Benjamin L. Parsons is well remembered in the village of Columbia and throughout the surrounding country, although
twenty years have come and gone since he was called to his final rest. He lived retired in the village, although
in earlier years he was a very active, energetic business man. His birth occurred in Pennsylvania in 1804, and
he was descended from old Quaker stock, the kind that, upheld the political and legal status of the state and promoted
its intellectual and moral progress. He was reared in the east, pursued his education there and for many years
conducted business in Ohio as proprietor of a store in Marion county.
Mr. Parsons came to Marion county, Iowa, about 1862, and at Columbia was united in marriage to Mrs. Salina Williams,
the widow of Joseph Williams and a daughter of Adam and Mary Ann Quillen. Her first husband was a carpenter and
cabinet maker and followed those trades throughout his entire life. He built a mill at Columbia and operated it
until it was destroyed by fire, when he retired from active business and spent his remaining days in the enjoyment
of well earned rest. To Mr. and Mrs. Williams were born two children: Alice, now deceased; and Charlotte, who died
when but two weeks old. Since the death of her second husband Mrs. Parsons has lived in Columbia, where she is
the owner of town lots and other property. She is now eighty six years of age and is a keen minded, well informed
woman whose appearance greatly belies her age.
The death of Mr. Parsons occurred September 5, 1894, and he was laid to rest in the Columbia cemetery. During his
later years, because of the fact that he was living retired, he had more leisure for social life than many a business
man enjoys and he gained a large circle of friends in Columbia. His success in a business way was derived entirely
through his energy, his industry, determination and diligence and his history illustrates what may be accomplished
by close application and honorable purpose.
History of Marion County, Iowa
And its People
John W. Wright, Supervising Editor
W. A. Young, Associate
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Marion County, IA
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