HENRY PARKHURST, famous as a clergyman, and for many years president of the Society for the Prevention of Crime, was born April 17, 1842, at Framinghatn, Massachusetts, of English descent. At the age of sixteen he was pupil in the grammar school at Clinton, Massachusetts, and for the ensuing two years was a clerk in a dry goods store, which position he gave up to prepare himself for college at Lancaster academy. Mr. Parkhurst went to Amherst in 1862, and after taking a thorough course he graduated in 1866, and in 1867 became the principal of the Amherst High School. He retained this position until 1870, when he visited Germany with the intention of taking a course in philosophy and theology, but was forced to abandon this intention on account of illness in the family causing his early return from Europe. He accepted the chair of Latin and Greek in Williston Seminary, Easthampton, Massachusetts, and remained there two years. He then accompanied his wife to Europe, and devoted two years to study in Halle, Leipsic and Bonn. Upon his return home he spent considerable time in the study of Sanscrit, and in 1874 he became the pastor of the First Congregational church at Lenox, Massachusetts. He gained here his reputation as a pulpit orator, and on March 9, 1880, he became the pastor of the Madison Square Presbyterian church of New York. He was, in 1890, made a member of the Society for the Prevention of Crime, and the same year became its president. He delivered a sermon in 1892 on municipal corruption, for which he was brought before the grand jury, which body declared his charges to be without sufficient foundation. But the matter did not end here, for he immediately went to work on a second sermon in which he substantiated his former sermon and wound up by saying, “I know, for I have seen.” He was again summoned before that august body, and as a result of his testimony and of the investigation of the jurors themselves, the police authorities were charged with incompetency and corruption. Dr. Parkhurst was the author of the following works: “The Forms of the Latin Verb, Illustrated by Sanscrit,” “The Blind Man’s Creed and Other Sermons,” “The Pattern on the Mount,” and “Three Gates on a Side.”

A Biographical Record
Of Schuyler County, New York
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
New York and Chicago 1903.

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