"Sweet is the scene when virtue dies,
When sinks a righteous soul to rest. How mildly beam the closing eyes How gently heaveth expiring breast."
In the early part of the present century there lived in the beautiful town of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England, George Chandler, and his wife, Esther Glover. They belonged to the best blood of England---that of the middle class---and were honest, industrious and respected people.
On February 27th, 1824, their home was made happy by the advent of a beautiful and promising daughter, whom they named Arabella Ann, and who is the subject of this sketch. She grew to be a loving and lovable girl, ever seeking to lesson the burdens of her fond mother. Her father died when she was but fifteen, and having acquired the art of dressmaking she now unmurmuringly plied the needle to aid her widowed mother in supporting her family.
Being of Israel's seed, her trusting yet bewildered prayers arose to heaven, and in the midst of tribulation, patient hope saw a star---"the glad tidings of great joy" were heralded unto her: and in 1842, having received unmistakable testimonies of the divinity of the Gospel, she accepted it with all her soul. She willingly assisted in the work of spreading the Gospel by distributing tracts from door to door, that others, too, might taste of the delicious fruits.
A few years of comparative peace and honest toil elapsed, when Arabella was convulsed by the most bitter grief of her life---that occasioned by the loss of her beloved mother and bosom companion.
The spirit of gathering now brooding over her, Sister Arabella might have been seen plying her needle early and late. Her little brother Frederic was left to her sole guardianship and protection, and he, with her, must eat and wear, besides which some of their passage money was yet to be earned. Finally, through her industry, frugality, and the blessing of God she was able to emigrate herself and brother, arriving at St. Louis in the year 1851.
While waiting in St. Louis for an opportunity to go to Zion, she mad the acquaintance of a very worthy young brother, Samuel Rose Parkinson, and became his wife January 1, 1852. They tarried in St. Louis until their hearts were made glad by the birth of their first child. In the year 1854 they joined the St. Louis company of Saints, crossed the plains with ox and mule teams, and made their first home in Zion at Kaysward, Salt Lake valley.
In the year 1860 the family removed to Cache valley, and were among the pioneers of Franklin, which is now in Oneida county, Idaho, at which place they have ever since resided.
Sister Parkinson is the mother of five sons (one of whom died in infancy) and four daughters. She also leaves thirty four grandchildren and one great-grandchild. She, with her husband, Patriarch Samuel R. Parkinson, has been a wise counselor to her children; and has lived to see the fruits of her parental labors, in that her children are all faithful Latter-day Saints, and respected members of society. Her son George is president of the Oneida Stake of Zion and her other sons hold important positions in the Church.
She has been a true wife and devoted mother. They who knew her best loved her most. There is no revealed principle of the Gospel which she has not sought to live. She was economical, industrious, and modest, and had a high sense of order and union; among her last words being admonitions to her family to be united and to perpetuate family reunions in her home. She sought to dwell in peace with her family and all the world.
Sister Parkinson received during her last illness---which lasted from the 1st of August to ten minutes past one p.m. of the 9th---the most kind and tender treatment that the loving hands of her faithful husband and family could render. She seemed in no severe distress of mind or body, but in her was realized the Divine promise, "They who die in me shall not taste of death, for it shall be sweet unto them." As her loved ones bent over her with hushed hearts and bated breath to catch the last fond look, they saw upon her lips a smile as though she beheld in peaceful vision a gentle hand awaiting to lead her to her heavenly home, and then sustained and soothed by an unaltering faith, this noble wife and mother and faithful sister approached her grave like one who wraps the drapery of his couch about him and lies down to pleasant dreams.
The funeral took place Sunday, the 12th, and was attended by a host of relatives and friends. The casket was borne from the residence to the meeting house by six Elders and followed by the bereaved husband, who was accompanied by the eldest and the youngest daughters of the deceased. Next came in the order of age her other children with their families, and other near relatives.
The meeting house was tastefully decorated with flowers and white drapery. Upon the beautiful white casket stood a floral shield containing the symbol, "Rest," in white flowers. The funeral services consisted of appropriate hymns by the choir, prayer by Elder Thomas S. Smart, invoking Divine comfort and blessings upon the bereaved, and consolatory remarks by Presidents S. H. Hale and M. F. Cowley. Bishop L. L. Hatch and Elders L. B. Nash, Charles Hobbs Sen., and W. H. Smart. A soothing quartette by male voices was rendered, also an original poem in honor of the departed by brother L. B. Nash. The benediction was pronounced by Dr. W. B. Parkinson. At the close of the services all present were invited to pass before the casket and view for the last time the peaceful face of their loved sister and friend.
The conveyance containing the casket was followed to the quiet city of the dead by about seventy vehicles, forming one of the longest corteges ever witnessed in Franklin. At the grave the dedicatory prayer was offered by President Solomon H. Hale, who also had charge of the arrangements for the day. And there within that quiet resting place we left the sacred temple of the departed. No nobler, truer wife and mother within the portals of the silent tomb awaits the resurrection of the just.
William H. Smart.