JOSEPH J. PARSONS.
One of the most extensive landowners of Louisa county was the late Joseph J. Parsons, who with his brother H. J.
N. Parsons owned and cultivated twenty eight hundred acres of land. Mr. Parsons was born in Hardy county, West
Virginia, on the 19th of November, 1819, and was a son of Jonathan and Agnes (Nevi11) Parsons, also natives of
West Virginia, whence they removed to Louisa county, Iowa, in 1836. Upon their arrival here they located upon a
farm, in the cultivation of which the father engaged until the death of his wife in 1855. He passed away in 1882.
Four children were born to them: H. J. N., Joseph J., Mary C., wife of the late M. T. Denison, and Asdrubel S.
All are now deceased.
Joseph J. Parsons acquired his education in the common schools and was reared to agricultural pursuits, which he
adopted for his life vocation after laying aside his text books. He met with most gratifying success in his work
and was one of the largest property holders in the county at the time of his death.
Mr. Parsons was married three times, his first wife being Miss Martha A. Smith, who was a native of Kentucky and
whom he married in 1851. She passed away four years later and in 1856 Mr. Parsons married her sister Sarah E. Smith,
who died the following year. Of these two unions four children were born, all of whom are deceased. On the 27th
of October, 1859, Mr. Parsons and Miss Mary E. Coleman, who was also a native of West Virginia, were married. Her
parents were Fleming and Lydia A. (Smith) Coleman, the father a native of Virginia and the mother of Ohio. They
came to Iowa in 1852, locating in Louisa county, where the mother passed away in 1860. Later Mr. Coleman was married
to Mrs. Mary E. Crane of Muscatine county, where they resided for twenty years, at the end of which period Mrs.
Coleman died and he made his home with his daughter Mrs. Parsons until his death with the exception of two years
when he visited his son in Colorado. His demise occurred at the home of Mrs. Parsons on the 13th of January, 1898,
when he had reached the venerable age of eighty four years. Eleven children were born of his first union, three
of whom are surviving: T. B. S. Coleman, a resident of the state of Washington; Mary E., now Mrs. Parsons; and
D. F., who is living in Wapello. One daughter, Luella, was born of the second union, and she is now the wife of
C. G. Terry, of Muscatine. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Parsons were born four children: Douglas D., who was born on the 1st
of December, 1861, and died on the 12th of January, 1904; Olive T., the wife of William C. Smith, of this county;
Asdrubel H., also of this county; and Walter F., who was born on the 7th of July, 1870, and died in 1872. Mr. Parsons
died on the 4th of February, 1880, and was laid to rest in the Parsons cemetery. In 1891 his widow, Mary E. Parsons,
was united in marriage to his brother and business partner, H. J. N. Parsons, who passed away on the 15th of November
of the same year. She and her two surviving children, therefore, own almost all of the twenty eight hundred acres
of land formerly held in common by the brothers.
The religious views of the family coincide with the articles of faith of the Methodist Episcopal denomination with
which church Mrs. Parsons affiliates.
History of Louisa County, Iowa
From Its Earliest Settlement to 1912
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Decatur County, IA
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